Book Club: "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis
Male and female faces in shadow against a white backdrop sat above a beautiful star-scape, all done in pinks purples and oranges. Quite pleasing to the eye, and speaks volumes about the contents of the story.
There is a complicated mix of characters and each of them carries their own.
Amy, though she spends some time feeling sorry for herself she eventually gets her butt kicking self into gear and makes it work.
Eldest. Creepy character.
Amy and her parents are preparing to be put into stasis for a rather long flight across the universe.
Amy is woken up fifty years prematurely and the situation on Godspeed is odd to say the very least.
There is more to be read in the follow up books A Million Suns and Shades of Earth so to spoil the ending wouldn’t be nice.
I didn’t reread Across the Universe as I’d already reviewed it in August 2012, but this is what I said back then…
“The pacing of the novel was well-crafted, with much of the mystery remaining out of reach until effectively unravelled; also, as this is the first instalment in a series, there was the sense of ‘to be continued’ but never the infuriatingly feeling of details being purposefully omitted.
Beth Revis also does atmosphere superbly, and this is evident from the novel’s opening chapter, in which Amy is cryogenically frozen. She narrates each stomach-churning detail as it happens. Never before have I felt so incredibly claustrophobic while reading!!”
“More than the sound of my own beating heart, I miss the sound of a ticking clock.” Amy about the passing of time.
The US hardcover has an interchangeable dust jacket. One side is a brightly coloured universe with blues and pinks, but if you flip the cover over it’s a blueprint of the ship in which you can see the different levels and areas that are explored in the book. I prefer to keep the blueprint as the outer cover on my book.
The story is told from different perspectives: Amy, as she explores the ship after she wakes up, and Elder, as he does his duties. We travel through the ship and more characters are introduced, some playing larger roles than others.
Harley: The friendship that develops between Amy and Harley and Amy and Elder are strong and come from more than simple convenience.
Eldest: I have to agree with Bel here. C.R.E.E.P.Y.
The prologue is detailed in describing the emotional and physical process of being put into stasis. I think it was a brilliant way to start the book and grab the reader’s attention.
Amy is awoken from her stasis many years earlier than was originally planned. She is alone, scared, and misses her parents. What she finds aboard Godspeed is not what she expected. I loved the detail and world-building that the author puts into the history of the ship while she has been asleep.
As the first book in the novel, the story builds up at the ending with surprises that continue on through the other books in the series.
For me this felt more dystopian than sci-fi. I loved all the twists the story took. This book got me thinking about individuality and the concept of leadership. The love story is more than just attraction; it’s companionship and trust. And I love the fact that Amy pushes Elder to trust his instincts and fight for what he believes to be right. It’s not a story about a girl that pushes a guy to see things her way, it’s about a girl that encourages a leader to become what he was always meant to be and to think for himself.
“We’re the ones who aren’t normal. People are supposed to be like that: obedient, calm, working together. It’s us—who can’t focus, who can’t work together, who can’t do the Feeder or Shipper jobs—we’re the ones who aren’t normal. We’re the ones who have to take the mental meds just so we don’t go loons.”
I absolutely love the original cover so when it went through a change, AFTER I purchased the first two instalments in this trilogy, my heart broke… into like a MILLION ZILLION pieces. I guess I just like the dorky romantic covers instead of the newer metallic ones.
I couldn’t get enough! I LOVED Amy and I LOVED Elder! They were so different, came from completely opposite worlds, but were just perfect for one another.
If you couldn’t guess it, my ultimate favorite characters are Amy and Elder… duh! Amy was down to earth and unlike a lot of characters in the YA genre and didn’t just shrug when something crazy happened to them. Amy spent the entire book mourning the “loss” of her parents and never seeing them again – like any REAL person.
I like that she had feelings and was frustrated, and that she expressed that through the story. She needed time to absorb everything that was happening to her and going on around her, before she could move forward and decide what she was going to do next.
Elder, the soon to be new Eldest on Godspeed was dealing with his own issues. Not only are the humans from Earth being defrosted by someone, and left to die, but also he has the responsibility of becoming the leader of this massive ship on his shoulders.
He’s kind, sweet and really adores Amy!
I don’t think I have a least favorite character. I mean there was a EVIL villain…but he was a good evil villain… if you know what I mean.
Amy’s parents are asked to board Godspeed and travel three hundred years to discover a new planet for human habitation. Amy has a difficult decision to make: stay on Earth and say goodbye to her parents forever, or be frozen for three hundred years and leave behind everything she’s ever known. Is she willing to leave behind her home, and the boy she loves, to be woken up three hundred years later on a new planet?
Having unfrozen fifty years early, Amy is devastated when she is informed that she will most likely never see her parents again, or at least not until she is much, much older than them. Eldest and the doctor tell her that there is no way they can refreeze her, because there’s a HUGE risk she will never wake up again.
Now Amy is stuck on this ship with people who aren’t acting normal, who seem to be in a haze during “mating season”, and where the “crazy” people aren’t ALL that crazy. Things on Godspeed aren’t normal.
Elder is not only trying to keep up with his learning, and responsibilities, but is now also trying to comfort Amy and keep the ship under control.
And when frozen are being found open and left to thaw, Elder and Amy have to figure out who is doing this and how they even know that they existed! When one is found dead, and another is found half thawed, the pair knows they have to do something.
Broke my heart, put it back together again, and had my emotions all over the place! Across the Universe had me questioning every character, and everything they said and did. I would never have expected the ending, and who it was that was defrosting the frozens! SUCH a good twist!!
I LOVE this trilogy! I have already read the second book, and really enjoyed it! I can’t wait to read the third one, to see how things end for Amy and Elder!
Hardcover, 398 pages
Published January 11th 2011 by Razorbill
Across the Universe
1595143971 (ISBN13: 9781595143976)