Sunday, April 17, 2011

Across the Universe, by Beth Revis

In the very near future, the economy is bad and things on Earth aren't looking so good.*  Amy's scientist parents have been recruited to go on a mission to a far distant planet, but it will take a while to get there, so they will be cryogenically frozen for 350 years.  Amy's dad gives her the option to back out and live out her life on earth with other family members, her boyfriend, etc.  But Amy decides to be frozen, too, because she is a daddy's girl.

And then she wakes up.  And guess what?  They're not at the new planet yet!  Turns out, there is a whole weird civilization onboard this giant ship, and somebody is going around unplugging (and killing) the frozen scientists--and also Amy (but she doesn't die).  She meets a boy named Elder, and surprise suprise, a romance is born.

Pros:  Murder mystery in space is good.  And so booktalk-able.

Cons:  Even I figured out who the murderer was, and I'm terrible at stuff like that.  Also, the Amy-Elder romance didn't work for me AT ALL.  I think mainly because I didn't really buy Elder as a character.

Recommended for:  I'm not really sure who this book is for.  I think romance and mystery fans would both be disappointed. It does have certain elements of dystopian sci fi (what doesn't these days?), so I guess this is really for the sci fi fans.  Though I doubt a boy would read it with that cover.  Which is misleading, because believe me, the romance is so not the highlight of this book.

*Linked to Amazon because the Powell's site is down right now.


  1. So.. let's say I were hip-deep in a project that required me to write summaries of, booktalks for, and discussions about 150 teen dystopian/post-apocalyptic books. Is it worth including this one, or are the dystopian elements not the point of the book? (It sounds like very little is actually the point of the book, so I wouldn't mind passing on it, but if I should be including it...)

  2. Hmm. Well, I guess if you are doing 150 of them, this one is probably worth including. Basically (SPOILER!!), there is a society on the ship that is dystopian. There is literally something in the water that makes the people docile so they don't flip out about being on a spaceship for so long. And they are ruled by an authoritarian dictator. And they are somehow biologically forced to go into heat, which is kind of beside the point but pretty gross.

    There is an attempted rape which is oddly never really addressed, which is another tick I forgot to put in the con coluumn.

  3. Eesh, attempted rape is kind of a deal-breaker. The "biologically forced to go into heat" gives me some ideas for read-alikes, though, so that's useful (Bumped, which was terrible, for starters).
    Maybe I'll skim this one, if I'm coming close to deadline and haven't filled in my romance-on-a-dystopian-spaceship category.*

    *Not a real category. YET. But seeing as I already have two other books, maybe it should become so.

  4. I've been pitching as "kinda like a Sarah Dessen story, only set in space."