Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Across the Universe

Across the Universe by Beth Revis
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Jan 09, 12

bookshelves: original-and-creative, 2011-reads, i-liked-it, sci-fi, dystopian, young-adult, 2011-favs
Read from April 10 to 13, 2011, read count: 1


Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I have read a few YA dystopian society books and I have to say, I really enjoyed this one. It would have gotten 4 stars, but I found the ending to be a bit predictable. There were also a few things I didn't like. There will probably be spoilers in this review, but I'll indicate where I'm about to reveal something.

Across the Universe is a really cool story about a girl named Amy who is frozen in time for 250 years aboard the space ship Godspeed. However, she is violently awaken 50 years before the ship reaches it's destination. She struggles to adapt with the strange life on the space ship, while she attempts to solve the mystery and unravel the lies surrounding it.

One thing I really liked about the book was the changes in POV from Amy to Elder. Often times when I'm reading YA novels, I'm constantly wondering, "What the hell is he *really* thinking?" I also really liked Amy. She was a strong female character. That is a breath of fresh air considering so many female characters to are not strong and are damsels in distress. That irks me.

I really enjoyed the premise behind the plot. Frozen people aboard a huge ship in space, traveling to a new planet to colonize. There were no supernatural creatures, just a mystery that Amy and Elder are determined to solve. I really enjoy sci-fi, so naturally I thought this book was perfect for me.

Now on to the flaws:
*This part of the review will probably have spoilers*

Let's take a look a the characters in-depth, shall we?

Amy:
As I said before I really did like her. However, every time she referred to her father as "Daddy" drove me up a wall. Do 17 year-olds really do that? I tried to choke it up at first to the fact that she missed her parents. But then she kept calling him "Daddy" to the other characters and each time I felt mildly embarrassed for her. It was just odd. And what about her mother? She didn't give a rats ass about her. She was mostly concerned for "Daddy" not "mom." But the biggest problem I have with her was her willingness to just go against what Eldest said. Yes, I know you want to protect your family. I get it. But this dude just told you he will eject you into space if you become a disturbance, and you have the balls, excuse me, "chutz" to back talk him to his face? Really? Do you want to die? Can we at least be sneaky? Do you have no sense of self-preservation?

Elder:
Where do I begin? He was a little wimp most of the book. One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs. He can't decide if he wants to still trust Eldest or not even though he constantly verbally abused Elder. The whole time I was just waiting to Eldest to bitch slap him. I kinda understand why he unplugged Amy. He was pretty much obsessed with her. A stalker. Dude was staring at her naked, fantasizing about "what they could do together." How creepy does he sound?! What wasn't clear was when he actually unplugged her. He seemed really shocked when he saw her drowning in her ice box. In fact, he was in the garden when the alarm sounded. So by the end of the book, I'm wondering, "When did he actually do it and why did he just leave her out and leave?" That doesn't make sense to me.

Harley:
I really liked him. He was my favorite character. I was sad he was killed off. I also think he would have developed a stronger relationship with Amy. He just seemed better for her.

Doc:
He kinda reminded me of a mad scientist in a way. I think he was just as responsible for the crap that was happening on that ship as much as Eldest. I hope he gets some just desserts in the next book.

Eldest:
He believed Hitler was a great leader. I was glad when he died. 'Nuf said.

Orian:
A true crazy amongst them. But I found it terribly obvious who he was from the beginning. When Revis told us about his scar in the beginning, I knew exactly what that meant. And that made me angry, because it made Elder look like a total idiot that he didn't know.

The people, the plot, the ship: Wow, the people in this book through me for a loop. When the Season hit they just ran around naked having sex wherever they pleased. This made me extremely uncomfortable. I guess this was the intent. Mission complete Revis. The ship and the science was totally believable. I could follow it and see it a possibility. The biggest con in this book would have to be it being a bit predictable. But, it did keep me very interested in the story once Amy awakens. I read it in one sitting from that point on. So it's defiantly not boring by any means.

So all in all, it's a decent read and I look forward the other sequels.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
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Quotes Steph Liked

Beth Revis
“Power isn’t control at all — power is strength, and giving that strength to others. A leader isn’t someone who forces others to make him stronger; a leader is someone willing to give his strength to others that they may have the strength to stand on their own.”
Beth Revis, Across the Universe

Beth Revis
“But...If my life on Earth must end, let it end with a promise.
Let it end with hope.”
Beth Revis, Across the Universe

Beth Revis
“A leader doesn't make pawns - he makes people.”
Beth Revis, Across the Universe


Reading Progress

04/11/2011 page 24
6.0% "Ok, the word "frexing" is really starting to annoy me already."
04/12/2011 page 92
23.0% "For some reason this book reminds me of the movie "The 5th element.""
04/12/2011 page 181
45.0% "I'm actually really enjoying this book. Revis has a nice mystery going on. I hope it pulls together nicely by the end of the book."
04/12/2011 page 198
50.0% "Whoa, pause. What?! These people are randomly having sex outside, under trees, next to bushes, like...like animals?!"
04/12/2011 page 198
50.0% "Ahhhh! "All animals go into heat. People have a Season just like cows, the sheep, the goats." Well, this book is successful in making me feel uncomfortable."
04/12/2011 page 337
85.0% "I think Elder is a little slow on the uptake."
04/12/2011 page 365
92.0% "This ending is heading toward predictability. :("

Comments (showing 1-22)




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message 22: by Elena (new) - added it

Elena Ahhh yes, the "Daddy" thing annoyed me A LOT! I forgot what book it was but I had a similar problem where a girl said "Mommy" all the time. It droves me NUTS and I tried so hard to pretend she was saying Mom instead. I really liked Harley too! Once he became obsessed with the stars though, I knew he wouldn't last very long. :| I think my jaw literally dropped at the Hitler sentence, I was so appalled. I don't think Beth Revis is very good at twists (the sequel is pretty obvious too) but I do enjoy her writing. I liked your review a lot! It helped me think about the book more.


message 21: by Reut (new) - rated it 3 stars

Reut Bet you didn't see the enormous plot hole :) It was a bit too sciency for me to get at first but the author acknowledged it and it's going to be a major part of Book 2.


Steph Sinclair Reut (reutreads) wrote: "Bet you didn't see the enormous plot hole :) It was a bit too sciency for me to get at first but the author acknowledged it and it's going to be a major part of Book 2."

Wait, what was the plot hole? I read this in April of last year, so I don't remember the specifics. (I was just cleaning up old reviews and posting some on my blog.)

Elena wrote: "Ahhh yes, the "Daddy" thing annoyed me A LOT! I forgot what book it was but I had a similar problem where a girl said "Mommy" all the time. It droves me NUTS and I tried so hard to pretend she was ..."

Thank you, Elena. I'm really looking forward to the sequel. It comes out tomorrow and I'll be heading to my bookstore to pick it up. :D
Harley. *sigh* Every time I think of him I become sad. I really didn't expect for him to go.


message 19: by Reut (new) - rated it 3 stars

Reut Stephanie wrote: "Reut (reutreads) wrote: "Bet you didn't see the enormous plot hole :) It was a bit too sciency for me to get at first but the author acknowledged it and it's going to be a major part of Book 2."

W..."


I honestly do not remember specifics... it's way too complicated for my G.9 brain. But it's explained in the first chapter or so of Book 2.


message 18: by Kelly (new)

Kelly "One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs."

This is probably the most accurate depiction of Elder I have read. I really enjoyed Across the Universe, but like you, noticed a few things that had me going "really? o.O"


message 17: by Chrysoula (new) - added it

Chrysoula Tzavelas I've seen a lot of people complain about the 'Daddy' thing but I never had a problem with it, I guess because I've seen a lot of people who actually do that? Anyhow, great review!


Steph Sinclair Reut (reutreads) wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Reut (reutreads) wrote: "Bet you didn't see the enormous plot hole :) It was a bit too sciency for me to get at first but the author acknowledged it and it's going to be a major p..."

Ah, okay then. I'll just have to read A Million Suns to find out!

Kelly wrote: ""One minute he is a toddler whining to Eldest about not be taught everything and the next he is a dog with his tail between his legs."

This is probably the most accurate depiction of Elder I have ..."


I'm hoping to see a stronger Elder in the next book!

Chrysoula wrote: "I've seen a lot of people complain about the 'Daddy' thing but I never had a problem with it, I guess because I've seen a lot of people who actually do that? Anyhow, great review!"

Thanks! I can see how it wouldn't bother someone if they had heard it before. I suppose she was just a daddy's girl. Nothing wrong with that. :)


message 15: by Experiment BL626 (new)

Experiment BL626 Thank you for this review, I have heard so much mixed reactions. I think I'll re-add it to my TBR pile, I do love my sci-fi YA after all. =D


Steph Sinclair No problem. Across the Universe gave me the same feelings Legend by Marie Lu did. They are both fast paced and really interesting, but have a few flaws. I rated this ATU higher than Legend, though, because I'm partial to Sci-fi and I really liked Beth Revis' prose.


message 13: by Kate (new) - added it

Kate Copeseeley The two things that bothered me were the modern slang (big no no in "real" sci-fi and really didn't make sense in the story at all. I mean, you're freezing a girl and sending her off to start a new colony. Why is "FREAKING" still slang???) and I HATE that she just gives him a pass in the end. Maybe I'm a heartless beyotch, but a boy would have to do a little more than look sad for me to forgive something so immense. It would have been a cooler ending to the story too. IMHO.


Steph Sinclair Kate wrote: "The two things that bothered me were the modern slang (big no no in "real" sci-fi and really didn't make sense in the story at all. I mean, you're freezing a girl and sending her off to start a ne..."

I know! The slang killed me. I think I could have maybe enjoyed the ending more if Amy even had a little anger over what happen. She pretty much just said, "Oh, damn. You did that. Well, you look sorry, so I guess I'll forgive you." What kind of reaction is that?!


message 11: by Maru (new) - rated it 2 stars

Maru I have this HUGE pet-peeve about people calling their dads "Daddy" in a conversation with OTHER PEOPLE. If she wanted to call him 'daddy' while addressing HIM that's fine, whatever. But she kept using that nickname in other situations where it just sounded very odd "You knew I wasn't Daddy so while did you unplug me" AHHHHH. I'm really glad you pointed that out I thought it was only me that cringed at that.

Also, I agree with all your character 'analysis', which is to say that most of them are somewhat likeable, but they all have annoying things that prevent us from really LOVING them. And since I didn't LOVE any of the characters that much, I couldn't love the book either. I liked it, I enjoyed it, but that's it.


Steph Sinclair Maru wrote: "I have this HUGE pet-peeve about people calling their dads "Daddy" in a conversation with OTHER PEOPLE. If she wanted to call him 'daddy' while addressing HIM that's fine, whatever. But she kept us..."

I completely agree! Did you get a chance to read A Million Suns yet? Overall, I think it was an improvement from Across the Universe plot wise, but as always annoying little things are there too.


Maru I just finished Across the Universe, so I haven't had a chance to read A Million Suns yet, but I definitely will! Even though I didn't love this one, and there were things that annoyed me a lot, I was definitely immersed in the plot and want to see how it continues. How is Elder in AMS? Because as you said he seemed a bit slow in this book haha, but out of all the characters, for some reason, he's the one I want to like the most. So I'm hoping to see his stronger side in the sequel :)


message 8: by Steph (last edited Feb 29, 2012 10:54AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steph Sinclair Maru wrote: "I just finished Across the Universe, so I haven't had a chance to read A Million Suns yet, but I definitely will! Even though I didn't love this one, and there were things that annoyed me a lot, I ..."

That's how I felt about Across the Universe too. The plot lines are addictive and very easy to get lost in.

I liked Elder much better in A Million Suns. I think he had a lot more character growth than Amy, which was a shame. He kind of has to grow up because of all his new responsibilities. He still makes mistakes, but he ends up making better ones by the end. Amy...meh. Lol. Plus,I think I like the plot better in A Million Suns, even though the ending disappointed me a little.


Skyla Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books Stephanie wrote: "Maru wrote: "I have this HUGE pet-peeve about people calling their dads "Daddy" in a conversation with OTHER PEOPLE. If she wanted to call him 'daddy' while addressing HIM that's fine, whatever. Bu..."

I only call my Dad, Daddy to other people when I'm talking about me getting him to do something he doesn't want like: "Daddy you know you love me and want to buy me lunch." and he's like "Skyla you know you love me buy ME lunch."


Steph Sinclair Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Maru wrote: "I have this HUGE pet-peeve about people calling their dads "Daddy" in a conversation with OTHER PEOPLE. If she wanted to call him 'daddy' while addressing HIM that's ..."

Ha! I do the same thing! :P


Maru Stephanie wrote: "Maru wrote: "I just finished Across the Universe, so I haven't had a chance to read A Million Suns yet, but I definitely will! Even though I didn't love this one, and there were things that annoyed..."

That's a shame about Amy not having much character development... Though I'm looking forward to reading Elder's. I think what the book lacks most is good characterization... If that was better it could go from being a somewhat enjoyable book to being a great one, cause the plot is pretty addictive!


Steph Sinclair Maru wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "Maru wrote: "I just finished Across the Universe, so I haven't had a chance to read A Million Suns yet, but I definitely will! Even though I didn't love this one, and there were t..."

I agree! That's one thing I mentioned in my A Million Suns review: Revis can build anticipation!


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey Steph I just read and reviewed this one, and I have to agree with many of your points- particularly the one about Amy calling her dad "daddy". I mean I'm 22 and I call my dad "daddy" but to my friends he's "my dad" lol. Also the season was EXTREMELY awkward...jeez! Great review though :)


message 2: by Oz (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oz I call my parents Daddy and Mummy and I'm 22 lol. I feel odd calling them Mum and Dad. I agree with your assessment. Though I did notice a mistake on p256. I'm not sure if it's grammatical error but Elder asks 'Have you see Harley or Amy?' to Orion but it sounded clunky.


Lajoyce M Hi Agree with you Steph Harley was my favorite too and he was better for Amy, I didn't like Elder not a bit but Amy, Doc and Eldest are my second favorite characteres


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