February 14, 2013

REVIEW: Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1)

Across the Universe (Across the Universe #1), by Beth Revis
Published January 11, 2011
Publisher:  Razorbill
Format:  Audiobook - borrowed from library
Genre:  YA dystopian/sci-fi

Rating:  4 STARS

(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.

Across the Universe was one of the more thought-provoking books I've read in a long time. It sparked several conversations around my family's dinner table. What would we do if given the choice that Amy was given - stay among what is comfortable and familiar, but be without your parents? Or, embark on an adventure to an unknown world where the only people you know are your parents? 

Do we agree with the stated "three main causes of discord?" 

I thought Amy was really amazing. I can't even begin to imagine all she went through, and she allowed herself a few opportunities to completely fall apart. But, for the most part, she was strong and resilient and really persistent. Revis made her so real - she was a great character. 

Elder and Eldest were a bit more cardboard, but I think they were supposed to be. I gathered that Elder was drawn to Amy by her extreme physical differences and her aversion to authority. But did he like her so much to want to kiss her so soon? Did he really love her that early? And, was it all enough for him to shun everything he had been raised to accept as reality? It was a little hard to believe. 

But, what a compelling and unique story! Especially for someone who was raised on Star Trek. I've always been a fan of the starship shows, but this was the first book about them that I've ever read. Not only was it a fun story about a crazy trip through the universe, it talked about a lot of issues that were socially and politically charged. Racism, socialism, fascism - it's all addressed in some futuristic, spacey way.

Across the Universe definitely gave me food for thought. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series to see where Revis takes Amy and Elder and the crew of the Godspeed next. Will they ever reach Centauri Earth? Will the ship be thrown into chaos? I can't wait to find out.

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