Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Across the Universe

Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Published: 2011 by Penguin Group
Version: Hardcover
Obtained: Library

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

First Sentence:
"Daddy said, 'Let Mom go first.'"

This is one of those books with an unbelievably beautiful cover that just makes you want to melt. (Sadly, both paperback versions took most of that beauty away. Go Google them.)
I have had this book on my to-read pile FOREVER. Once again I regret my slowness.

I’m not exactly a big sci-fi fan when it comes to books. All the crazy names and places get confusing. But this was more like Inside Out (by Maria V. Snyder), exciting things happening in a small enclosed space. Also, the main girl has a PRETTY AWESOME NAME. *wink, wink*

Amy’s parents are going to be cryogenically frozen so that when the spaceship lands at the “new earth”, many years away, they will be unfrozen and help start a new civilization. Obviously her parents don’t want to force her to be frozen as well, but she decides that she’s said her goodbyes already and she wants to stay with her parents. Now we’re on the ship as Elder is trying to learn how to be a leader from the gruff, secretive Eldest. From here on we flip-flop between Elder’s point of view, and Amy’s. Amy gets unplugged, and suddenly she’s thrust into life onboard the ship, with all the secrets and weirdness that goes along with that. After more people become unplugged, Amy and Elder hurriedly try to solve the mystery.

Amy’s wandering thoughts/dreams while frozen desperately made me never want to be in a coma (or be frozen like that). Not being able to tell how much time is passing, not knowing what’s going on, just thinking. Basically being trapped inside your brain. Ms. Revis writes all of this with such clarity that I felt trapped while reading it. Also when Amy is exploring the ship and realizing how small it is compared to Earth, I was getting very claustrophobic. I DO NOT WANT TO EVER BE ON A SPACECRAFT FOR MORE THAN 10 MINUTES. All of that scares me. Even though I felt trapped while reading, the simple truth is that Ms. Revis made me feel emotion. She is a fantastic artist, painting the setting so you feel what the characters feel.

Amy and Elder’s relationship was. . .unfinished. Elder was quite smitten with her, but she wasn’t really paying attention to him in that way. Also they kept keeping secrets from each other. There was something pretty horrible that happened to her, and it bothered me that she never told him. I’m guessing in the sequel, which I am DYING to read, their relationship becomes more realized.

Many reviewers have pointed out that all the mentions of “the season” got a bit much. I mostly found it disturbing in the sense that that was the society norm. It creeped me out completely. Most of the society’s ways were horrible. The treatment of the old people, the water, the “crazy” ward, the way they all looked the same to avoid conflict. Everything was wack. Granted, they were on that spaceship for a LOOONG time. Long enough to go crazy and come up with weird laws.

Harley was a lovely character. The artist. I loved how he had Amy’s back whenever Elder couldn’t. The three of them made a great trio as they tried to solve the mystery. Regarding the mystery, I totally realized something was up with a certain someone like halfway through, but I didn’t realize all the details until they were slowly revealed later. All the ship’s secrets and lies just came down one after another. It was like BAM, BAM, BAM. Oh you thought you knew what was going on? BAM, you were wrong.

I realize this is a long review. There’s just so much in this book! I loved it so much more that I thought I would.

I NEED to get my hands on A Million Suns right now. The completely lovely thing is that I have absolutely NO CLUE where the story will go from here. :)

P.S. Slight Spoilers In The Content Warnings!

Content Warnings: “The season” is gross. It is basically the time where all the population has sex, basically mating, very much like animals. There is also an attempted rape which is quite terrible.


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