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Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Across the Universe (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Beth Revis

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1,8613003,715 (3.83)1 / 98
Title:Across the Universe
Authors:Beth Revis
Info:Razorbill (2011), Edition: First Edition first Printing, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library, Teen Books, Autographed
Tags:autographed, science fiction, romance, teen fiction, young adult, cloning, space opera, spaceships

Work details

Across the Universe by Beth Revis (2011)


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English (300)  Italian (2)  German (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (304)
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When both of her parents are chosen to be two of the people who will help colonize a brand new planet, Amy decides to go with them even though it means leaving the only life she’s ever known behind. Because landing is predicted for 300 years in the future, all three are frozen and put aboard the vast spaceship known as Godspeed. But Amy is unexpectedly woken up 50 years before schedule. She wakes to an entirely different world, confined inside a massive hunk of metal floating among the stars. What she discovers is that she was not unfrozen by accident and that she isn’t the only victim. If she doesn’t find out who is unfreezing people and leaving them to drown, her parents might be next. With the help of Elder, the future leader of the ship, she uncovers dangerous secrets that Godspeed and it’s leaders have been keeping for decades.

The world created by Beth Revis is incredibly detailed and amazing...but it is also kind of terrifying. Could you imagine being frozen and then suddenly waking up hundreds of years later in space surrounded by a community of empty, brainless people blindly following the command of a tyrant leader? Yeah, me neither. Luckily, we can read about it without experiencing it! I thought the plot was great. The beginning of the book was a bit slow but only because we are being introduced to the characters and Godspeed. Once Amy is woken up the action picks up and the story really gets started. From then on I couldn’t put the book down because I NEEDED to know what was going to happen next!

Besides the fantastic plot, there were two other things I loved about this book; the dual perspective and the new slang that people aboard the ship use. It seems like more and more books are taking the 2+ person perspective which I adore. Being able to see into both heads gives the reader a much better understanding of what is going on and what the characters are feeling. As for the slang, it was hilarious. I chuckled every time someone said ‘frex,’ ‘loons,’ ‘chutz,’ ‘stars,’ etc. Out of context they don’t make much sense, but it is easy to figure out what they all mean while reading.

This is a must-read even if you don't typically for go science fiction. ( )
  joanab951 | May 21, 2015 |

it was okay, I guess. The plot wasn't as strong as I expected it to be and the heroine, Amy, was all over the place sometimes. One minute, she's moaning about wanting her mother and father and the next, she's this fierce teenager who wants to solve the mystery of the frozen's killer.
Also, I think it was insta-love between her and Elder. Elder's feelings for Amy seems vague and unfounded. It was reflected by his first reaction to her that he was only intrigued because she's different - literally - from everyone on the ship. So, yeah. I wasn't a fan of them.
Anyway, the world building was good. The ship, Godspeed, was described very well but that's the only good thing I can think of to say about this book. ( )
  englisherna | Apr 8, 2015 |
If you’d take a look at my could-not-finish shelf on Goodreads, you’d realize I’m not the most patient reader… Okay, I’m not patient at all. The point is, I’d much rather put down a book then attempt to finish a book I’m not feeling. This generally happens because I’m not in the mood for whatever genre I picked up or the book isn’t moving fast enough. I’d much rather give up a boring book and pick up another one then be stuck with in a horrific book slump.

I was this close to putting aside Across the Universe and moving on to another book burning a hole in my TBR list, but I am so glad I stuck with it. I had gotten to chapter ten and Amy was still frozen and I was thinking, Please, Creator of the Universe, make something happen. And guess what? It did! And I wound up loving this! So the lesson of this anecdote: I need more patience with slow starting books, because I could wind up loving one of them like I did this one.

As you can probably tell, I’ve been reading a lot of science fiction here lately. However, Across the Universe is my first venture into space this year. I’m not big on space voyages and futuristic fiction, but I have always been curious about cryogenics so when I realized this book would be a whole new take on cryogenic-ally freezing the human body, I jumped at the chance to check it out from the library.

What is cryogenics? It’s basically the idea of flash freezing the human body after someone has died so that eventually, when scientists are able to transplant people into younger bodies in “the future”, they will be thawed out and placed into a healthy body. The reason they have to “flash freeze” them is because the process of freezing a body and thawing it out causes living cells to burst and die a “true death.” This is actually something you can buy into before your death… it’s a kind of funeral plan and I’ve always found it so fascinating!

Now in real life, people shell out money for scientists to flash freeze them after death (very soon after death, but they are dead when this happens) but in the case of Amy and her parents in Across the Universe they were alive when cryogenic-ally frozen so that they could board a spaceship and land on Century-Earth – a newly discovered planet that is able to sustain life… they hope. I’m not a squeamish person but reading and watching Amy and her parents practically kill themselves for a dream that they might inhabit this new planet made me shudder.

It also felt like a stupid risk for something that is out of their control… anything could happen to them while they are frozen, something Amy is now finding out the hard way as she learns she thawed out 50 years before her parents will. There is no way for her to return to her frozen state, either, because the way she thawed almost killed her. I can understand her rage and disbelief and sadness, but at the same time I’m thinking YOU SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE OUT THAT YOU WERE GIVEN!!! I love my parents, but I don’t think I could have followed them to their frozen deaths for 300 years. Nope, I have a hard enough time giving up control – that would be the ultimate sacrifice I doubt I’d ever be able to give. Guess I’m selfish like that. *shrug*

Strangely, I had no problems with any of the characters! It is rare for me to like all characters in a young adult novel – I typically have a complaint here and there but fortunately, I liked both the protagonists and even the evil Leader of Godspeed (the ship they are on), Eldest. Even though he’s the future’s worst kind of villain I couldn’t wait to see what he did next!

Amy was a bit whinny and rather depressed but I found that it was realistic for her problems and her age. If I found out that I am trapped on a ship 50 years too early with an evil dictator who has brainwashed everybody but two people on a ship full of thousands to think I am a freak because I’m not monoethnic (meaning she her skin, hair, and eyes didn’t match everybody else’s on the ship – apparently “difference is the first reason for discord” *scoffs*) and I don’t blindly follow everything that Eldest tells them – because it’s all lies, mind you – yeah, I’d be one pissed off chick trapped on a ship with people who hated the sight of me and with at least one person trying to murder me. You gotta give her some leeway.

I also liked Elder’s character (his name is Elder because he is next in line as leader, and will be called Eldest… yeah, I know. It’s a stupid name for dictators to have), even when he made stupid mistakes in the name of curiosity. Though I would chalk that up to finding out that the person who’s sort of a cruel-father-figure for him has been lies and secrets he should rightfully know, well… He’s not such a bad guy either.

While I found Across the Universe to be a bit predictable at times and slow-moving at first, Revis threw plot twists into the mix that kept me on my toes and itching for more. I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series, A Million Suns, because I need to see what happens between Amy and Elder after that massive cliffhanger! I recommend this book to young adult readers who enjoy adventures in space. ( )
  One_Curvy_Blogger | Mar 17, 2015 |
This book was a quick and enjoyable read. I liked the story and enjoyed the characters, though I do feel that they needed a bit more fleshing out. Both Amy and Elder seemed flat at times and I wanted a bit more from them. I will say however, that I liked the way their relationship was handled in the book. It seemed as realistic as I could imagine a relationship to be, formed under their particular circumstances. Though there were parts of the book that I was easily able to predict, other parts came as a complete surprise. The end was perfectly written and has me begging for the sequel to find out how the future of Godspeed. All in all, it's a solid book and one I would recommend to someone looking for sci-fi and possible romance, without too much predictability on either front. ( )
  CarleyShea | Feb 5, 2015 |
A beautiful cover, an interesting premise and a dash of sci-fi, all things that intrigued me and pushed me to pick this book up, and yet I felt underwhelmed by the actual product. To begin, I thought Revis’ world building was fairly good for a YA novel. Though there were some holes I generally felt as though I knew most of the ship Godspeed inside and out. I knew how the society aboard the vessel functions, general social norms, a vague history, and could basically draw a map of the place. There were also some good sci-fi elements, though definitely in the soft sci-fi sense, not that it’s a bad thing necessarily. I liked the cryo descriptions, the genetic engineering ideas and some of the new technology. However, there were several problems with the writing and plot that made the story much less enjoyable.

Although I felt that the novel was an okay read, one of my main problems with it was the fact that Amy and Elder lacked uniqueness in each of their voices. Several times I found myself starting a new chapter, and even though they switch back and forth between characters each time, sometimes I had to go back and double check whose point of view a chapter was from. I really didn’t feel like each of the characters was very distinct. The characters entirely lacked an identifiable voice. Each voice was basically the same, which was a big letdown considering they should have had radically different ways of thinking and acting.

Another big problem was the predictability factor. More and more what makes me enjoy a book is that I don’t see what’s going to happen from a mile away. The “mystery”really wasn’t one at all, and instead only served to make me feel like that book was slow because I was just waiting for the big reveal the whole time.

There was also two big events in the novel that I felt were there almost entirely for the shock value and did little to nothing for the plot, especially because of the characters reactions, or should I say lack of reactions to these events. Although these are huge and traumatic, the characters seem to get over them in no time at all, which makes me not only confused but creates a lack of empathy for the characters.

The first event is the almost gang rape scene between Amy, Luthe and the other two nameless males. Initially after the incident Amy is very shaken up and won’t even let Harley, who saved her from almost being raped, touch her or be around her, which is a realistic reaction from someone who has just been through that kind of trauma. However after hiding in her room for about a day, she has absolutely no problem with completely embracing and trusting Elder, who is on her list of murder suspects and she barely knows, when they use the grav-shoot. Huh?! What happened to being so traumatized you didn’t want the guy who saved you even in the same room? Now Amy’s suddenly completely okay with getting all touchy with a guy twenty-four hours after almost being raped? Her turn-about seemed unrealistic and confusing in the context of the novel. Plus, the almost-rape isn’t really even mentioned at all the rest of the book. So if Amy is over it in five seconds flat, what the heck was the point of that scene? I’ll tell you what, cheap shock value.

The second unnecessary event was Harley’s suicide. Amy and Elder don’t really seem A) surprised or B) that Upset about it. Your best and only friend kills himself and they basically move on without a second glance. I don’t know why Elder, who knows Harley’s had depressive episodes in his past, doesn’t bother to think for more than two seconds that maybe he should make sure Harley continues to take his medication. Even more so, Elder has been trained that his only job is to take care of everyone of the ship, so why is his best friend an exception? Amy and Elder basically seem to think that it was alright for Harley to commit suicide since he was unhappy, which is entirely the wrong message a book should be sending.

Overall I felt this book was not a developed as it should be, and didn’t deliver on the promise the cover and the description gave the reader. However, it was an enjoyable enough read as long as you don’t mind a few plot holes and a rather obvious mystery. ( )
  luminescent_bookworm | Jan 27, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Beth Revisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ambrose, LaurenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Järvinen, OutiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santos, CarlosNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Teenaged Amy, a cryogenically frozen passenger on the spaceship Godspeed, wakes up to discover that someone may have tried to murder her.

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