Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Book: Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Series or Stand-Alone: Series, #1
Pages:  398
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Purchase A Copy: Amazon | The Book Depository
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Description: A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder. 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.

Alright, I have to be honest with all of you. I fell victim to all of the hype surrounding Across the Universe and just automatically assumed I would love it. I am a fan of science fiction books, I love teen romances and the cover is beyond stunning. I should have been more cautious going into this, because I feel like my expectations overshadowed my reading and unfortunately, I was left disappointed.

First of all, let’s talk about the characters. I can’t say that I loved any of the characters. I certainly didn’t hate them, but I wasn’t crazy about them either. Neither Amy nor Elder had that spark – that thing that connects you to a character and makes you pull for them. I felt like they were simply characters on a page, I did not feel bonded to them at all – especially Elder. Elder has no backbone whatsoever and I often found this irritating. I get that he was raised to follow Eldest blindly, but my god, the whole point of the book is rebellion. Why can’t he stop acting like an idiot and actually do something.

Also, the romance between Amy and Elder felt off and a bit out of place.  Sadly, there was absolutely zero chemistry between the two of them. After seeing that phenomenal cover, I was expecting these two to knock of socks off. First off, why exactly does Elder like Amy? Yes, I get that she is different looking, and he likes her crazy red hair… but what about her? All she ever says about Amy is that she is different. Um, okay. But why are you suddenly madly in love with her – surely isn’t not simply because she is different.

I was also a bit disappointed with the plot. The mystery was predictable; I figured out the majority of the outcome very early on. I kept thinking, “that cannot possibly be right, it’s too easy!” But alas, it was too easy. Then, to make matters worse, the ending climax is nonexistent. It just sort of explains what happened and then ends. I am the kind of person who loves a big ending and that was not the case with Across the Universe.

I did however, enjoy the “rewriting of history” where all of the previous leaders change Earth’s history to highlight societies without differences.  It’s both interesting and horrifying to see how Revis makes Hitler into someone Elder respects. When I first read that section, I immediately felt like throwing the book away. I felt dirty. But as I got to thinking, I realized that in the Across the Universe world, this was plausible. If you alter history enough and omit certain horrors, you can make people believe anything. Like I said, I was both intriguing and terrified by this concept.

I was also totally creeped out by the idea of the “season”; which, I guess, was the point. When it was first introduced, I was all sorts of disturbed, but still fascinated at the same time. Unfortunately, Revis doesn’t know when it quit and I quickly grew tired of hearing about random people going at it in the background. For the record, I am completely with Amy on this one - if you simply tell people the results of incest, they will be careful of whom they form, relationships with. There is simply no need to have people going at it like rabbits on the streets. Ew. 

Overall, I think that Across the Universe was an entertaining read, but it wasn’t a great read for me. I will probably continue reading the series, but it will not be on the top of my reading list.

Favorite Quotes

"Sorry? Sorry? Sorry isn't enough. Every. Single. Thing. I ever loved is beyond my reach now. Everything I ever wanted. Everything I ever was." 
"I could tell them about the different kinds of rain, pouring rain that's perfect for when you want to stay inside and watch a movie or read, or piercing rain that feels like needles on your skin, or soft summer rain that makes your first kiss with your first love all the sweeter."
"We're the ones who arent normal. People are supposed to be like that: obedient, calm, working together. It's us-who can't focus, who can't work together, who can't do the Feeder or Shipper jobs-we're the ones who aren't normal. We're the ones who have to take the mental meds just so we don't go loons."


Danna (Bananas For Books) said...

Nice review! I actually really liked Across the Universe, but the "romance" between Elder and Amy and the Season kind of bugged me. I just hope the second book will be better.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the thorough review on this one. The hype has been huge, but I've been waiting for the details.

Amber said...

Sorry you didn't love this one though I completely understand why. I felt a connect with both characters and I loved Harvey so it was easy for me to enjoy this one. Thanks for the honest review!

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