Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Series: Across the Universe, #1
Published: January 11, 2011
(398 pages, hardcover)
Summary: 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.
My thoughts: Just from looking at the cover, I expected a lot of this novel. And after reading the summary, wow. I was expecting a lot... then I started the book. And I have to admit, I kept putting it down, because while it was fascinating and gorgeously written, the story was a little slow. And confusing. But after about 70 pages, I was sucked into this world of secrets and conspiracies and captivating imagery that drove me to the edge of my seat. I felt like I was Amy, and I was struggling to cope with the fact that I was never going to see my friends and my parents were fifty years away from being awoken again. I felt like I was Elder, trying to figure out the mysteries surrounding the ship and unravel the lies Eldest has created. And best of all, the writing was gripping, intense, and just oh, so lifelike that I found myself staying up into the wee hours of the morning just to live in their claustrophobic world a little longer.
The graphic detail that Revis goes into to describe the way Amy and her parents were cryogenically frozen let me know early on how amazingly written Across the Universe would be. Also, from the first page, the novel has a sort of dark feel that made everything more intriguing. There were a few surprising metaphors and Revis really does write in a beautiful way, in my opinion. And oh.my.God, I did not see the plot twists she threw in. They shocked me, even if part of the story was a little predictable, like who the murderer is. Revis more than made up for her predictability with the rest of her twists and turns.
I wasn't really all that connected to Amy at first; for the first half of the novel, she seemed like a nice girl forced into a sinister world where someone is trying to kill her and her parents. Elder also seemed a little distant throughout the beginning of the book; he was so used to the life he grew up with, and it all seemed so strange and foreign to me. Plus, the vocabulary he speaks with made things a little confusing. But once I got truly into the story, I loved every second of it. It was like I was living aboard Godspeed too. I loved how everything was so thought-out and reflected so many of the problems of modern society in a more twisted, obvious way. I also loved how oblivious the crew of Godspeed was to the cruelty of their leaders. Amy was so realistic as she realized how strange and animalistic their lives were on the ship. Elder was a fantastically three-dimensional character, and I loved how he was so torn, and not just purely evil or good like a lot of the other characters. Oh, and by the way, my favorite character (on the secondary characters) Harley, was also fantastically written and movingly deep.
Lastly, the story line was downright incredible. So I don't ruin anything for anyone who has yet to read Across the Universe (if you haven't go get it, go get it, go get it!) I'll keep it short and simple: Revis is genius with her mysteries and ways of keeping facts from readers without making it obvious that there are things even you don't know. Across the Universe was definitely my favorite book so far of 2011 and definitely a book I'd recommend to just about any YA reader.
Covering the Cover: I'll try to refrain from drooling. This cover is amazing. And it even has a blueprint of Godspeed on the inside of it! Love the concept, and love the result.
Overall Rating: 5 stars