March 31, 2011

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Release Date: January 11, 2011
Publisher: Razorbill
Pages: 398
Review Source: Won from Amber @ Down the Rabbit Hole

Synopsis: (from Goodreads)
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:
I could probably sum up my thoughts by saying that this was another book with intense hype, and another one that failed to impress me. One of the main problems I had with the book was its pace. The book was incredibly long, yet I’m positive that all that happened could have been told in a story 2/3 of the size, if not smaller. The pace was so slow, so that even though I generally sped through the book, it was frustrating to me to have to read so long for events to occur.

Another problem I had with the book is that I didn’t really find any of the characters to be that likeable. I felt incredibly (incredibly!) bad for Amy, but there was nothing about her that made me like her that much. And then there’s Elder who just... I have no idea. My final response to him is that he skeeves me out. He’s been brainwashed by the man who raised him, and the society on the ship has customs that are incredibly out there compared to our standards, and somehow he’s still generally a decent guy, which I give him credit for. However, you can’t ignore the fact that there wasn’t much behind his feelings for Amy other than simple lust. He was attracted to her, and because of that he somehow thought he owned her.

The one character who I found absolutely brilliant was Harley. He was so interesting and sweet, and he brought a lightness to the book that didn’t exist elsewhere, and without giving anything away, that was completely ruined. Besides Harley the one other positive of this book was that it made me think a lot while I was reading it. I thought about how individuals and societies could be brainwashed, what it takes to be a good leader, and what it would mean to be trapped in a completely foreign world. But some beautiful descriptions and food for thought don’t make up for the complete genre confusion this book has. I think it just tries to be too many things. It’s not really a complete dystopian, the murder mystery aspect fails to be compelling after the first little bit, and the romance aspect that's so played up? Well, that’s almost entirely lacking.

I realize I sound completely harsh, I just hate how when I came to the end of this book I felt completely empty. It’s taken me so long to write this review, because I ended up not really caring at all about the events of the book or what might happen next. The only thing I wanted was for Amy to have a happy life with her family and to be reunited with all the people she misses on earth which, unless something incredibly wacky happens, can obviously not occur. In that way I give Beth Revis absolute credit for making me feel something so deep for her character, but it was to the detriment of my enjoyment of the book. Some people might enjoy the feelings of complete desolation and hopelessness that the book creates, but personally I just felt depressed and disappointed.


Find Across the Universe by Beth Revis on Goodreads, Book Depository, &


  1. I think it's always hard with the books that are really hyped, I always end up feeling guilty almost when I don't love it as much as everyone else:) I actually enjoyed this one, but I'm with you on the lack of connection with the characters. I wasn't overly interested in Amy or Elder, but I was intrigued by Eldest and how the society on board came to be as it was. Really nice review though Ashley, I think you explained the things that bothered you well and you made great points!

  2. It too bad you didn't love this one but to each their own. I understand some of your reasoning-- though I didn't feel that way myself-- and it is really hard to read a book after it's been so hyped up. Thanks for the honest review!

  3. I agree with alot of the points you make here- I wans't super connected to the leads and the mystery part was fairly easy to solve on your own. For me, what made the book, was the way history was used to justify Eldests leadership. That it was twisted and manipulated and used agaist the citizens. That Hitler was a great leader and should be looked up to. Stuff like that. Of course- as a history nerd that stuff always gets me- even when the rest of the book doesn't quite live up to the hype...

  4. Kate, I totally agree with the history thing. My BA is in history, so I can definitely appreciate how that part of the story was told. I feel like it's almost a true to life thing, how people can be so easily manipulated by lies. Actually, it's similar to how dictators like Hitler managed to get into power legitimately.

  5. Too bad you didnt like it as much as I did. I found the beginning of the book very promising (probably one of the best first chapters I've read in a while) but after that it did get slow in parts. Another thing that bothered me was that there were too many chapters and some of the chapters were too short and I wanted to stay with a either Amy or Elder a bit longer.

  6. First, wanted to say thanks for your awesome comment on our Book Babble post. :)

    Second, this review kind of makes me sad because I just bought Across The Universe. I still haven't read it yet so I might move it down on my TBR pile. I love your review though! It's so difficult to write reviews for books you don't love and you did a great job on it. :)


  7. Awwww, that's too bad that Across The Universe didn't love up to your expectations. The whole time I read the novel, I was absolutely torn for Amy because I don't see how she could have the complete happy ending with her parents still frozen and all. I definitely agree though that Elder acted like a typical male, lusting after the first pretty and different girl he saw...

    I think what really annoyed me with some reviews is how everyone was thought it so completely original when it wasn't. Sure,there are some invent some new technologies but a lot of other concepts like how their society functions and stuff aren't ground-breaking or anything...

    I don't know. I LOVE the cover and I enjoyed it overall, but yeah, it has its flaws...


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment; I appreciate each one!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...