Released: January 11, 2011
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Cavalier House Books
Series: Book 1 of Across the Universe
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 rulesI received this review copy back in October, and ever since it's just been sitting around taunting me. You see, I've been afraid of it. I am not a fan of science fiction, and to me, AtU seemed like hardcore sci-fi - spaceships, distant future, new Earth, frozen people - definitely more than I could handle. And then the reviews started pouring in, really good ones. And then people were naming it their favorite book ever, people whose opinions I trust. And then I read somewhere that it was "science fiction for teens who don't like science fiction", and I thought maybe that could apply to me. And then I still put it off and read two other January releases before this one, and the next thing I knew I had five days before its release to read it.
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.
Someone please tell me I will someday learn.
BECAUSE THIS BOOK WAS SO FREXING AWESOME AND IF I'D ONLY LISTENED TO EVERYBODY I WOULD HAVE EXPERIENCED THE AWESOME SO MUCH SOONER AND I WOULD HAVE SERIOUSLY CONSIDERED DRIVING OVER 700 MILES TO NORTH CAROLINA FOR THE RELEASE PARTY SO THAT I COULD BE SURROUNDED BY THE AWESOME THAT IS BETH REVIS AND
You know, I really tried to suppress the crazy, but this book is just too good.
The first chapter is a marathon in that it is an intense, heart-racing account of Amy's last moments on Earth. The reader is then thrown into Elder's world on the Godspeed, the ship traveling to new Earth. The chapters alternate between Amy and Elder throughout this novel, giving the reader ample knowledge of both characters' personalities and worlds so that there is no trouble empathizing with both.
Beth's world building is brilliant - so much so I could see the Godspeed in all its glory. I can't think of any other YA writer whose descriptions are as vivid as those of Beth. (Suzanne Collins, maybe?) The plot and character development are also stunning - again, there are few writers I can think of who deliver such an incredible package. This story is one people dream of dreaming up in that it is one of the most original and spellbinding I've ever heard. And the strong characterization doesn't stop at Amy and Elder: Harley, Doc, and even Eldest are also well fleshed out and integral to the story.
This book was unputdownable from start to finish. It was suspenseful and mysterious, and it kept me on my toes. There were a few clues along the way I was able to pick out, so I had a few theories in mind about halfway though. Some things I guessed correctly, while others nearly knocked me out of my chair. I can't wait to go back through and find all the clues I missed. The ending was satisfying enough, but I'm definitely anticipating book two's release sometime next year.
My only regret when it comes to this novel is that I wasn't outside reading it under the stars.