10 Reasons to Go Read Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Posted by Caitie F on January 19, 2011
Summary (from me):
Earth is having problems. Major problems. Scientists have found that there is an inhabitable planet 300 years away and are sending the leading scientists, leaders, and strategists, frozen so when they reach the planet they can lead. Both of Amy’s parents are chosen, she can go with them, and they will all wake up in about three hundred years.
Except things don’t quite work out that way. Amy is woken up early and thrown into a society that she can’t understand, complete with a false history of the world. Elder is the next leader and has been with her from when she first woke up. Together, they try to find out who is trying to unfreeze the officials, what Eldest is trying to hide, and why no one else on the ship notices how wrong everything is.
I am doing this review differently –I am sure you have seen a ton of reviews. Here are the top 10 reasons you should read Across the Universe. *Any spoilers are from the first hundred pages, and don’t really spoil anything
When I first started my internship at Writer’s House, it was hard to tell what was good enough to show the agent. To help me see, the person I was working with email me the first 50 pages of this book. The writing was so far above anything I saw in my four months there. It is even better than it was then. It is one of the best-written young adult books I have ever read, it may be the actual best.
2. Amy’s struggle
Amy has decided to give up her life: friends, Earth, the rest of her family, just to be with her parents. Suddenly, she doesn’t even have them. If they arrive in 50 years, she will be an old woman and they will still be the same age as they were on Earth. It is always on her mind and is a great central, internal issue she must deal with.
This may be the most accessible science fiction book I have read. It is science fiction, there is no question, but it is written and crafted in a way that people who don’t enjoy the genre will enjoy this book. It is a science fiction book that is being marketed to young women! There is action, mystery, and romance. I would love to see the idea catch on, and this is a great place to start!
Elder also faces a great internal struggle. He needs to learn how to be a leader, while discovering what is really happening with the ship and the people. Every decision he makes impacts everyone. He is bright, curious, and strong, and watching him realize that is amazing.
Amy is a great character. She is so strong, but also vulnerable. Remember how in the last Harry Potter book Harry asks if death hurts and you were reminded that he is really just a kid? Revis never lets you forget that Amy is only a teenager going through something extremely difficult. But she is brave and caring. I love Amy
Are you sick of saying “Frak” like they do in Battlestar? Well you have a new word to use “Frex”. It is obviously a nod to Battlestar and it used the same way. Next time I am angry, I may just tell someone to go frex themselves.
If you have any pent-up anger, read this book and take it out on some of the characters! Eldest admires Hitler. Yes, you read that correctly. You will probably want to punch him (and a few others) for most of the book. But they are all great antagonists and you can see why they make some of the decisions they do.
The mystery element of the book is great. I figured it out earlier than they did, but watching them get to that point was exciting and had me guessing at parts. The clues are all there, but even as the reader, I had to dig and analyze to figure it out.
9. “Woah moments”
Do you know what I mean? It is those times you have to stop reading and you just go “Woah”. There were TONS of those moments in this book. I would say at least 10.
10. Wraps up well
Even though this is a series, the first book stands well on its own. There is no big cliffhanger or issue that the reader knows about but the characters don’t. There is a “to be continued” feel, but not a “screaming at your book” feel.
This is a fantastic debut from Revis and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. Books like this are why I want to work in publishing.