Across the Universe
by: Beth Revis
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.
This book was what I expected to get from "Glow" and even more! It brought up good controversies, such as 'is lying okay if you're doing it for the (supposed) benefit of the very ones that you are lying to?." For me the answer is a resounding 'no', but it was interesting to see how the characters from different backgrounds and with different responsibilities came to polar opposite conclusions.
Brave and Smart Heroine: CHECK
I thought Amy was a really well developed character. The emotion she showed was genuine and raw and really right on the mark for me. I can't even imagine giving up everything just so you could stay with your parents and then losing them too! Yet she only let herself break one time and was still able to rebuild herself from the ashes of her ruined life. That takes more bravery than I can even imagine. One thing I found refreshing about her was that she wasn't afraid to be vulnerable, she seemed to understand that being vulnerable with your friends will only make you stronger in the end (a lesson that I believe Tris learns in Insurgent, and one that I fully believe in).
Smart and Brave Hero: HALF
Goodness, the entire book I kept asking this question "Elder, why do you continue to frustrate me." I gave him half a star because sometimes he was really genuinely stupid. It took a really long time to figure out things that it seemed like I figured way before he did. It just felt to me that when he figured something out and had no doubt that it was true, he would then forget and have figure it out again. Maybe the author just meant to show how brainwashed he was, but to me it didn't come off that way. Maybe it is just because I, as the reader, have a more objective look at everything because I'm outside of the situation or because I have both Amy and Elder's perspective to look at.
However, all that isn't to say that I didn't like him. In fact, that was not the case at all! He won me back by loving things that are different and by being incredibly brave. He was also adorable in the way he respected Amy's space. He didn't go all over-the-top flirty and he didn't feel the need to be cocky around her, actually the opposite. He was surprisingly shy around her, which was refreshing to read. Also, when he did finally figure things out, he always made what seemed like the most ethical decision, which I like in a character.
Unique Plot and Original Setting: CHECK
Yes, there are lots of books about space ships headed to a new planet, but this was different because the government aboard was so different and so evil. Also, it is an interesting thing for them to have to try to figure out a way to take down a corrupt government that every frexing person on the ship fully believed in while being completely alone in the universe. There was no outside help to be sought out and no one outside the ship even knew what was happening or would even care. They were literally stuck with an utterly impossible situation.
Extraordinary Supporting Characters: CHECK
Harley: I loved his crazy self. I appreciated his whole back story and was quite heart-broken over it. I felt he deserved to be happy if he had to be stuck inside that frexing ship anyway! Am I right? However, as we all know not everyone who 'deserves to be happy', actually get to be. It's that simple, life isn't fair. I loved how obsessed with the stars he was. The difference is that every frexing thing he wanted and obsessed about were outside his reach. He was deprived of the girl he loved , a planet to live on, and to a certain extent, beauty. All these are so important to the artist or the inventor or the writer or the singer, anyone who puts there effort into being creative. Orion: I loved the comparison between Eldest, Elder, and Orion. How Eldest kept things in control by lying and keeping secrets. Then how, in his quest to be different than Eldest, Orion began doing those same things and yet had the audacity to say he was doing things for the greater good. Then there is Elder who thought honesty was more important than control and way better than keeping secrets.
Plot Twists: CHECK
So many plot twists! I thought Beth Revis was very skillful in the way she told you all the facts then one by one showed that everything you thought you knew about everything was wrong, while leaving just enough doubt for you figure it out on your own. That takes so much skill as an author, and I truly admire her for that .
Great Read and very recommended!
But, just a quick warning: there is a sketchy part that I was totally not expecting. Therefore, I refuse to recommend this book to anyone under 16 or anyone who thinks they will be squeamish about certain things.
"Amy seems to inspire me to be all kinds of different"
"so, I do what any reasonable person would do when faced with a crying girl... I get the frex out of there"