Friday, May 27, 2011

Book in Review: Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1) by Beth Revis

Cover & Publisher

 Published by: Razorbill

Why I Read This

I thought it looked good.

It also counts towards the Debut Author Challenge.


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.



  I have been dreading writing the review for this book, avoiding it at all costs. But I can't keep seeing it on my to-do list and nagging away at me.

The bad:
This is what I didn't like about the book. First of all, what I was expecting from the summary is that it the main focus would be on the mystery behind who is killing off the cryogenetically frozen people. A mystery set in outer sounded very refreshing compared to what else I had been seeing out there at the time. Unfortunately throughout the book the mystery gets thrown aside to deal with other issues too many times - Amy's potential loss of contact with her family who she can see frozen but can't contact, "The Season", the culture the ship has created for themselves, all sorts of questions Elder is just now considering , mental issues with their shipmate Harley. And with everything going on the mystery just sort of looses it's edge. And any big "reveal" is really about one of those other things.

"The Season" just didn't seem to fit as part of a "teen" book. I'm not saying that sex in YA should be taboo (although I should admit that I am not a fan of it myself) but at the same time this just felt like overkill. If it was toned down just a bit I think it would have been much more appropriate. I know others will disagree with me on this point but this is just my personal opinion. I thought it could have been more affective for me when considering what the point of including all that was (and I do see that there was a point).

The good:
I really did like the characters, Amy and Elder. I wanted the best for them, wanted them to find out what was going on and have closure surrounding all the issues on the ship. And I really liked the relationship that they shared. It wasn't gushy love or sweet love but it still felt wonderful.

Like I said above, I do see that there was a point to the whole "The Season" thing. I think it's very important to talk about the role of love in sex in YA and when you take away the love part instead of intensifying it that's a very refreshing take on the subject.
I also just really loved Harley and his storyline. I know I already said I liked the characters but Harley just really stood out to me. I actually wished Beth Revis had given him and his background story a little more "air time".

So there you go...the good and the bad through my eyes. I know this is a lot of people's favourite book so far this year and I can certainly see why it would be. I just had a few issues with it myself.

My Rating


I received my copy as a birthday gift.


  1. Harley was definitely my favourite character in the book. I was disappointed with what happened. The whole book just really depressed me. There were aspects of the book I thought were good, but for the most part I just didn't like it that much, which was disappointing considering how much other people seem to love it.

  2. Oh it's so nice to know I'm not the only one! I keep calling him Harvey. I'm going to have to change that now...*headsmack*

  3. I reviewed this book not long ago. I hate to say it with as much love as this book got online which is the reason I read it in the first place but wow I hated it and thought is sucked epically.

    Harley and Amy only two characters in the book I liked.

  4. Great review! It's actually refreshing to see a less than glowing review for this one. Makes me more willing to pick it up. :)

    I thought you articulated your thoughts here very well.

  5. I agree with you -- there were good points and bad points. I actually wasn't too impressed with this book after reading all the rave reviews. I thought the "Season" was way too over-the-top for a teen read. And it was disappointing that the focus wasn't actually the mystery. Your review is exactly how I feel about this book. :)