Across the Universe

Across the Universe

Book rating: 03 Paperback Across the Universe

By (author) Beth Revis

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 25mm | 286g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0141333669
  • ISBN 13: 9780141333663
  • Sales rank: 4,614

Product description

Amy has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone. Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her; and more if she'll let him. But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies? A killer is out there - and Amy has nowhere to hide...

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Author information

Beth Revis wrote her first books whilst still at university, where she secretly jotted down stories instead of taking notes. In addition to writing teen fiction, Beth spends her time doing things like trying to point out the dramatic irony in 'Oedipus Rex' to gaggles of sixteen-year-olds. This is because she is also a teacher, in case you were wondering. Beth lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and her dog, where she splits her time between writing lesson plans, writing stories, and writing up plans to travel somewhere new. Across the Universe is her debut novel.

Customer reviews

By Ryann Dannelly 26 Apr 2014 5

Short Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Amy and her parents are frozen on this ship called Godspeed with the intent of being woken up three hundred years later on a new planet. But Amy's woken up fifty years too soon and suddenly she's having to live among this population that has created an entirely new society with its own rules. Amy quickly learns that she was awoken for a reason -- someone tried to kill her. With the help of Elder, the future leader of the ship, Amy begins unraveling the mysteries of the ship.

My Thoughts:

I had been eying this book for so long and when I finally got around to reading it, it didn't disappoint. It's a fast and engaging read. Every few chapters, the characters were learning something new about this shady Hitler-like dictatorship full of enough mystery to keep them plenty busy.

One of the things that made the book so successful was the duel POV.

The story goes back and forth between Amy and Elder's perspectives. The two of them have such distinct, almost opposing, voices. Amy's voice is that of a contemporary teenager from Earth (easy enough to relate with.) That makes her the person that the reader can connect with as she goes on this strange journey. Then there's Elder's perspective. He's grown up on this ship and only knows the society and its rules. The two opposing POVs allow for the story to open in ways that just one perspective wouldn't have allowed. Also, the various side characters brought such life to the story and the ship that they can't be forgotten, even after you finish reading.

I can't wait to read the second two books in this trilogy and see how it all pans out. I would recommend this book to any fans of YA fiction (not just simply limiting it to sci-fi or apocalyptic readers) as there's plenty of ways to connect with the story.

Check out my full review here: http://ryanndannelly.blogspot.com/2014/04/across-universe-by-beth-revis-review.html

By Kate @ Fictional Thoughts 30 Aug 2013 2

I've not thought much about cryogenic freezing before. And I never imagined it quite like Beth Revis described it. But from the first scene - she had my attention and I was with Amy as she left everything she knew to travel three hundred years away to a new life on a new world. But not everything goes according to plan. Somehow Amy gets awakened fifty years before the ship is set to land on the new planet. Attempted murder by non-proper defrosting techniques aside, Amy is made to feel an outsider by inhabitants of the spaceship and ends up in the psychiatric ward. Amy has no one but her new friends Harley - a tortured artist - and Elder - the next leader of the ship - to help her stop the murders of her frozen kindred and work out just why the people of the ship are acting so oddly...

The novel switches point of views from Amy - an Earth girl labelled as "unessential cargo" travelling to a new world with her parents - and Elder - a sixteen year old boy on the verge of manhood who has known his entire life that he is going to be the next leader of Godspeed and all its people. It's a time of change for both of them with Amy having to assimilate to a brand new world on board the spaceship and Elder starting to question the decisions of his life-long mentor, Eldest. They do a good job of showing what life aboard the ship is like for a stranger and someone innately familiar with the set up. There's some interesting/barbaric things about ship life and I found myself liking how things progressed.

Most sci-fi I've read is set in the future and what I loved most about this book is how the main character - Amy - is a child of the present. By having her being taken to another place in time and space we get a great mix of the contemporary times in which she came from and the futuristic spaceship she's now forced to survive in. The ship - Godspeed - is the perfect mini civilisation with many mysteries and diabolical schemes taking place. There's a great mix of characters and I loved the creative licence that Ms. Revis used to create the environment Across the Universe is set in. There's nice little differences like the language and technology whilst keeping things similar to the present day.

There's a bit of a murder mystery and a great set up for the next books in the series. I enjoyed the characters and the plot but I didn't really connect with either Amy or Elder and found my attention drifting. I had a few problems with the romance angle of the book - it's a little forced and whilst I know it's only the first book it felt a little irrelevant and convenient.

Overall I liked the journey that this book took me on and I'll most likely be reading the second book - although I think I'll be borrowing it from the library just in case.

By Courtney Denton 12 Sep 2012 2

I love YA and all things science fiction but this book completely underwhelmed me. It wasn't a page turner, in fact it took me a while to get through it.
The dual POV annoyed me to no end, every time something was happening for Elder you read about it from Amy's POV and vice versa. The crucial information that you needed would be with the other character like when it was from Amy's POV and something would happen and Elder would know all about it but Amy didn't, so FRUSTRATING!
Also Amy & Elder didn't tell each other anything, they would never share their information with each other and so you would know what was happening and cotton on to the whole plot well before they ever did which is frustrating when reading, I want to be surprised not aware and just waiting for the characters to catch up.
The plot was really average as well, the bad guy wasn't all that bad, jut annoying. Not to mention (spoiler alert) that it was soooooooo obvious that Orion was the Elder before Elder. Like super obvious, I knew that less than 50 pages in.
All in all, one of the lamest books I've ever read. BEYOND disappointing.

By Jessica Kennedy 13 Jan 2011 5

My Grade
Plot: 5
Setting: 5
Writing: 5
Originality: 5
Characters: 4
Romance: 4
Overall: 28/30 = 93% A
Cover/Title Bonus: 4

Overall
A sci-fi filled dystopia about murder, love, maturity, and power. Amazing technological concepts and a plot that keeps you guessing until the end.

Read the entire review on my blog:
http://thecozyreader.com/2011/01/review-across-the-universe-by-beth-revis/

By Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books) 28 Dec 2010 4

I usually stay away from anything that is too science fictiony, but I heard so many good things about this book and managed to snag a copy from Librarything Early Reviewers program. And let me tell you, about 50 pages in, I completely forgot about genres and devoured Across the Universe.
The world that Revis has built as well as the rich characters is simply amazing. Well, actually nothing but simple, I was on edge, eager to turn the page to find out why people are acting the way they do, what secrets are being kept and why. I was able to empathize with even the bad guy, because it showed how it could come to those choices and decisions, but I am glad that I was able to cheer when secrets were exposed and things were starting to be set right.
I like reading from Amy's point of view better than Elder but maybe that is because I am a girl, I am from the same world as Amy or because it started with her POV. I totally understand the why and the necessity of the dual POV, but just thought that I would throw that out there.
The love story in AtU was well written, and understandable. It did not take the spotlight in the story and on one hand I am very glad for that, but on the other, I wanted MORE.
AtU is very plot driven, rather than character. I still connected with Amy, and cheered for Elder to rise up. The plot is well paced, creating just enough questions and mystery to keep me constantly turning the page, needing to know more. It is not confusing except in a few places, but that was all for a reason which are revealed in due time.
I would recommend to give this a try

Review quote

An unforgettable opening scene Kirkus Book Reviews