Customer Reviews for

Across the Universe (Across the Universe Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

26 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Incredible Debut YA Sci-Fi Novel -- A Must Read!

WOW! I think this word over and over again throughout the reading of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. A Young Adult novel, it is literally a murder mystery in space, in a universe that stretches on and on, infinite and vast. And how incredibly lonely it is when stuck...
WOW! I think this word over and over again throughout the reading of Across the Universe, by Beth Revis. A Young Adult novel, it is literally a murder mystery in space, in a universe that stretches on and on, infinite and vast. And how incredibly lonely it is when stuck on a ship traveling in it. Amy is sixteen and lives with her parents on Earth. Her parents are gifted and essential to a world that other gifted members of society are selected to make a journey to. These people will be cryogenically frozen to journey 300 years to this new world to help begin life on that planet. But, Amy is not essential to this new planet. She's a kid, but is permitted to go because of her parents, and is frozen into the 300 year sleep along with her parents on the ship called Godspeed. Fifty years before the intended arrival to this new world, Amy awakes when she is unplugged and separated from her cryo-haven, surviving an attempted murder -- and no one knows who did it. Forced with the reality that she is now living in a small city that exists on the metal ship, where everyone awakens to a fake sun and drinks recycled water, Amy bonds with Elder, also sixteen. This new life is all that she will now have and she is also awake before her parents. She's now alone. Elder is next in line to lead the ship after the current aging leader, known as Eldest, passes on. But, now amidst the safety of a world which doesn't know questions and chaos, someone is starting to kill again, and they're targeting the frozen people hidden in a ship that only a few select people know about. The release date for this book is January 2011, and color me giddy with excitement for how this book will be received by everyone. It has all of the elements that all murder mysteries need, which completely satiated my desire for a good "whodunit," all amidst the realities of space and the cage of Godspeed. I could not put the book down, and my eyes were growing heavy with sleep late into the night as I kept telling myself "just one more page." Each chapter switches between Amy's and Elder's perspective, allowing you to experience each of their own stories. Normally, I tend to like one character more than another when chapters switch like that and want to hurry to get to the next chapter, but not with this one. As each chapter switched characters, I was excited, ready to find out more and uncover the mystery that each of them were facing. I cannot tell you more about the plot without giving anything away - I can only tell you that I loved this book, this story with characters so real and interesting and engaging. I was drawn into their angst, their confusions, and the mystery that they were trying to solve. There is even more to this story, discussions of class systems, prejudice, and other social issues that were fascinating. I admit that I sit on the edge of my seat wishing for 2011 to pass quickly so that I can get my hands all over Book Two -- oh, yes, this is a series! Yes, yes, yes!

posted by NatalieTahoe on October 3, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

needs a sequel story line felt unfinished

There was almost two main plots, you have the plot of the overall space mission and then you have the subplot of the murders. While one reached a conclusion the other did not. I definitely felt like the ending was abrupt and when i got to the last page I couldn't believ...
There was almost two main plots, you have the plot of the overall space mission and then you have the subplot of the murders. While one reached a conclusion the other did not. I definitely felt like the ending was abrupt and when i got to the last page I couldn't believe that was it. It was very original and hit on some lessons about racism and individual thought. Although there were some sex scenes that seemed odd and forced. Overall I don't think it would make it to my reread list.

posted by mastaspammip on February 6, 2011

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  • Posted February 9, 2011

    meh

    Nothing really new here. Others have done it better both with dystopia and sci fi. Characters were a bit flat. The story could've been great....

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2014

    Much Ado about Not Very Much

    This clearly Hunger-Game-inspired (1st person present writing, lots of death) trilogy tries to make up in sturm und drang what it lacks in heart and depth. The first chapter is shocking, arresting. But for the rest of the series, the body count rises, casually, while the teen heroine and hero solve clues which just seem both unnecessarily complicated plotting and awfully easily knocked over. And I couldn't help notice that their tech allows them to do exactly what they want, and not do exactly what they don't. It's not consistent or thought out. Once the whole picture becomes clear the story's not very believable, and supposing this is a long time into the future, repeated references to things like parties with red cups are just jarring--lazy writing. I bought the books by their covers, and returned them.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    .

    .

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    First off, I would like to say that I love the cover.  This was

    First off, I would like to say that I love the cover.  This was one of the books from the bookstore that I had to stop and read the blurb just because of the cover.  This book is also a good example of the cliche, "do not judge a book by it's cover."

    That being said, I enjoyed the story.  I thought it read like it was written for a younger YA audience, but what the heck, it was OK.  It is a unique take of the genre Utopia/Dystopia.  I hessitate to call it dystopia since the setting does not happen on Earth and the themes tend to lean toward Utopian.

    Pros
    1.I thought the story unique in that I haven't read anything like it before.  True, this is not the usual fair that I typically read but I liked that it gave me a different perspective.
    2.The murder mystery was pretty interesting.
    3.The weird, mindless citizens of the ship Godspeed was one of the reasons why I wanted to finish the whole book just to see if my suspicions were correct.
    4.I liked the twist in the end where Eldest is in fact a clone of the very first Eldest.  This cylce has been going on where the Eldest has been cloning himself and raising him as Elder until he becomes the Eldest.  Confusing, no?  Or just plain gross.  Take your pick.

    Cons
    1.The plot was very predictable.  I practically knew who the villain when I read the first few pages and halfway through the book, I already knew who was unplugging the frozens (or had my suspicions, which was right when I reached the end).
    2.I expected reading a love story in this book and I was disappointed.  Unlike what the blurb alluded to, this is NOT a love story.  True, where was a hint of an attraction between Amy (the girl who woke up from cryogenic sleep) and Elder (the guy who saved her) it was not a main plot to the story.  There was also a mild hint of a love triangle between Amy, Elder, and Elder's best friend Harley but it wasn't even that monumental for it to be called that.
    3.I also found it hard to believe that there wasn't a new society that arose from the citizens of Godspeed.  True, they were drugged by Eldest but I would have thought the people that were called "mentally ill" would be overthrowing the rudimentary government that Eldest had.  There would have been a lot of opportunities here.
    4.This reminded me of Batman Begins when Ra's al Ghul was poisoning the water in Gotham.  This is precisely what Eldest did to control the citizens - poison their water supply.

    I am not sure if I would be reading the sequels of Across the Universe.  I might have to wait for the ebooks to be available at the public library before I would read it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2012

    I personally thought it was a very slow book. The first three or

    I personally thought it was a very slow book. The first three or four chapters were good, but then it just got boring. And oh so slow! I didn't even finish the book, I couldn't. But then my mom started reading it and she's in her mid forties, she loved it! She couldn't believe I didn't like it. So I guess this book just isn't for some people, especially me.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2012

    Masterful and realistic!

    What a deliciously made sci-fi/fantasy, with a dash of dystopian and a pinch of murder mystery!! I loved this one from start to finish. The intro was heart-wrenching for me, because I can't imagine ever having to leave my parents. Or having to watch them go through with the horrible experience of the freezing. Or waking up without them. I really felt for Amy on that part.

    The world inside the Godspeed was so real and convincing, I was totally captivated. The technology on the ship is way beyond us and I thought it was awesome! The ideas of the floppies, the wi-coms, and especially the hole in the wall where you can just push a button and automatically get food, were all awesome.

    To see the rest of this review, visit geobobspinelli[dot]blogspot[dot]com

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Is wonderine if its worth the money , help...

    Can u tell me if its worth the money cause theres good and bad reviews so tell me if its worth the monet cause i only have so much to spend on book and it seems good but idk
    Respond to cathy plz

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  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    its a good read

    I'm not gonna lie this book was quite a page turner. But the ending though not your average ending, was quite horrible. Idk personally there were so many loose ends and the main character... Didn't act like a girl in her situation would. So I would recommend this story but I'm not gonna give it anything above a 3 star because it was a good story... It had it's boring moments though. And the ending was... :/

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    Really bad.

    This book was flexing bad. All it was about was sex

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Very disappointing

    If you haven't figured out that I'm a pretty big sci-fi and horror fan by now, then you're probably new around here. To put the obsession in perspective, Alien is my favorite movie of all time (followed closely by Blade Runner, WALL-E, everything Alfred Hitchcock has ever done, and Almost Famous, which has nothing to do with sci-fi or horror but is awesome anyway). Octavia Butler and Margaret Atwood are my favorite writers. And whenever I'm not blogging, you can probably find me writing sci-fi and horror. Heck, I've even been added to the ISFDb (sort of like IMDb but for science fiction) for a poem I wrote back in 2009, which makes my freaking day every time I think about it. So when I found out that one of the most anticipated novels of 2011 was a story about a bunch of people in the middle of space starting to be picked off one by one, I first sat down for my zillionth viewing of Alien, and then had a serious squee moment. It was actually what motivated me to join the Debut Author Challenge in the first place.

    So I'm sure you'll understand if this review sounds a little bitter, because I was seriously disappointed.

    I could have forgiven writing that wasn't quite up to par - it's a debut novel, after all. But what got my goat was the failure to deliver on that premise that sold me the book in in the first place. Instead of a science fiction novel with romance, which is what I was expecting, we got a romance novel with pseudo-science. I have nothing against romance novels or those who read them - done well, they're just as difficult to write as any other genre. The problem was, and I feel like a jerk writing this, I didn't even feel the romance part was done well. Take the idea of the Season, for example; a hormonally induced free-for-all in which everybody has sex with everybody as much as possible, out in the open, and there's lots of "digging hips" and "glazed eyes" and other cringe-worthy descriptions. In hard sci-fi done well, it'd be a commentary on teen hormones or something. Here it's unbelievably awkward. And if Elder had been more fleshed out, I would have totally gotten him staring at Amy's boobs and fantasizing about his own little Season and blah blah blah - it's what teenagers do, right? But because he seemed more like a plot device than a character, I just wasn't buying it. And the constant discussion of her pale skin and red hair made me feel like this was some sort of white supremacy thing, which I know the author didn't intend and again feel like a jerk writing, but still. (Maze Runner was way guilty of the "alabaster skin" thing, too.) So, for me at least, the swoon was pretty much dead.

    This book did start to look up towards the end, with better writing and Amy finally getting over herself a tiny bit, and I also appreciated Revis's decision to not end on a cliffhanger. (Because only Suzanne Collins is allowed to torture me.) Harley tugged on my heartstrings, too, and I liked the idea of institutionalizing artists. Still, it's not enough to convince me to spend any more time with this series. The science here was a convenient backdrop rather than center stage, and that left me feeling cheated. And cheated is not something I take kindly to. I really hate writing negative reviews, especially for debuts, but I'm going to be honest here and say...two and a half out of five stars.

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  • Posted March 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Disappointing ending!

    The entire book was interesting and captivating. But the ending left me extremely disappointed. There were way too many loose ends. Would think their might be a sequel but not quite sure if I would read it.

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  • Posted March 19, 2011

    Suitable for Teens?

    I read many teen books because I teach 8th grade. I know the students I deal with read books such as these. The plot was interesting, but I thought it was disturbing that they used swear words, espcially the f-word in a new way. You know what they are saying, but subtly. It added nothing to the plot and I don't feel that this was appropriate for middle school students who will read this book. It also dealt with sex in a different way and an almost rape sequence---too much information for 13-14 year olds.

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  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Ok but not great

    I really wanted to love this book but it left me a little disappointed. I was able to figure out the twists/ reveal before the final showdown and the ending was very blah after such a long build up. I wish that this book was better written and that the conclusion was more in depth. Overall it was an ok read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2011

    Nothing Special

    Had to fight to stay interested in this story, nothing all that amazing. Felt bland and empty, too many things went unexplained and some of the parts about how the society became interbred/incestuous within just under 600 years with thousands of people on board didn't make much sense, genetically or mathematically. Other science facts were more amusing than interesting like I'm sure the author meant them to be. A valiant effort at a story with no much substance and a lot more whining.

    Didn't enjoy this book, but finished it just to know how the story ended, and it didn't end in a good way. I hated how it finished in fact. It didn't leave you feeling satisfied at all, more unfulfilled.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 29, 2011

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    Posted March 24, 2011

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    Posted March 15, 2011

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    Posted January 21, 2012

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    Posted September 17, 2011

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    Posted March 10, 2011

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