Across The Universe by Beth RevisAcross The Universe by Beth Revis

Across The Universe

byBeth Revis

Paperback | November 29, 2011

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Book 1 in the New York Times bestselling trilogy, perfect for fans of Battlestar Gallactica and Prometheus!


Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the spaceship Godspeed. She has left her boyfriend, friends--and planet--behind to join her parents as a member of Project Ark Ship. Amy and her parents believe they will wake on a new planet, Centauri-Earth, three hundred years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed's scheduled landing, cryo chamber 42 is mysteriously unplugged, and Amy is violently woken from her frozen slumber.

Someone tried to murder her.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed's 2,312 passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader. And Elder, Eldest's rebellious teenage heir, is both fascinated with Amy and eager to discover whether he has what it takes to lead. Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she put her faith in a boy who has never seen life outside the ship's cold metal walls? All Amy knows is that she and Elder must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.
Beth Revis lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog, and believes space is nowhere near the final frontier. Across the Universe is her first novel.
Title:Across The UniverseFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:448 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.15 inShipping dimensions:8.25 × 5.5 × 1.15 inPublished:November 29, 2011Publisher:Penguin Young Readers GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1595144676

ISBN - 13:9781595144676


Rated 5 out of 5 by from ABSOLUTELY AMAZING Loved it. Fast pace and extremely detailed. Loved all 3 books. 10/10 would recommend
Date published: 2018-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Awesome concept, mediocre book The writing was pretty dry and honestly hard to get through at times, but the book itself has quite the fascinating concept. Read it a long while ago, and basically saw the concept resurface in the newer movie Passengers. It's basically like any dystopian book with an enclosed society meets that movie, honestly.
Date published: 2018-08-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Book Interesting concept. Some of the writing was very dry and boring. Amy and Elder's POVs sounded too similar to each other.
Date published: 2018-05-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from not great it was cool at first but then it got a little boring and disturbing
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from eh i thought it was cool at first but there were awfully gross and disturbing parts in it. I've read better scifi books
Date published: 2018-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not bad I liked this series, but I've recently realized that it's just the movie Passengers and Wall-E mashed together. Someone wakes another from a sleeping pod, way too early, causing major conflict. Then they find out that they actually arrived at their destination, but workers on the ship have decided not to tell anyone. It's still a good series, but for those who are wishing for a movie, just watch the first half of Passengers, and the second half of Wall-E and you'll be fine.
Date published: 2017-11-09
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved It Out of the whole series this one is the best! I enjoyed this sci-fi regardless of it being a YA. I'm hoping that the series is made into a movie. It was an easy and fun read as well.
Date published: 2017-09-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice! 3.5 stars. The movie Passengers—with the God-like Chris Pratt—made me really want to read this book. I actually couldn’t finish the movie, because I thought it was too slow and the romance was just too expected, but the book entertained me quite a bit. The ship itself—Godspeed—is pretty curious. It has its own separate levels and functions and the world inside it is reminiscent of a dystopian one. The setting is honestly my favourite thing about this book. The story combines mystery, family/friendship and science fiction in a way that grips the reader. The romance lacks originality and passion, but fortunately it’s not inundating the plot. Many plot twists are hidden inside chapters, especially the last ones. They made me want to immediately pick the second book up. Started it and it’s surprising so far. Amy is a lovely, humane girl. Elder’s role is important, and I certainly did like learning more about it and him, but he’s not a memorable character. I’m so curious about what’s going to happen next. This is the sort of series that you know you won’t guess the ending of. It’s going to be plot twist after plot twist. Good. Great, even. I’ll read on.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yes! World Building: different /Characters: great /Romance: absolutely /Pace: great /Feels: sorta /Able to put down: not really /Worth the read: oh yes
Date published: 2017-04-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I was disappointed I bought this book because I love science fiction with a little romance to it. I really enjoyed the world the author created, I enjoyed the characters. But the plot was way too predictable. I knew what exactly is going to happen and how exactly the book id going to end. And I was right. I hated the fact that i knew beforehand hoe it will end.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one of my favourites loved it. People think this is a romance but it's actually sci-fi. Elder is awesome he kind of reminded me of Matt(Matteo) from 'The house of scorpion'.
Date published: 2016-12-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing! Not what you expect it to be. I loved it!
Date published: 2014-03-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting Speculative Fiction This was an interesting take on the dystopian genre that is predominating teen fiction at the moment. One half of our protagonist team is Amy, a teenage who was cryogenically frozen and will be awoken 300 years in the future on a new planet. And then something goes terribly wrong.... Told in alternating perspectives from Amy and ship native Elder, Across the Universe provides an interesting glimpse of our world through the eyes of a possible future perspective and what our faults and strengths might be. There are enough twists and turns to keep you interested and guessing, although one of the major plot twists does not really hold up to scrutiny which bothered me, but a worthwhile adventure into the future. I shared in Amy's claustrophobia and despair at life on the ship. Although its science fiction it definitely falls into speculative - it is frighteningly possible. I will be picking up the second in the trilogy later on.
Date published: 2013-06-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Stunning and Mind-Blowing Wow. Across The Universe is... wow. It's just so amazing! The plot, the characters, the setting - everything. Is. Amazing. I don't even know what to write in this review, other then that its completely fantastic!!! Part sci-fi, part mystery, blended with a captivating romance makes for a strong start to a great new series! I love how we get to see what's happening through Amy's eyes, (a teenage girl who never wanted to go on this trip to a new planet in the first place, but then wakes up without her parents, learning that she could have died) and Elder's eyes (A teenage boy, the only boy his age on the ship, who is going to be the future leader of the spaceship, but first has to learn what being a leader really means with the help of his 'crazy' best friends, Harley, and the current leader of the ship, Eldest, who isn't being much of a help - I know, it's a lot of information to process). They are both so compelling and have such a connection. You immediately want to learn more about them and read on. The storyline is so interesting and contains many different genres that beautifully blend into one fantastic book. The secrets you learn keep your head in the pages, and readers are curious as to who tried to murder Amy, along with the other mysterious aspects about life on the spaceship. Revis is a fantastic author, one to look out for, and I cannot wait to read the rest of this series! There is a great amount of suspense at the end of chapters that just make you want to read more and more and faster and faster. So, I greatly recommend this book. I think it's completely underrated, and that many types of people who like different genres will like it. I absolutely love it!!!!! So, please, do yourself a favour and buy this book! You won't regret it!
Date published: 2013-03-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Slow Start But Good Overall i really enjoyed this book, the idea was different and had quiet a few mysteries (some which aren't solved by the end). The plot was gripping and it was easy to get caught up in the novel. The one thing that i didn't like was at times i found it a little slow especially in the beginning. I felt the story would drag on a little before getting to the good parts. It wasn't kept in suspence or anything like that, i was just bored. Other then that a good read, worth buying
Date published: 2012-12-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nearly Perfect! DISCLAIMER: It may be hard to understand my review if you haven't read the book... But I just have to let my thought be known! But I promise that I've kept it spoiler-free. :) So, you know how the publishers do that annoying thing where they change the cover of the book? To be honest, the fact that they changed the cover is what attracted me to this book. Across the Universe is the second space-ship kind of book that I've ever read. The first one that I read was Glow, and I can tell you that I didn't find it that great. So, going into this book, I didn't except much to come out of it. But as it turns out... I really, really, really loved this book. At the beginning, how juvenile the writing felt really bothered me. And also the fact that there were many typos in the book when they called Elder Eldest! It really confused and slightly annoyed me. If you're going to pick to very similar names for two of the main characters, I would suggest that you edit the book very carefully to make sure that the names never get mixed up. But. With all that negative out of the way, I can honestly say that I loved this book! When we found out who the murderer was and what his role had been, I just knew my guess had been right! But it wasn't one of those annoying, "Oh, pshh. Who didn't see ithat/i one coming?" It was one of those ones where your mouth spreads into a large smile because, dammit, you were right! You solved the mystery and good on ya! But at the very end... Ohboy. I didn't see that twist coming at iall/i. That one through me for a loop. I absolutely loved Elder and completely respected Amy. I could understand why Elder was hesitant at times when he was facing up to Eldest. It would be easier to just let things on the ship go on as they have been. But the fierce determination that Amy fought back with? Her complete dedication and passion for what she believed in to make the citizens lives better when she didn't even know them and the vast majority of them looked at her as if she was a freak? I can so respect that, because I can't say that I would have stuck up for them so fiercely with the way they were treating her. So, if you can't tell, this book was fantastic, and I absolutely loved it. What knocked it down a star for me was the typos between Elder and Eldest because, you can't just mix up two characters like that constantly. You just can't. And also because Amy kept referring to her parents as "Momma" and "Daddy," because I don't care what century your from, but if you're seventeen years old, and you come from Earth, you don't refer to your Dad as "Daddy" all the time. But yeah. I absolutely loved this book and I literally cannot wait for the next one. As in if someone's not buying me this for Christmas (because it's only a couple weeks away), I'm going to go out and buy it right now.
Date published: 2012-12-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Loved it! A few of the Edmonton Book Bloggers absolutely loved this book, so I bought it on the day that Beth Revis was here in Edmonton, which means it is signed!! Since they loved it so much, I actually had high expectations set for this one, and they were seriously met. When I first began the book, I kept setting it back down because it didn't really pull me in. The characters didn't really interest me (except for the fact that Amy was almost like a character in Doctor Who -- in appearances), there was this weird love/obsession thing, and the story at the beginning was just... meh. And the whole Elder/Eldest thing confused me at first too, like, they don't even have names or anything? But then I REALLY started to get into it. I mean this book was freaking CRAZY! One minute I think I'm right, the next minute, I'm cursing myself for being stupid for even THINKING that. So many unbelievable things happened and I found myself constantly gaping at what was happening. There were so many things happening at once, but I did not feel confused or anything, it was a very well paced book after the slow-ish beginning. About the love/obsession thing, as you know, I have a problem with WABAM, THEY'RE IN LOVE. Even though it was kind of like that, it wasn't played on much. The characters were developed but not as a star crossed couple (maybe just a simple couple), which I really liked because, frankly, I am getting tired of that. I loved how they were developed as a team working together to solve the big mystery of the murder, gah, I just LOVED IT! (I'm trying to type this while my brother is guffawing next door and it is REALLY annoying. Just thought you should know.) I haven't read a lot of books with their own little dialect before, but I don't mind. I actually like figuring out the general meaning of those words. Another thing I really liked was the science in here. No, I'm not a science geek or anything, but some of the concepts mentioned in here are linked to what I'm learning in class as well, so I just really enjoyed that! Also, it was baffling how much the people on the ship didn't know about Earth. And I, like Amy, found their attempts at recreating Earth on a spaceship very weak. Their perspectives about a few things were so vastly different from mine that I had to stop and read it again, to make sure I had actually just read that Hitler was a role model to them. (Mind boggling, I KNOW) The whole concept of the book intrigued me. They're flying to another planet that will take 3 centuries and she's going to be frozen in a chamber with her thoughts, for THREE centuries. And then the whole mystery, I loved it. Especially since I watch Doctor Who, and there's all this travelling space and time kind of thing, I loved the space theme of this book. Definitely read this if you love dystopians or maybe just a bit of science and space!
Date published: 2012-11-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Frightening and realistic *This review originally appeared on my blog on June 28th, 2011* This book was really good - completely different from anything I've ever read. The concept was so interesting - between the cryogenically frozen people and the spaceship headed from earth to a new planet in hopes of inhabiting it, I thought it was very creative and clever. The whole thing was also fairly disturbing. I'm still pretty new to anything that falls under the umbrella of dystopian, so I'm still trying to become desensitized to it in a way. The descriptions were really good - the freezing process had my lungs constricting in a claustrophobic way, Eldest's behavior and the way he lied made me angry, Amy's fear and anxiety, desperation and sorrow were all so real, as were Elder's anger and annoyance at being kept in the dark by Eldest, who didn't think Elder would make a good leader. I loved how Ms Revis worked in so many different concepts and themes. Eldest ruled through fear and manipulation, having changed earth's history for his benefit to make it seem as if eradicating differences was the best way to live in harmony (for example, history had been changed to show that Hitler had the right idea, and that was who Eldest emulated in his role as leader). All the inhabitants of the ship were monoethnic - there was one race, because according to Eldest, differences were a reason for discord among people. Because everyone on the ship looks the same (dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin), Amy really stands out with her red hair, green eyes and pale skin, and is labeled a freak. Eldest doesn't want her encouraging free thought among the people, who are all tightly controlled, and who are, as a consequence, mindless. He also doesn't want Elder to start thinking for himself any more than he already does, because he believes the only way to lead the ship is his way, and he wants Elder to follow in his footsteps. I thought this was a terrific debut by Beth Revis, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I just hope she doesn't make us wait too long!
Date published: 2012-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Totally Blew My Mind! Romance and Distopian? Well I don't think you have to ask me if I've read that! Even though the book starts off different and sad, don't put it down yet. After you get thought the first 4 chapters, (Which are really short) You're along for the ride of a lifetime. It was hard to put this book down, every corner was a new secret, or something that made you want to turn the page. The characters were amazing and really captured my attention on how much we did or didn't know about them! Each one had their own secret that had to dying to find out what it was! The settings really were fit for the story. They were well described and perfect for each scene being played out. The plot just blew me away. The author gave you the right kind of information that didn't give away too much of the story. This book won't disappoint the people who don't like it when they already know the endings. The book really had alot of emotion put into it that made me want to scream, cry, laugh and more. It really gets you to feel how the characters are feeling and outs you in the spot where you think; 'What if that was me?' Over all the book just totally blew my mind! Totally Loved it! C:
Date published: 2012-06-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fabulous Distopian? SF? YA? Yes and no to all. This fabulous novel transcends all genres. An original and compelling first novel, that’s for sure. Must now read the second one. I love the premise — Amy leaving typical teen life behind to be frozen and launched on a ship for 301 years of travel to an earth-like planet in a different galaxy. A second narrator — Elder — a young man destined to be the leader on this aircraft transporting Amy, her parents, and the other scientists and settlers for the destination planet. But much as this sounds like it would be all about transponder rings and metal hats, it isn’t. Against a backdrop of a believable future, we get nuanced characters, a murder mystery, lots of suspense, and a hint of romance. Well done.
Date published: 2012-06-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A roller coaster of a dystopian read! It’s close to midnight and I’ve just finished reading Beth Revis’s stunning novel, Across the Universe. Even though I’m so tired, I feel like I must write the review now even though I’m still wrapping my head around the awesomeness that is this novel. I’m not really a science fiction reader. I really like reading dystopian books, but sometimes I fear that they’ll lose me with too much science. Initially, I feared reading this book, mainly because it wasn’t like all the other dystopians out there. The story is about Amy, who is cryogenically frozen aboard the Godspeed, destined to begin her life on a new planet — 300 years in the future. But before she reaches the planet, her capsule is opened and she discovers a new life aboard the Godspeed, where nothing seems to make sense. After I got used to the flow of the novel — I’m pretty sure I was lost at the term “cryogenically frozen” — I fell into a groove of reading it. The beginning was quite disturbing, but it sucked me in nonetheless. After that, I could not put this book down, for the life of me. I think one thing that I enjoyed was that this was a dystopian that didn’t take place on a transformed and beaten-to-death Earth — it was refreshing to read one that took place on a space craft, even if that makes the reader feel the same claustrophobia as the characters. The characters in this book were very well written. I loved meeting the passengers aboard the Godspeed and felt that they were all so wonderfully written, with the passengers mysterious fear of their leader, and the leader himself, Eldest, acting like a true horror-story of a leader. My favourite characters were definitely Amy and Elder and I’m happy that the novel didn’t succumb to any cheesy romance — it stuck mostly to the mystery of the space craft and all of its goings-on. The writing was “brilly,” as the characters would say. I really liked the alternating chapters between Elder and Amy. At points, it really helped keep up the suspense — Revis would leave me hanging at the end of an Elder chapter, all through an Amy chapter, which would also leave me hanging, and the cycle would continue. Do you see how I couldn’t put it down? And the mystery part of it was definitely a mystery — I couldn’t guess what the outcome was going to be! And there are plenty of questions left for the next book, even if this one wraps up nicely if this was the only one read in the series (that’s actually a huge plus for me, even though I do intend on reading the next one A.S.A.P.!) Of course, the novel wasn’t all lilacs and daisies for me. I remember when I tried to watch Battlestar Galactica at the recommendation of my brother who’s a huge fan. I only made it partway through the first episode and laughed every single time the f-bomb was uttered as “frack.” Well, Revis wrote the same kind of thing here and it’s “frex.” I really don’t get it, but at least it’s not the obvious swearing going on. But really, this is just me nitpicking. If you’re looking for a great roller-coaster of a dystopian book, mixed with science fiction and mystery and plenty of plot twists throughout, definitely give Across the Universe a read. Yes, it’s a little slower paced, but it’s a quick read that you will not want to put down. It’ll make you wishing you had the sequel on hand to read next!
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I LOVED THIS! First, all I have to say is, WOW. This was such an excellent book that I had to read this without interruptions or I’d get angry. I LOVED this book! I do admit, I was skeptical at first. I was concerned because there might be scientific jargon, and that it would be difficult to understand but it wasn’t! and there was no hard to read science lingo here either! everything was well described and in clear detail. I absolutely loved the concept of living on a ship, and the dynamics on how people related to one another, and how they survive and live together. The history of the ship and its’ people is also interesting to read up on. The actual description of the ship itself was fun to read, it made me think of Star Trek immediately. Since this is mostly coming from Amy’s point of view some of the things she encounters are strange and rather disturbing. There is a dark ugly side to how this ship is run and once everything is laid out in the open (you’ll be blindsided a couple of times), there’s a great amount of uncertainty but leaves the book with such a great ending and you’ll be left wanting more! The mystery behind who wanted to kill her was also well thought out. There is a bit of a guessing game involved - but not much and although the mystery is the main theme of the book, there’s other things to focus on such as how Amy’s character develops throughout the novel as she tries to adjust to this kind of living. The characters in the book are also really well written. I did take a liking to Harley. Amy and Elder on the other hand, are interesting enough to read - especially Amy as she has lots to worry about. I am definitely looking forward to the sequel! It’s a perfect science fiction read for the younger adult age bracket. Not too much scientific lingo to confuse the reader, just enough to make it a good wholesome setting that can be easily pictured. The plot is fantastic and well worth the read, and the surprises go off like bombs when they’re revealed. I definitely think this is worth the time to go through.
Date published: 2012-04-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Mystery lovers book! Loved this book! The mysterys and lies that were unfolded left me wanting more and jumping out of my chair to rush and get the second book right away. I recommend you get both the first and second books at the same time because you don't want to wait any longer than one second to start reading the second book!
Date published: 2012-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Sci Fi for YA The Good Stuff Kept thinking of Serenity (Hmm Phydus = Pax) Starlost and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy while reading (that is a good thing) Amy was # 42 teee hee hee (For you non geeks according to Hitchhikers, 42 is the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything) Became hooked right away with what was going on on the ship very suspenseful at times - nice mystery where you are not sure who is good or bad -- and some gasp moments Some hilarious dialogue (Especially some of the inner dialogues) Fabulous cover (hardcover edition) Liked the fact that it is told in both Elder and Amy's POV Revis is a good storyteller - this would probably be fantastic as an audio book Tons of sci fi nerd references The Not So Good Stuff Both Amy and Elder come across as younger than they actually are, almost immature which threw me off a couple of times considering the plot Some of the plot points aren't really logical or make sense if this situation was real Hated the make up slang (personal preference here) same thing happened when I read The Maze Runner series - its irritating and in this case very much overused Favorite Quotes/Passages "But the long and short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see iehter of them naked )not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it'd be best for Mom to go first, since we have the same parts and all." "I moved to the Keeper Level was about Sol-Earth's religions. They were magic stories, fairy tales, and I remember laughing myself silly when Eldest told me how people on Sol-Earth were willing to die or kill for these fictional characters." "Everything is wrong here. Shattered. Broken. Like the light. Like me. I never thought about how important the sky was until I didn't have one." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Would recommend this for the more reluctant YA reader The more mature YA reader will find it a tad juvenile 3.75 Dewey's I borrowed this from Jenn
Date published: 2012-03-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Way Way Into the Future First of all, if you're aren't fond of sci-fi I wouldn't read this as you will be struggling throughout the novel to grasp its concept. Take it from me, I love sci-fi novels but this was really different. This was probably the first book I've read that tackled space travel and it was really confusing to understand. Like I said, this is the first book I've read that actually had the possibility of travelling to a new planet when Earth or SOL EARTH can no longer support life. That was the main reason for enjoying this novel, because no book that I know of has thought of actually travelling to a new planet. It's not really a dystopian novel as the characters in the novel aren't struggling with a destroyed world, they're looking for a new world. The plot fo the novel is that selected people will travel to the new planet, called Centauri Earth. Specialists from Sol Earth will be frozen during the journey to Centauri Earth as they will be the leaders to building life on Centauri Earth. The downside is that it will take 300 years to travel to the new planet, therefore the people from Sol Earth will be asleep for three centuries. The problems start when the main character, Amy, a frozen teenager, is woken up 50 years early before the ship, Godspeed has reached Centauri Earth. Except her reanimation was no mafunction, someone was trying to kill her. Amy tries to adapt to life on Godspeed, where everything is the same. There are no differences between people as that is looked down upon. Other than Amy's physical appearance, she's trying to understand why she was woken up early and who is killing the frozens before they reach Centauri Earth? As Amy looks for clues as to why the frozens are being killed, she unravels secrets about the ship that no one should know about. Like, why is everyone acting like caged animals and going along with it, what was this Plague that everyone is talking about, and why is everyone being lied to about what's outside the ship? I really enjoyed the novel because the whole idea is new and different. I never expected to enjoy a sci-fi novel like this. The author's writing is quite different as she does make you question what is going on. The alternating perspectives is interesting as more knowledge of the past years is learned. This novel is basically a riddle to test if a new a planet is worth it.
Date published: 2012-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This book makes me like sci-fi Mystery in space…I really quite enjoyed it. I’m not normally into sci-fi stories (mind you I have only read 1 other sci-fi book and I disliked it so I’m a bit iffy about the genre) but Beth may have just changed my opinion of the sci-fi genre. Everyone was raving about Across the Universe so I decided I would give it a chance and I am very glad I did because I quite enjoyed it. The characters, government, and story were quite involved and I like that Beth wrote it so well that nothing was confusing and it was easy to read and follow. I like how each of the chapters switch between the two main characters Elder and Amy, it helped me get the atmosphere of Godspeed by being able to see it through the eyes of an outsider and someone who has lived on the ship there entire life. I loved the twists in the story. I really didn’t see what I think is the major twist coming which I was in total shock over. I did guess who the murderer was on the ship but the motives were interesting for that character and other characters. I found that I didn’t want to put the book down as I had to find out what the heck was happening on Godspeed. I can’t wait to see what will happen in the sequel A Million Suns
Date published: 2012-02-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Cool concept Beth Revis finds a new angle to the idea of traveling across space to a new planet and the challenges involved. In this book Amy starts her journey frozen in a cryo chamber, expecting to wake up with her parents 301 years into the future and start life on a new planet. Instead she is woken up by herself to a mind boggling way of life aboard a ship that is ruled by secrets and lies. I think that both teens and adults will be facinated by this book and really enjoy the characters.
Date published: 2012-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Will please ''Hunger Games'' readers Wow, is all I can say for Across the Universe! One of the best novels I have read so far! Completely captivating, from the beginning to the end! I was dreading the moment when I were to finish it. Now I am anxious to read the second novel of this trilogy! Praise to Beth Revis!
Date published: 2012-01-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Paperback Princess. I grabbed this one as soon as it came out in paperback. I didn't want to purchase it in hardcover because it honestly wasn't something that I felt like I needed to have. Long story short, I was right to wait it out. This wasn't one of those books where I was like "Why didn't I read this sooner?!!" It was a good book, but it didn't shock me or keep me up all night. The setting was neat and the whole concept really interested me. I love the idea of traveling to another planet to inhabit. It's one of those books where you think you know exactly what's going on and then in the end everything is blown to hell and back. The second book comes out in a couple weeks...I'll definitely be reading it. I think it will be better than the first because now we known what's up. The big question is whether or not I'll wait for it to come out in paperback. Random: -I loved the cover for the hardcover book...too bad the paperback didn't look like that. It lacked the magic of the universe. Haha -It's a trilogy. I don't feel like this needs to be a trilogy. Why not just write one killer book? -Overall I wasn't pissed that I waisted time on this book...because it really was good. Just not great.
Date published: 2011-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Don't pass this up! This is a bit of a hard book to review. And it's because of how much I loved it. Usually I don't care for constantly switching perspectives because I find it disrupts the flow of the book too much. This time? No frexing way. Yes, I did say frexing. Because that's a swear word in the book. Where to start? How about with the dust jacket? OMG! What a fantastic idea to have an image of the ship attached to the inside. It really helped me understand the world Amy and Elder lived in. I like science fiction books. I don't read much any more- I actually pretty much stopped after reading Animorph books like Animorphs: Visser and The Andalite Chronicles(and I had to look those title up because I forgot what they were called)- but I think after reading Across the Universe, I'm going to have to read a lot more science fiction. Something about being aboard a space ship just amazes me. And space in general. I love the stars. I'm not putting my love for this book into the right words. It. Was. Brilliant. The twist at the end was not what I expected and the romance was sweet and gradual. No insta-love (which I detest immensely), an original concept, and a sorta cliffhanger that didn't leave me wanting to strangle anyone. And the cover... how can you top a cover like that? It was what made me want to read the first chapter. What a way to hook readers. I've gotten picky with 5 stars, but this one really deserves it. Beth Revis is a genius. I will be waiting too impatiently for A Million Suns (another fantastic name) and will be pushing this book on anyone and everyone I can make read it.
Date published: 2011-12-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome! Across the Universe is a great sci-fi dystopian. The writing is clear and imaginative, the characters are easy to follow, and the environment is pretty cool. By the time I finished this, and after learning so much about the ship and what happened on it, I can say I'm legitimately worried for Amy's and Elder's futures. I can't even imagine what they'll have to deal with in the sequel, which I'm eagerly anticipating. Read this one! ~~ I finally finally managed to finish Across the Universe, and I regret not doing so when I first bought it! I frexing loved this book! I was up super late (or early) waiting to see what shocker would be revealed next and how the characters would deal with all the hardships. The start of the book goes right into the process of being cryogenically frozen, and I cringed as Amy chose to go through the freezing with her parents. It was painful, and claustrophobic and ugh...*shudder*. Then we meet Elder, the second in command on the ship Godspeed. He's shocked at discovering all the frozen people hidden on the ship but is captivated by Amy and how foreign she looks compared to the monoethnic people on the ship. When Amy is unplugged and subsequently left to die is when you start to see different sides to people and how far they'll go to get what they want. Right away I disliked Eldest, the self proclaimed leader of the ship. He was cold and careless, and you quickly see that all he really cares about is control of the ship and its people. As the methods of how he does that come out I was really shocked how no one could see how wrong it all was. Amy was the only one who recognized Eldest for the dictator he was and called him and Elder out on it. Go girl! She was a super great character to read about; in an unknown environment hurtling through space and she somehow manages to keep it together and yell at the guy who threatened to throw her out into space. Yup. I also loved the environment that Beth created. It was hard to imagine how a spaceship, as strange as it sounds, could be big enough to hold thousands of people and travel through space, but she managed to make it all sound so simple. I could see the stars glittering in my mind, be with Amy as she ran through farmland or used insanely cool gadgets. It was a fascinating sci-fi aspect. But as fascinating as it was, you quickly know that something is wrong with this place. There were some frightening parts to the story, particularly during The Season. I thought it was disgusting to be honest. I was disgusted in what was happening and disgusted that no one questioned what was happening. I know why people didn't question anything but it was still difficult to read about. There are some tough morality and ethical issues that are raised on Godspeed. Eldest is all about the control, but is the way he's going about it right? The book is told from Elder's and Amy's perspective. I liked following Amy as she explored the ship, feeling her shock and awe or apprehension. And I also liked seeing Elder as he began learning more about the ship and its past, slowly realizing what kind of problems he would really have to deal with when he became the leader. I've read that some people thought their relationship was out of necessity, which I sort of agree with. They're the only two around the same age so it seemed logical they'd be drawn to each other. But it wasn't a quick relationship, if it can even be called that. When the book ends they're still learning a lot about each other, and I thought it was super sweet that they have each other to depend on since there's going to be a lot of rough patches in their future. Review also here:
Date published: 2011-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Universally Epic An intriguing read for young adult fans (or even adults!) of science fiction. If you are interested in space travel and dystopian societies, then you will enjoy Revis' first novel. The story is very reminiscient of some of my favourite sci-fi movies, so I thoroughly enjoyed it. Not only does the book conjure up elements of sci-fi, but it has a decent mystery and a semi-romantic undertone. All in all, an impressive first novel. And it begs the question, do you agree with Elder or Eldest?
Date published: 2011-05-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!!! Review First Published at Across the Universe was an AMAZING book. I am totally surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I love it when I find something to read that is well written. Beth Revis is a fantastic writer. For me she was meant to write. The detail that she put into her work; the details in the way things looked and people's emotions was incredible. I don't know what else to say. It was amazing ( I have a feeling that this word might be over used in the next couple paragraphs). I am very glad that this book was published and that I had the chance to read it. The thing I loved the most about this book was how original the plot was. I feel like there isn't a whole lot of sci fi for young adults that isn't totally, completely sci fi. I mean this wasn't so overly technical that I got bored with it. Godspeed-The Ship- is 250 years in the future. A lot can come about in 250 years, not only is it 250 years in the future it's travelling to a new planet, with people on board who have never seen land. It's so far in the future that there are new technologies, new systems and new ways of living. Revis was able to describe all of this beautifully. I can see, smell and feel this new world. I would sometimes need to put this book down because I could feel Amy's claustrophobia. I can't imagine being awaken at the wrong time, and know that you are now stuck on a ship. It was scary but it was a thrill to read. I loved the beginning for the book. When Amy is describing the process of freezing. It was freaky, and not something that I would have been able to go through with after witnessing such a thing. The fact that Amy did describes the type of person she is. I liked Amy. I liked her because she wasn't this perfect person. She was flawed. She was unreasonable and erratic at times, but at other times she was also very understanding and level headed. She was also pretty independent, even on a ship where she was unfamiliar with the customs, and didn't know anyone. She wanted to find out about what was going on. This was important to her. I liked that about her. Elder on the other hand did not stand out for me, but that's ok. I found him to be pretty blah. He was far to passive for me. He didn't really fight for what he believed in. He didn't fight the politics of the ship, even when he didn't agree with what was going on. He was a little to mute for my liking. He focused far to much on Amy's opinions and feelings then his own. That was a little annoying. But again, I think that is just proof of good writing. There are probably tons allegorical meanings in this book. Hidden and not so hidden meanings. But I'm not very good at discussing those (actually, I barely notice them, but they're there). But I feel like I cannot talk about this book without mentioning the political themes in this book. They're there and they're well written and covertly done. It was impressive. Over all, this was a good book. It was a fun and interesting read. I have SO many theories about what's going to happen in the upcoming books.
Date published: 2011-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Fantabulous Beginning This book is about an adolescent girl named Amy and a mission of exploration and expansion which goes astray. Present day: Both of Amy's parents are vital to the success of the mission, which is how Amy gets caught up in all of this. Far into the future: Amy wakes up, alone, fifty years too early and victim of attempted murder. As Amy copes with being trapped in the four cold metal walls of the ship, alone and scared, she meets many of the other residents, both mysterious and interesting. While developing relationships and learning the history and complications which ensued over the centuries of travel. As she delves deeper into this history she finds herself in a compromising position between truth and lies. From the beginning to the end, this book truly captivates your thoughts. The fabrication of the setting is quite unique. In one way it is mysteriously, astounding however at the same time frighteningly, distinctive. Each character I believe are tragic in their own way, the affects of their situation. However it is these attributes which make you feel so personal which each character. In the end, you understand most of the characters and their complications, however the book leaves you craving desperately for more. Overall the book establishes an awesome and solid world for the rest of the series.
Date published: 2011-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely Brilliant! Beth Revis' Across the Universe is one of the best science fiction books I've read in awhile. With brilliant prose, exhilarating characters and explorations of the meaning of humanity, Across the Universe is highly thought-provoking and lingers with you long after the last page has been turned. Last August, I posted about the trend towards longer books these days in YA. At almost 400 pages and larger than standard size, Across the Universe falls into the heftier category. And like I've said about a lot of longer books - it's unnecessarily so. The beginning was kind of slow and dragged a little. I actually took a break of a few weeks after the first two hundred pages, but then yesterday I picked it back up. And man, were the last two hundred pages ever amazing! It's unfortunate that the beginning didn't quite carry the same momentum. Honestly, Across the Universe just has so much going for it. To start off with, the silhouette effect and stars on the cover are simply gorgeous. The world that Revis creates is amazingly realistic - the emotions are almost tangible, the descriptions practically transport [the reader] onto Godspeed [the ship] along with the characters. The characters - especially the leading MCs - are very interesting people. Yes, people - because they feel real, and after you finish the book, they feel like people you know, rather than characters made of words on a printed page. I also absolutely loved the plot twists in Across the Universe. Sure, there were some that a more cognizant reader would be able to figure out (some before the characters do) - but then there are still so many more surprises left over. We, the audience, are like Amy - encountering the strange, contained world on this ship for the same time, constantly discovering new things. One of the key aspects of truly successful dystopian literature is to be thought-provoking, to challenge stigmas and turn those preconceived notions upside down and inside out. Revis does that phenomenally with Across the Universe. In the vivid world on-board Godspeed, expected norms are challenged, boundaries are pushed and humanity is questioned. There's social satire, there's political critique, there's strategical intrigue... In short, Across the Universe is a brave read. It isn't afraid to be controversial, to push the boundaries of "acceptability" in society. It optimally utilizes the vessel of dystopian fiction to satirize society today and provoke long and hard thinking. For those seeking dystopian literature with a little more substance, a little more depth, a little more edginess, Beth Revis caters perfectly with Across the Universe.
Date published: 2011-03-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from review This books is very creative. Beth Revis pretty creates a whole new world based on mundane technology, while orchestrating a pretty intense mystery. The narrative point of view goes back and forth between Amy and Elder, which is great because you're pretty much in Elder and Amy's head. But to be honest, I didn't really like Amy. She was childish and pretty hard headed, Elder's need to please her was pretty annoying and unrealistic. Also, his obsession with her red hair kind of made me feel like Elder was a childish little boy. I'm probably not the only one who will say that Harley, Elder's best friend, was my favorite character. And I always thought he was sort of creepy because of the way he met Amy. The book sports multiple themes, the main one being is maintaining piece worth your individuality? My answer would be yes since surviving was sort of the main goal. But nonetheless, it was an interesting read. The ending was sort of lame. I never really believed in Elder and Amy's relationship so I found it awkward most of the time. The answers to the multiple mystery's aboard the ship were answered and I kind of thought some of them were just too simple. But when I closed the last page of the book, I still had that "I just read a book *sigh*" feeling. I do wonder how the rest of Elder and Amy's lives would be spent, especially since they've got a long way to go. So if I was given a sequel, I would read it. For a YA Sci-fi book, it wasn't that bad. Some of the aspects of the book were annoying, but bearable. I would recommend it because it is a very intriguing novel
Date published: 2011-03-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Science Fiction for teens Beth Revis’ Across The Universe is nothing like the musical movie, if that’s what you’re thinking; it’s about a girl on a spaceship. Most books marketed as science fiction for teens are more like fantasy, just set in space. I was pleasantly surprised that Across the Universe is an exception to this. It’s actually science fiction, heavy on the science, and Revis did an amazing job with making it interesting. This was apparent from the very beginning, I expected being frozen for space travel to be like on Futurma, where they are frozen instantly and painlessly. I though Revis’ interpretation of the freezing process was both horrifying and logical. Much of the book was terrifying to me, I hadn’t gone into it expecting to be afraid or disturbed but I was. The book has been hyped as a science fiction/ romance, but for me it was a science fiction/ horror. The terrible freezing process was only the first of many things that made me cringe, because Revis writes in such a way that it’s impossible not to put yourself in Amy’s shoes and poor Amy goes through a lot. There were two major plot twists I predicted, but this didn’t make them any less satisfying. I was still on my toes (not literally of course) with anticipation of seeing if I was right, seeing how everything would unfold. There is a lot of unconventional sexuality, so I would recommend this for older teens and warn librarians there will be parents who take offense, even though these scenes of sexuality are meant to be offputting to the teens. This book counts toward the 2011 debut author challenge. *Spoiler Alert***Spoiler Alert***Spoiler Alert****Spoiler Alert* I was impressed with how Revis delved into the huge impact artificial hormones can have on a person. She takes it to the extremes, but it’s actually not as far-fetched as it may seem. A tiny hormonal imbalance can make you incredibly ill physically or affect your ability focus. The effect of the drugs in this book reminded me of two other fantastic pieces of fiction. When taken in small doses the characters become “pretty-minded” like in Westerfeld’s Uglies series. Given larger amounts, the result is just like what happened with pax in the film Serenity (I wrote an essay about Serenity .) Harley was my favourite character and I think maybe the book should have been called little fish, or had the painting of the fish in the stars as cover art just to honour his awesomeness. Not that the current cover isn’t pretty darn awesome. originally reviewed at
Date published: 2011-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Courtesy of Lost For Words. Source: Received from publicist. Many thanks goes to Vimala from Penguin Canada for sending me a copy of this book for review. I received this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review. My rating: 4/5 Amy and Elder are from two very different walks of life. Amy was cryogenically frozen along with her parents, and placed on a spaceship headed for a new life on a new planet. Elder has only known life on the spaceship, Godspeed, and he is set to be the future leader of the crew and caretakers of the spaceship as they continue on the 300 year long journey to the new planet. Amy wakes up early from her slumber, 50 years too early, and realizes that she has been targeted by someone who wanted to murder her. Now it's a race against time before someone else is murdered. Amy and Elder must work together if they are going to find out who is responsible for nearly killing her. Hopefully they can find out who the attempted murderer is before he or she strikes again. Across the Universe is aptly named as Amy and Elder are travelling literally across the universe to find an inhabitable planet to settle and colonize. Amy is a sight to behold as she is classified as the odd one out amongst the population on the ship. Things wouldn't be so jarring if she wasn't the only one with pale skin and flaming red hair. It also doesn't help that she questions the routines and the very fabric of life on the spaceship. Everything around her seems so foreign and alien. Elder doesn't quite know what to say or do, but he can't help feeling captivated by Amy. Amy is a headstrong character, questioning everything, and is understandably upset when she realizes that she woke up 50 years ahead of schedule. With her awakening though, she needs new accommodations, and while she is exploring her newfound home, she realizes how small and claustrophobic the ship feels. Given her penchant for running, and her vocalized thoughts, she even had me looking around to see if the walls were closing in as the writing was that vivid and descriptive. Both Amy's and Elder's voices were quite different, and it was refreshing to read them and the book from two different perspectives. What one character didn't think of, the other did, and it was nice to see them crossing barriers and helping each other out when they could. They questioned everything, and everyone's involvement on the ship to see who would have the capabilities to pull off a murder of that nature. I must say, I had an inkling as to who was going to be found guilty, but I also noticed that for the most part, several characters were pegged as possibilities, and their involvement, or lack of involvement, wasn't cleared up until the end. I'm looking forward to finding out what repercussions certain events have on the ship and where Revis is taking the story next. I do want to mention that I liked Harley's inclusion in the book, as he added to the story and pulled our attention away from Amy and Elder when needed. He was an interesting, well-developed character and I really wished we had heard more from him than we did. The world-building was well developed and the detail taken to describe the spaceship was meticulous. I can't believe how fully detailed this world was, and found that I was almost uneasy with some of the situations that arose, because I was so well-versed in not only the history and the inner workings of the ship, but also because I could commiserate somewhat with how Elder and Eldest felt. That, in itself, is scary. All in all, an excellent and impressive debut, one that crosses genres with ease. I'm looking forward to the second installment in this trilogy as I want to know what happens next, and I'm not quite sure what Revis has in store for her characters. This will definitely be a re-read!
Date published: 2011-03-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent An excellent young adult sci-fi story that grabbed my attention right from the first page and didn't let go. I look forward to reading more from Beth Revis in the future and hopefully more about Amy and Elder as well.
Date published: 2011-03-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Dreaming of Books Review (May Contain Spoilers) I don’t think this has ever happened to be while reading but I’m not even one chapter in and I’m already crying. It’s a very intense and emotional start with Amy and her parents getting frozen in preparation for the coming mission. It was haunting, it was painful for Amy to watch them and finally having to make the tough decision herself. I certainly wasn’t expecting something like this right at the start of the story…way to get a reader hooked, I’m reading and I’m crying…just WOW. With the dual narration you get to learn about the ship and the world from both Amy and Elder. For Amy everything she sees and learns is new and not natural but to Elder who grew up on the ship everything to him is just the way its always been. While I did like that there were two perspectives to read from I thought some of the chapters were too short and could have been longer. Especially when something exciting was happening, the chapter would end and would switch to the other character. When you have a tagline says that the ship is “fueled by lies” they’re not lying. Some I predicted from the beginning like when a certain character was introduced I knew right off the bat that there’s something not right with him but there’s one secret that was revealed right at the end that had my mind reeling. There’s so many secrets and lies that come out and I have a feeling that there’ll be more in the second book. This book is so much more that just “science fiction” so even if you’re not a fan I would still recommend this to you…who knows it just might change your mind.
Date published: 2011-02-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting and thought provoking It was a very interesting concept. Long term survival in a contained space. I like how she tied many different story elements together such as romance, mystery, and suspense. I also liked how she alternated the chapters between the two main characters. I would also mention that the chapters on "the season" could be uncomfortable for younger teen readers.
Date published: 2011-02-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An Epic Journey! Welcome to Godspeed, a massive spaceship headed to Centauri-Earth. This ship is taking roughly 3,000 people there, along with the frozen people from Sol-Earth. When this ship began its travel, people from Sol-Earth were chosen to be frozen and taken aboard on this ship. They only accepted people who were important, and who had enough skill to help develop Centauri-Earth when they landed. Here, we meet Amy, a seventeen year old girl who has to make the biggest decision of her life. Her mother and her father are very important people; her mother is a DNA scientist and her father has authority in the military. She can choose whether or not she can come due to her parent's position. She will be leaving behind everything, her boyfriend, her life, her world. 300 years into the future, she would see her parents again, she would wake up on a new planet if she boarded this ship. She cannot bear the thought of leaving her parents so her enters the box, and endures the procedure to become frozen for 300 years. On Godspeed, we meet Elder and Eldest. Elder is the youngest person on the ship and he is due to be the new leader when Eldest passes away. This ship is a world in itself, and the leader has an extreme amount of responsibility when it comes to maintaining the ship. There are different levels to this ship, but just like anything, they have everything to maintain this world. Crops grow, a huge light acts as the sun, "rain" feeds the plants and animals are raised. There are many elements to keeping this world in structure. Elder begins to feel the weight of the responsibility that will soon become his, he cannot see himself as the leader Eldest is. Soon, Elder finds something out that changes everything. It turns out Eldest kept the whole secret of the frozen people from him, that whole level has been kept hidden. Elder enters the secret level, and comes across a girl with fiery red hair. He is in awe of her features and how different she is. The next thing he knows, he hears an alarm and learns that somebody unfroze the girl. However, if you simply flip the switch and let a person defrost, it is not the right process. The girl wakes up in hysteria. . . this is where Elder meets Amy, and Amy meets Elder. This is where this epic novel starts. They realize that somebody tried to kill her, and soon, the murderer strikes again. Somebody is trying to unfreeze these people, and it will be up to Amy and Elder to discover the connection. This is definitely the best sci-fi book I have every read. I was in awe of Revis' incredible world and how she constructed this plot. I loved the characters and I am still amazed at how brilliantly she crafted this. This is a journey in itself, and as you read, you are entering this world with them. The beginning was a bit slow for me, but once it picked up, there was no way I could put this down! Get ready for an amazingly epic sci-fi novel with many twists and turns! I recommend this without a doubt! 5/5 2011-008
Date published: 2011-02-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great teen Sci-Fi Read I've been a reading slump (shocking, I know!) and this book helped me out of it... Nowadays supernatural stories, especially vampire ones have been a little mainstream for teen novels and I sort of feel sorry for the boys out there because most of them are not something they would read. Then comes this book.... I would recommend this for either a guy or girl who is looking for something different and for those who are open minded. I will warn that there are slightly morbid undertones, but the novel is constructed very well and you will dive into it with ease. ENJOY ~♥
Date published: 2011-02-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVING IT!!!! i finally bought the book because of all the good reviews i have been reading/ hearing and i am officially in love. I love the way the author has the 2 different perspectives on Elder and Amy because it gives you a little peek about what their thinking about. i kinda dont really like Eldest cause he's abit cold- hearted but other then that i have nothing bad to say about the book :)
Date published: 2011-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Journey Across The Universe With This One! Across The Universe has undoubtedly been one the most hyped and talked about books lately, so I was quite eager to get my hands on a copy as soon as it hit stores to see for myself just how good this novel really was. (And so I could gaze at its gorgeous cover!) Did it live up to the hype in my eyes? Well, not really... at least not quite completely as I had originally hoped. However, I do think for some people that they really will be blown away by the novel because I'm sure it will be an reading experience they've never felt before. I grew up reading science fiction novels (mostly of the Star Wars variety, mind you), so I was fully ready to let my geeky side out after hearing about this sci-fi dystopian novel. So as soon as I flipped open the pages, I was already fascinated about this new world Beth Revis has created as is usually the case whenever I read sci-fi. She's done a superb job explaining the new technologies when it's needed, but she's also not afraid to say less and let her readers envision some scenes for themselves. It's with her beautiful descriptions that the spaceship Godspeed and her inhabitants come to life before your very eyes. The alternating chapters between Amy and Elder were an aspect I thoroughly enjoyed. Their backgrounds, their morals, and their train of thoughts are just so completely different from each other... yet it paints a perfect picture and really gives you the best of both worlds. Amy's sudden awakening is terrifying and it's through her eyes we get to discover the wonders of a ship that's just brimming with secrets and lies. And then there's Elder, mesmerized by Amy at first sight for she looks like no one he's ever gazed upon before. (Literally, everyone is of the same ethnicity on the ship). He's not content that the current leader Eldest has lacked in teaching him the skills he'll need for when it's his own turn to lead, but he's never outright questioned what happens on the ship. This changes though when he sees Amy for the first time and it's then that we begin to see the natural charisma of a born leader. The novel really left me conflicted and I felt so bad for Amy. On the one hand, I really liked seeing her growing feelings for Elder develop but on the other hand, I was torn because while she was awake, her parents were still frozen in the cargo hold below. But she's a strong and courageous person, so after grieving for her new circumstances, she immediately sets out to uncover what's really happening on the ship and to investigate who unplugged her before it's too late for someone else. You have to really admire how she doesn't just wallow in despair. From fairly early on in the novel, I had already deduced who the possible murder suspect might be and it did turn out I was correct. However, Ithink Beth Revis still does a great job keeping your guard up, throwing in a few twists and turns here and there just when the storyline begins to slow done so you're left wondering if your suspicions are right. She builds up the right amount of tension while simultaneously allowing you to learn more about the society that has taken form on board. I'm going to be purposely vague right now so it doesn't give anything away, but there's a reason why Amy notices so quickly why some of the people do things on the ship that don't seem so natural to her although Elder thinks they have the perfect society. If you've read the classic novel Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, then I don't think you'll be all too surprised to learn this discovery that Amy and Elder eventually uncover. For sure, it will be a new concept to some of you but because it was something I'd seen before, even if it's a super rare find in YA books, it did sort of lose its originality momentum. Across The Universe is a great introduction to the science fiction genre for those looking to try something out their comfort zone but I'm sure anyone who likes dystopian novels will fall for this novel too! Intriguing, romantic, mysterious, and even heart-pounding at times, it's a novel that will leave you in awe at just how much thought and world-building Beth Revis has poured into her debut novel. I already can't wait to join Elder, Amy and the Godspeed in the second installment for another journey... well, across the universe! You can also read this review at:
Date published: 2011-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Space. . . the final frontier I knew I was going to enjoy this book when I opened the cover and removed the jacket. Printed on the back side were the blueprints of the ship, Godspeed. What can I say? I like those little extras. The ship Godspeed is travelling through space carrying settlers to a new planet. As the settlers sleep, the people who live on the ship are creating thier own society. When Amy is woken up to early, it sets off a series of events that changes the lives of the settlers and the people of the ship. Another thing I enjoyed was the lack of science in book. It is never explained how the ship works, or how fast it is traveling, or the science behind it. And I loved it!!!! I enjoy a good science book, but it had no place in this novel, and I'm glad the author left it out.
Date published: 2011-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic debut novel! Let me tell you, I was not disappointed when I finished Across the Universe. Beth Revis deserves every great review her book has received. And I just read that AtU reached #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list. In the very first chapter, I became immersed in the mystery of the starship Godspeed. From the extra year it would take Godspeed to reach its destination to the inhabitants’ strange behaviors, I just wanted to know the truth (along with the main characters, Elder and Amy). It was a difficult journey for the two characters to learn the truth, some things I expected while others came as a complete surprise to me. When the two characters finally do learn the truth, they must decide what to do with their new knowledge. Some of those decisions were disclosed at the end of the book while others wait to be revealed in the next book – which I can’t wait for. Beth Revis’ world-building – or ship-building in this case – was amazing. I could see the entire ship around me and when I finished the book, I didn’t want to leave Godspeed. Some of the situations that occurred weren’t the greatest, but I wanted to stay on and explore. I hope to do that with the next book in the series. Across the Universe is written in first person, present tense, switching back and forth between Amy and Elder’s viewpoints. Ms. Revis did an excellent job writing from these viewpoints and I never once felt lost or confused as to which character’s head I was in. All characters are described well and I knew exactly who Amy and Elder were through their thoughts, actions and words. I must admit, I love Elder. Although he is the future leader of the ship, he is extremely curious and somewhat rebellious against authority. Ms. Revis fully immersed me in the world inside Godspeed, but I am glad I followed her blog ( too, so that I could see her inspiration for Harley’s Koi paintings (Click on the end of the telescope. The password is: seekthetruth) and also this post ( that shows a video of technology similar to the ‘floppy’ mentioned in AtU. I recommend Across the Universe to anyone and everyone. Even if you don’t read YA or science fiction, you should give this book a shot. It really is that good.
Date published: 2011-01-23

Read from the Book

1 A m yDaddy said, "Let Mom go first."Mom wanted me to go first. I think it was because she was afraid that after they were contained and frozen, I'd walk away, return to life rather than consign myself to that cold, clear box. But Daddy insisted."Amy needs to see what it's like. You go first, let her watch. Then she can go and I'll be with her. I'll go last.""You go first," Mom said. "I'll go last."But the long and the short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see either of them naked (not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it'd be best for Mom to go first, since we had the same parts and all.She looked so skinny after she undressed. Her collarbone stood out more; her skin had that rice-paper-thin, over-moisturized consistency old people's skin has. Her stomach—a part of her she always kept hidden under clothes—sagged in a wrinkly sort of way that made her look even more vulnerable and weak.The men who worked in the lab seemed uninterested in my mother's nudity, just as they were impartial to my and my father's presence. They helped her lie down in the clear cryo box. It would have looked like a coffin, but coffins have pillows and look a lot more comfortable. This looked more like a shoebox."It's cold," Mom said. Her pale white skin pressed flat against the bottom of the box."You won't feel it," the first worker grunted. His nametag said Ed.I looked away as the other worker, Hassan, pierced Mom's skin with the IV needles. One in her left arm, hooked up at the crease of her inner elbow; one in her right hand, protruding from that big vein below her knuckles."Relax," Ed said. It was an order, not a kind suggestion.Mom bit her lip.The stuff in the IV bag did not flow like water. It rolled like honey.Hassan squeezed the bag, forcing it down the IV faster. It was sky blue, like the blue of the cornflowers Jason had given me at prom.My mom hissed in pain. Ed removed a yellow plastic clamp on the empty IV in her elbow. A backflow of bright red blood shot through the IV, pouring into the bag. Mom's eyes filled with water. The blue goo from the other IV glowed, a soft sparkle of sky shining through my mother's veins as the goo traveled up her arm."Gotta wait for it to hit the heart," Ed said, glancing at us. Daddy clenched his fists, his eyes boring into my mom. Her eyes were clamped shut, two hot tears dangling on her lashes.Hassan squeezed the bag of blue goo again. A line of blood trickled from under Mom's teeth where she was biting her lip."This stuff, it's what makes the freezing work." Ed spoke in a conversational tone, like a baker talking about how yeast makes bread rise."Without it, little ice crystals form in the cells and split open the cell walls. This stuff makes the cell walls stronger, see? Ice don't break 'em." He glanced down at Mom. "Hurts like a bitch going in, though."Her face was pale, and she was lying in that box, and she wasn't moving at all, as if moving would break her. She already looked dead."I wanted you to see this," Daddy whispered. He didn't look at me—he was still staring at Mom. He didn't even blink."Why?""So you knew before you did it."Hassan kept kneading the bag of blue goo. Mom's eyes rolled up into the back of her head for a minute, and I thought she'd pass out, but she didn't."Almost there," Ed said, looking at the bag of Mom's blood. The flow had slowed down. The only sound was Hassan's heavy breathing as he rubbed the plastic sides of the bag of goo. And whimpering, soft, like a dying kitten, coming from Mom.A faint blue glow sparkled in the IV leading from Mom's elbow. "Okay, stop," Ed said. "It's all in her blood now."Hassan pulled the IVs out. Mom let out a crackling sigh.Daddy pulled me forward. Looking down at Mom reminded me of looking down at Grandma last year at the church, when we all said goodbye and Mom said she was in a better place, but all she meant was that she was dead."How is it?" I asked."Not bad," Mom lied. At least she could still speak."Can I touch her?" I asked Ed. He shrugged, so I reached out, gripped the fingers of her left hand. They were already ice cold. She didn't squeeze back."Can we get on with it?" Ed asked. He shook a big eyedropper in his hand. Daddy and I stepped back, but not so far that Mom would think we'd left her in that icy coffin alone. Ed pulled Mom's eyes open. His fingers were big, calloused, and they looked like rough-hewn logs spreading apart my mom's paper-thin eyelids. A drop of yellow liquid fell on each green eye. Ed did it quickly—drop, drop—then he sort of pushed her eyes shut. She didn't open them again.I guess I looked shocked, because when Ed glanced up at me this time, he actually stopped working long enough to give me a comforting smile."Keeps her from going blind," he said."It's okay," Mom said from her shoebox coffin.Even though her eyes were sealed shut, I could hear the tears in her voice."Tubes," Ed said, and Hassan handed him a trio of clear plastic tubes."Okay, look." Ed leaned down close to Mom's face."I'm gonna put these down your throat. It's not gonna feel good. Try to act like you're swallowin' 'em."Mom nodded and opened her mouth. Ed crammed the tubes down her throat. Mom gagged, a violent motion that started at her belly and worked all the way up to her dry, cracked lips.I glanced at Daddy. His eyes were cold and hard.It was a long time before she became still and silent. She kept trying to swallow, the muscles in her neck rearranging themselves to accommodate the tubes. Ed threaded the tubes up through a hole in the top of the shoebox coffin, near Mom's head.Hassan opened a drawer and pulled out a mess of electrical wires. He stuffed a bundle of brightly colored wires down the first tube, then one long black cable with a small box at the end down the second one, and finally a small rectangular black piece of plastic that looked like a solar panel attached to a fiber-optic string down the last.Hassan plugged all the wires into a little white box that Ed fixed over the hole at the top of what I realized was nothing more than an elaborate packing crate."Say goodbye." I looked up, surprised at the kind voice. Ed had his back to us, typing something into a computer; it was Hassan who spoke.He nodded at me encouragingly.Daddy had to pull my arm to make me approach Mom. This . . . this was not the last image of her I wanted. Yellow crusting her eyes, tubes holding wires crammed down her throat, a soft sky-blue sheen pumping through her veins. Daddy kissed her, and Mom smiled a bit around the tubes. I patted her on the shoulder. It was cold too. She gurgled something at me, and I leaned in closer. Three sounds, three spluttering grunts, really.I squeezed Mom's arm. I knew the words she was trying to get past the tubes were, "I love you.""Momma," I whispered, stroking her paper-soft skin. I'd not called her anything but Mom since I was seven."'Kay, that's it," Ed said. Daddy's hand snaked into the crook of my elbow, and he tugged at me gently. I jerked away. He changed tactics and gripped my shoulder, spinning me against his hard, muscled chest in a tight hug, and I didn't resist this time. Ed and Hassan lifted up what looked like a hospital's version of a fire hose, and water flecked with sky-blue sparkles filled the shoebox coffin. Mom spluttered when it reached her nose."Just breathe it in," Ed shouted over the sound of rushing liquid."Just relax."A stream of bubbles shot through the blue water, obscuring her face.She shook her head, denying the water the chance to drown her, but a moment later, she gave up. The liquid covered her. Ed turned off the hose and the ripples faded. The water was still. She was still. Ed and Hassan lowered the shoebox coffin lid over Mom. They pushed the box into the rear wall, and only when they closed it behind a little door on the wall did I notice all the little doors in the wall, like a morgue.They pulled the handle down. A hiss of steam escaped through the door—the flash freezing process was over. One second Mom was there, and the next, everything about her that made her Mom was frozen and stagnant. She was as good as dead for the next three centuries until someone opened that door and woke her up."The girl's next?" Ed asked.I stepped forward, balling my hands into fists so they wouldn't shake."No," Daddy said.Without waiting for Daddy's response, Ed and Hassan were already preparing another shoebox coffin. They didn't care whether it was me or him; they were just doing their job."What?" I asked Daddy."I'm going next. Your mother wouldn't agree to that—she thought you'd still back down, decide not to come with us. Well, I'm giving you that option. I'm going next. Then, if you'd like to walk away, not be frozen, that's okay. I've told your aunt and uncle. They're waiting outside; they'll be there until five. After they freeze me, you can just walk away. Mom and I won't know, not for centuries, not till we wake up, and if you do decide to live instead of being frozen, then we'll be okay.""But, Daddy, I—""No. It's not fair for us to guilt you into this. It'll be easier for you to make an honest decision if you do it without facing us.""But I promised you. I promised Mom." My voice cracked. My eyes burned painfully, and I squeezed them shut. Two hot trails of tears leaked down my face."Doesn't matter. That's too big of a promise for us to make you keep. You have to make this choice yourself—if you want to stay here, I understand. I'm giving you a way out.""But they don't need you! You could stay here with me! You're not even important to the mission—you're with the military for Pete's sake! How is a battlefield analyst supposed to help on a new planet? You could stay here, you could be—" Daddy shook his head."—with me," I whispered, but there was no point in asking him to stay. His mind was made up. And it wasn't true, anyway. Daddy was sixth in command, and while that didn't exactly make him commander in chief, it was still pretty high up. Mom was important too; no one was better at genetic splicing, and they needed her to help develop crops that could grow on the new planet.I was the only one not needed.Daddy went behind the curtain and undressed, and when he came out, Ed and Hassan let him use a hand towel to cover himself as he walked to the cryo chamber. They took it away when he lay down, and I forced my eyes to stare at his face, to not make this worse for either of us. But his face radiated pain, a look I had never seen Daddy wear before. It made my insides twist with even more fear, more doubt. I watched them plug the two IVs in. I watched them seal his eyes. I tried to retreat within myself, silence the scream of horror reverberating in my mind, and stand straight with a spine made of iron and a face made of stone. Then Daddy squeezed my hand, once, hard, as they crammed the tubes down his throat, and I crumbled, inside and out.Before they filled his box with the blue-speckled liquid, Daddy held up his hand, his pinky finger sticking out. I wrapped my own pinky around his. I knew that with it, he was promising everything would be okay. And I almost believed him.I cried so hard when they filled his cryo chamber up I couldn't see his face as it drowned in the liquid. Then they lowered the lid, slammed him in his mortuary, and a puff of white steam escaped through the cracks."Can I see him?" I asked.Ed and Hassan looked at each other. Hassan shrugged. Ed jerked the lever of the little door open again and pulled out the clear shoebox coffin.And there was Daddy. The translucent liquid was frozen solid and, I knew, so was Daddy. I put my hand on the glass, wishing there was a way to feel his warmth through the ice, but I snatched it away quickly. The glass was so cold it burned. Green lights blinked on the little electric box Hassan had fixed to the top of Daddy's cryotube.He didn't look like Daddy under the ice."So," Ed said, "are you going under, or are you leaving the party early?"He pushed Daddy's shoebox coffin back into its little slot in the wall.When I looked up at Ed, my eyes were so watery that his face sort of melted, and he looked a bit like a Cyclops."I . . ."My eyes slid to the exit, past all the cryo equipment on the other side of the room. Beyond that door were my aunt and uncle, who I loved, who I could be happy living with. And beyond them was Jason. And Rebecca and Heather and Robyn and all my friends. And the mountains, the flowers, the sky. Earth. Beyond that door was Earth. And life. But my eyes drifted to the little doors on the wall. Beyond those doors were my momma and daddy.I cried as I undressed. The first boy who ever saw me naked was Jason, just that one time, the night I found out I would leave behind everything on Earth, and everything included him. I did not like the idea that the last boys to see me naked on this planet would be Ed and Hassan. I tried to cover myself with my arms and hands, but Ed and Hassan made me remove them so they could put the IVs in.And, oh god, it was worse than Mom made it look. Oh, god. Oh, God.It was cold and it was burning all at the same time. I could feel my muscles straining as that blue goo entered my system. My heart wanted to pound, beat upon my ribcage like a lover beating on the door, but the blue goo made it do the opposite and sloooow down so that instead of beatbeatbeatbeat, it went beat . . . beat . . . . . . beat . . . . . . . . . . . . beat . . . . . .Ed jerked my eyelids open. Plop! Cold yellow liquid filled my eyes, sealing them like gum. Plop! I was blind now.One of them, maybe Hassan, tapped on my chin, and I opened my mouth obediently. Apparently, not wide enough—the tubes hit my teeth.I opened wider.And then the tubes were forced down my throat, hard. They did not feel as flexible as they had looked; they felt like a greased broomstick being crammed down my mouth. I gagged, and gagged again. I could taste bile and copper around the plastic of the tubes."Swallow it!" Ed shouted in my ear. "Just relax!"Easy for him to say.A few moments after it was done, my stomach tingled. I could feel the wires inside me being pulled and tugged as Hassan plugged the little black box to the outside of my very own shoebox coffin. Shuffling noises. The hose."Don't know why anyone would sign up for this," said Hassan.Silence. A metallic sound—the hose being opened up. Cold, cold liquid splashed on my thighs. I wanted to move my hands to cover myself there, but my body was sluggish."I dunno," Ed said."Things ain't exactly peachy here now. Nothing's been right since the first recession, let alone the second. The Financial Resource Exchange was s'posed to bring more jobs, wasn't it? Ain't got nothing now other than this P.O.S. job, and it'll be over soon as they're all frozen."Another silence. The cryo liquid washed over my knees now, seeping cold into the places on my body that had been warm—the crease of my knees, under my arms, under my breasts."Not worth giving your life away, not for what they're offering." Ed snorted."What they're offering? They're offering a lifetime's salary, all in one check.""Ain't worth nothing on a ship that won't land for three hundred and one years."My heart stopped. Three hundred . . . and one? No—that's wrong. It's three hundred years even. Not three hundred and one."That much money can sure help a family out. Might make the difference.""What difference?" Hassan asked."Difference between surviving or not. It's not like when we were kids. Don't care what the prez says, that Financial Act ain't gonna be able to fix this kinda debt."What are they yammering about? Who cares about national debt and jobs?Go back to that extra year!"A man has time to think about it anyway," Ed continued." Consider his options. Why'd they delay the launch again?"Cryo liquid splashed against my ears as my shoebox coffin filled; I lifted my head. Delay? What delay? I tried to speak around the tubes, but they filled my mouth, crowded my tongue, silenced my words."I have no idea. Something about the fuel and feedback from the probes. But why are they making us keep all the freezing on schedule?"The cyro liquid was rising fast. I turned my head, so my right ear could catch their conversation."Who cares?" Ed asked."Not them—they'll just sleep through it all. They say the ship'll take three hundred years just to get to that other planet—what's the difference in one more year?"I tried to sit up. My muscles were hard, slow, but I struggled. I tried to talk again, make a sound, any sound, but the cryo liquid was spilling over my face."Just. Relax," Ed said very loudly near my face. I shook my head. God, didn't they know? A year made the world of difference! This was one more year I could be with Jason, one more year I could live! I signed up for three hundred years . . . not three hundred and one!Gentle hands—Hassan's?—pushed me under the cryo liquid. I held my breath. I tried to rise up. I wanted my year! My last year—one more year!"Breathe in the liquid!" Ed's voice sounded muffled, almost indecipherable under the cryo liquid. I tried to shake my head, but as my neck muscles tensed, my lungs rebelled, and the cold, cold cryo liquid rushed down my nose, past the tubes, and into my body.I felt the finality of the lid trapping me inside my Snow White coffin. As one of them pushed at my feet, sliding me into my morgue, I imagined that my Prince Charming was just beyond my little door, that he really could come and kiss me awake and we could have a whole year more together.There was a click, click, grrr of gears, and I knew the flash freezing would start in mere moments, and then my life would be nothing but a puff of white steam leaking through the cracks of my morgue door.And I thought: At least I'll sleep. I will forget, for three hundred and one years, everything else.And then I thought: That will be nice.And then whoosh! The flash freeze filled the tiny chamber.I was in ice.I was ice.I am ice. But if I'm ice, how am I conscious? I was supposed to be asleep; I was supposed to forget about Jason and life and Earth for three hundred and one years. People have been cryo frozen before me, and none of them were conscious. The mind is frozen; it cannot be awake or aware.I've read before of coma victims who were supposed to be knocked out with anesthesia during an operation, but really they were awake and felt everything.I hope—I pray—that's not me. I can't be awake for three hundred and one years. I'll never survive that.Maybe I'm dreaming now. I've dreamt a lifetime in a thirty-minute nap. Maybe I'm still in that space between frozen and not, and this is all a dream. Maybe we haven't left Earth yet. Maybe I'm still in that limbo year before the ship launches, and I'm stuck, trapped in a dream I can't wake from.Maybe I've still got three hundred and one years stretching out before me.Maybe I'm not even asleep yet. Not all the way.Maybe, maybe, maybe.I only know one thing for certain.I want my year back.

Editorial Reviews

"Entirely original, deeply compelling, and totally unputdownable--I've found a new favorite!" --Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth"A murder mystery, a budding romance, and a dystopian world gracefully integrated into a sci-fi novel that blows away all expectation." --Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely"A horrifying and deliciously claustrophobic masterpiece that's part sci-fi, part dystopian, and entirely brilliant." --Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally