5 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Title: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult, Dystopian

Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin)
Publication Date: January 2011
Hardcover: 416 pages

A Story of Love, Murder, and Madness Aboard an Enormous Spaceship Bound for the Future

Amy is a cryogenically frozen passenger aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed. She expects to wake up on a new planet, 300 years in the future. But fifty years before Godspeed’s scheduled landing, Amy’s cryo chamber is unplugged, and she is nearly killed.

Now, Amy is caught inside an enclosed world where nothing makes sense. Godspeed’s passengers have forfeited all control to Eldest, a tyrannical and frightening leader, and Elder, his rebellious and brilliant teenage heir.

Amy desperately wants to trust Elder. But should she? All she knows is that she must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets before whoever woke her tries to kill again.

Across the Universe is Titanic meets Brave New World.

Stand alone or series: Book 1 of a planned series

How did I get this book: ARC from the publisher

Why did I read this book: The cover was pretty, and I am a sucker for a good science fiction novel (although I gotta say that I have yet to read a contemporary YA scifi novel that has actually been good).


Do you ever notice that when a book blurb tries to sell you something as grandiose as “Across the Universe is Titanic meets Brave New World,” you end up almost inevitably disappointed?

Such is the case of my reading experience with Across the Universe.

This book had a whole lotta hype working its way: a pretty & kissy cover (scary questions of racial modification aside)1, it cashes in on the dystopian YA trend (which, in the words of Mugatu, is “SO hot right now”), and everyone from Kirkus to the YA blogosphere has been falling head over heels for Ms. Revis’s debut. As I’m a sucker for dystopias, YA, and science fiction, I had high hopes for Across the Universe…which unfortunately collapsed into a big melted puddle of cryo-liquid. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the story:

Amy is a teenage girl on a future iteration of Earth. The world has united, sort of, under a multi-national corporation (of greed) that is funding humanity’s excursion to a distant habitable planet, to exploit and harvest that planet’s presumably bountiful natural resources. Amy’s parents, a skilled biogeneticist and a high-ranking military officer, have both been selected and approved as vital crew for the Godspeed‘s mission. Amy, their only child, has to make an enormous decision: either join her parents in cryogenic sleep for 300 years, leaving everyone and everything that she’s ever known far behind her, or say farewell to her family and live the rest of her days on Earth without them. Although Amy’s father pushes for his daughter to stay behind, she decides to join her parents in a strange, future life on a planet she’s never heard of, and is placed in frozen storage with the other future colonists.

While Amy is frozen in an endless dream, life on the Godspeed for the non-frozen human crew, charged with maintenance of the ship and keeping things running smoothly, has changed drastically. Ever since a calamitous plague – known as The Plague [insert Sound of DOOM] – has ravaged the crew, decimating over half of the population, the organization and power hierarchy of the ship has been consolidated by a man given the name and title of “Eldest.” Every generation (which, on this ship, has been determined as a fixed 20 year span), humans on the ship will go into “season” and reproduce, but one child will always be born 16 years off-cycle – he will be known as Elder, who will be trained to become the next Eldest under the tutelage of the current Eldest. This process ensures that every generation has a new leader, and there will always be an Eldest training an Elder for his ascent to power.

After 250 or so years into the Godspeed’s mission, the current sixteen-year old Elder struggles with his role. Eldest, his mentor, is an unprecedented two generations his senior, as the last Elder…didn’t work out [Sound of DOOM!]. Eldest pushes Elder to learn the core tenets of leadership, but Elder’s curious streak often gets him into trouble. While researching his latest assignment (the mysterious third cause of social discord), Elder discovers an old schematic of the ship with a secret, hidden area that Elder has never seen before. Annotated as a Storage section, beneath the Feeder level, Elder immediately sets out to explore this hidden area only to find a girl [HINT: It’s Amy] encased in ice. With her bright red hair and palest of pale skin (a stark contrast to the dark “monoethnic” appearance of the humans aboard the ship), the girl is unlike any person Elder has ever seen before. He feels a burning curiosity to know this girl, and learn the stories of Sol-Earth she has left behind. When someone sabotages her cryochamber, Amy is luckily saved by Elder and the ship’s doctor before she’s nearly drowned in her thawed liquid – but her awakening is 50 years too early, and there is no way to put her back in stasis. Amy’s presence on the ethnically and behaviorally homogenized ship throws a wrench in Eldest’s carefully controlled and organized society, and Amy struggles to comprehend and adjust to the changes that have befallen the crew over the centuries she has slumbered. With a voice that echos his fears, curiosity and frustrations with Eldest’s rules, Elder and Amy begin to dig for the truth behind the lies. Meanwhile, someone knows Godspeed‘s and Eldest’s secrets, and the nameless saboteur continues to unplug, even murder, the ship’s precious cargo – and it is up to Elder and Amy to stop him.

In a nutshell, my biggest problems with Across the Universe was with its predictable and trite plot – which is kind of a halfhearted mashup of basic dystopian and sci fi tropes with a halfhearted Murder Mystery [IN SPACE!] and (of course!) the requisite tepid YA romance between the pretty, fragile (but feisty) girl and the handsome, (but frustrated) future-leader young man. The dual mysteries – of the whodunit with the unplugging the cryo-cargo and the true nature of Eldest’s agenda/rule – are painfully transparent, which makes the attempt at buildup and ultimate reveal all a bit anticlimactic.2 Beyond the predictability of the mystery, the actual ideas in Across the Universe are standard, reheated fare, even down to a soma-like drug (of Brave New World) to the “feeders” on the ship. To that note, the dystopian elements of the novel are depressingly dichotomous, with Good and Bad very clearly defined, without even the slightest hint of subtlety or subtextual challenge. For example, at one point in the novel, Elder reflects on his lessons from Eldest which stated that Hitler was a wise leader, how God and religion are fairy tales – which later in the book is challenged adamantly by Amy (of course). To me, the best dystopian works are the ones that aren’t preachy or have messages channeled through a loudspeaker; they’re the ones that get under your skin and ask the tough questions with no easy answers. Aldous Huxley or George Orwell, Across the Universe certainly ain’t. Furthermore, there’s a decided lack of background politics and world development, which is sort of inserted throughout the book in the manner of background characters speaking, or through Elder’s lessons. This could have been an awesome opportunity for exploration and growth, but is sadly neglected.

With the mechanics out of the way, what about the actual writing, you may ask? After all, it makes sense that Amy wouldn’t give a crap about the politics or events shaping her world – she’s a teen that is more interested in her first love and leaving everything she’s ever known behind. Without the plot, Revis’s writing style and characterizations can be examined on their own…but, unfortunately, both are similarly underwhelming. The writing style and choice – with alternating points of view with Amy and Elder’s narratives – felt forced and awkward to me, with both Amy and Elder’s voices sounding far too similar.3 Also, I really, really hated how every chapter ends with a trying-to-be-poignant short sentence.4 The style felt very much like the awkward, attempting at lyrical thing that Matched by Ally Condie had going on (not a compliment). Though the romance element of the book isn’t fully developed, of course Elder is instantly fascinated and drawn to Amy; of course Amy feels the same way towards Elder, almost immediately. I liked that the romance was on the back burner, but it would be kind of cool to read a dystopian/SF YA title that didn’t use romance as a subplot at all. But…that’s just personal preference, I suppose.

Finally, my last sizable issue with Across the Universe is maybe a bit nitpicky, but I think it warrants mention. As a so-called Science Fiction novel, Across the Universe makes a few really, really silly basic science 101 mistakes. I don’t really care or expect this book to explore the inner workings of cryogenics or genetics, and am certainly happy and willing to suspend disbelief (especially in a soft SF/YA title). That said, there are two major problems for me, as a reader with at least a rudimentary knowledge of science:

1. Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. A space ship will not slow down in outer space, as outer space is a freakin’ vacuum – that is, there is no friction or opposing force in space. The ship Godspeed is using accelerated particles/standard propulsion engine (not a hyperdrive/faster-than-light warp drive or whatever). Therefore, they only need one “burn” and the ship will continue to go at the same speed in perpetuity.

2. There’s a weird genetics assumption thing going on: that is, that different traits like “creativity” are coded in DNA, or held in a single gene that can be isolated and reproduced. Okaaaaay. I suppose this is the far future, so I’ll allow that – but hey, given the ship’s supposed engine problems, shouldn’t the DNA tinkering folks have created more…I don’t know, ENGINEERING minded babies? Just saying.

So there you have it – my immense disappointment with Across the Universe. This past year alone, I can think of two books that use the same sort of tropes and do it sooooo much better (Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear and Living Hell by Catherine Jinks). I wanted to like this book, but alas – it wasn’t in the cards.

Notable Quotes/Parts: From Chapter 1 (which is actually an awesome chapter – which makes the letdown so much more intense):

Daddy said, “Let Mom go first.”

Mom wanted me to go first. I think it was because she was afraid that after they were contained and frozen, I’d walk away, return to life rather than consign myself to that cold, clear box. But Daddy insisted.

“Amy needs to see what it’s like. You go first, let her watch. Then she can go and I’ll be with her. I’ll go last.”

“You go first,” Mom said. “I’ll go last.”

But the long and the short of it is that you have to be naked, and neither of them wanted me to see either of them naked (not like I wanted to see them in all their nude glory, gross), but given the choice, it’d be best for Mom to go first, since we had the same parts and all. She looked so skinny after she undressed. Her collarbone stood out more; her skin had that rice-paper-thin, over-moisturized consistency old people’s skin has. Her stomach—a part of her she always kept hidden under clothes—sagged in a wrinkly sort of way that made her look even more vulnerable and weak.

You can read the full excerpt online HERE.

Additional Thoughts: Want some GOOD recent science fiction that plays on the same tropes as Across the Universe (but does it much, much better)?

For a YA fix, give Living Hell a try. For a recent adult release, I highly recommend Hull Zero Three by Greg Bear.

Rating: 5 – A Universe of Meh.

Reading Next: The Floating Islands by Rachel Neumeier

  1. Check out this post if you want a good examination of the cover model and how his face was adjusted for the final product. Yes, Elder is supposed to be monoethnic – but that doesn’t change the disturbing connotation that photoshopping this model’s face carries.
  2. Note to authors: if you are writing a mystery, readers KNOW the culprit is someone (or someones) we have been introduced to. So if you’re attempting at suspense, you should probably introduce more than just three characters outside of the narrators. I’m just sayin’.
  3. For a good example of the alternating YA boy and girl narrative technique, see Patrick Ness’s truly Chaos Walking books.
  4. For example, at random four chapter endings (from the ARC): “It is only then that I realize she was afraid it was one of her parents floating dead amongst the stars.” “And in her smile I see something more beautiful than stars.” “And even though I know their eyes aren’t interested in me, the soullessness of them fills me with a dread I cannot explain.” “Because sometimes the dreams of the new world turn into nightmares.”


  • Andrea
    February 16, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Everything, _everything_ else aside:

    Every generation (which, on this ship, has been determined as a fixed 20 year span) humans on the ship will go into “season” and reproduce, but one child will always be born 16 years off-cycle – he will be known as Elder, who

    What? WHAT?

    Did they give a reason? Some possible reason for it being a good idea to breed in this way? Some twenty-year cycle of resources? Is the population too small that they need to make sure everyone’s the same age?

    I’m willing to suspend belief quite readily on occasion, or if a suffient hand-wavey reason is flapped about…but…what?

    [My next release is YA SF, and there’s plenty of hand-wavey science in there (not to mention psychic space ninjas), but, oh my, I hope I don’t produce any WHAT moments like that…]

  • Phoebe
    February 16, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Re: your science nitpicks. A friend of mine raised the same issue and had me convinced he was right. Then I saw an interview with Revis where she said that there was one large SF science fail in the book, that it was intentional, and that it’s foreshadowing for book two.

    Are these spoilers? I guess they are. But I do suspect this is the fail she was talking about.

  • Lenore
    February 16, 2011 at 4:02 am

    Thea and Phoebe – I also got the impression that the “fail” was actually an intentional lie on the part of (old) Elder. But of course, Amy and (young) Elder wouldn’t know that.

  • KB/KT Grant
    February 16, 2011 at 4:59 am

    It seems most hyped YA books now have the “predictable and trite plot”. *sigh* 🙁

    I get from your review that the author may have not done her sci-fi research to make Across the Universe a worthy read?

  • Jennifer-Girls Gone Reading
    February 16, 2011 at 5:06 am

    YES! I did not like this one, and I got some (very minor) flax about my negative review. At first I thought maybe I didn’t like this one because it is SciFi/Fantasy-not my genre. Your review makes me feel justified. Maybe I didn’t like it because it just was okay. The plot was predictable, and I thought the characters were overly simplistic.

    Thanks for making me feel less crazy (notice the less!!!), and I hope the next one treats you better.

  • Ceilidh
    February 16, 2011 at 5:21 am

    I loved the novel but I’m not a huge sci-fi book nerd so I guess that’s why it seemed fresh and exciting to me. I liked that Revis didn’t force a romance between Amy and Elder. I know romance in YA sells which is probably why they’re pushing it so much but it felt more like fascination than romance and evolved naturally that way. I also loved how claustrophobic the story was but I’m a sucker for stuff like that.

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 5:34 am

    Phoebe and Lenore – RE: the science fail being intentional, I really don’t think I buy it. That sort of excuse sounds far too convenient for my tastes (yes, I’m being a total skeptic here). In fact, if that’s the case and the weirdo magical astrophysics are explained in the next book (“An old Eldest has been lying to us – we’ve passed the planet and destined for a life on the ship FOREVER!”/”We’ve arrived…BACK AT EARTH!”/”We’ve been on the planet THE WHOLE TIME!”/”It has all been a sick psychological experiment!”) I’d be even more disappointed. Has anyone seen Pandorum? Or old episodes of the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone? Maybe I’m being a bit jaded, and I can see that if this was someone’s first exposure to YA SF it could be mind-blowingly new but…yeah.

    Andrea – There are reasons given eventually but therein lie spoilers! 🙂 That said, the whole system defintely seems more than a little cockamamie IMO, even after explanation (haha and yes, a lot of that has to do with handwavey science and glossed over explanations)

    Jennifer – I’m right there with ya! I hate it when you feel like the only one across the universe (aha! Lame pun!) that disliked a book. Thing is, I would’ve thought this book would more appeal to non-SF/dystopian readers because perhaps the tropes would’ve been less annoying. That said, I completely agree with you about the writing and characters – so I can definitely empathize with you!

  • Katie
    February 16, 2011 at 6:00 am

    Huh. I usually always agree with the Book Smugglers. While the romance definitely disappointed, the plot kept me up all night reading. The mystery, too, kept me interested although it wasn’t focused on for that long. I’m excited to read more by Revis.

  • Lenore
    February 16, 2011 at 6:03 am

    Thea – I read it so long ago, I have to admit I am a little fuzzy on the details…but didn’t everyone think that they were on the orginal timeline (as in, Amy was awoken early so she’ll be older than her parents when they actually arrive) until Elder told them they had slowed down (in which case Amy would be dead before they arrive and never see her parents again)? Or am I remembering events incorrectly?

  • Gerd D.
    February 16, 2011 at 6:55 am

    There sems to be an error with your link. 🙂

    Reading the random sample of closing lines it seems that Across is written in first person present?

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

    Ceilidh – I’m glad that it worked for you! And I can certainly agree that I was happy the book wasn’t as fixated on the YA romance, although it would be kind of cool to see a YA novel like this to completely do away with the romance angle. FWIW, I liked the way Beth Revis didn’t try to sanitize the sexual reactions in the book either.

    Katie – C’est la vie 🙂 I’m really glad that you enjoyed this one, and it seems that most people have! So you’re in great company.

    Lenore – **SPOILERS** Yes, everyone believes they are on the original timeline (supposedly, Amy has been awakened 50 years prior to the set landing date) until Eldest tells Elder that the ship’s engines aren’t working and they are actually something like 150 years off because their ship has slowed down/not traveled fast enough.

    Gerd D. – Excerpt link is fixed! It’s a PDF download, just so you know. And the writing is first person past tense.

  • raych
    February 16, 2011 at 8:35 am

    The problem with books that receive a ton of buzz around something notthebook-related (like the cover) is that I mentally encode the buzz as hype, and expect something AWESOME from the book. I am silly.

    Also, oh Hitler. Did you ever think you’d be reduced to an ‘evil’ sign to hang around people’s necks?

  • Diana Peterfreund
    February 16, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Weirdly enough, I *just* read an article about how apparently there *is* friction in a vacuum. I wonder how much resistance accidentally running into an interstellar dust storm would provide?

  • melissa @ 1lbr
    February 16, 2011 at 9:07 am

    So, let me get my geek on for a moment. Yes, in theory they could go on one initial thrust, but only if they were pointed in the precise straight direction of their destination, never had to go around any objects, or ran into any kind of gravitational pull. Which, is pretty unlikely. They would have to use propulsion to navigate, change directions, etc. Space is a vacuum, but not empty completely. Now, maybe that still doesn’t explain why they would be slowing down, but they would need their engine/propulsion system to work in order to get to their destination. Of course, since this was one of the minor squibbles, it certainly won’t change your opinion of the book. I just wanted to make use of my otherwise dust-gathering astronomy degree 🙂

  • Phoebe
    February 16, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I’d be even more disappointed. Has anyone seen Pandorum? Or old episodes of the Outer Limits or Twilight Zone? Maybe I’m being a bit jaded, and I can see that if this was someone’s first exposure to YA SF it could be mind-blowingly new but…yeah.

    Ha, I joked with my friend that the sequels could be called “Down to Earth” and “Under the Sea” 😛

  • Bahnree
    February 16, 2011 at 9:29 am

    I am so amazed to find a negative review of this book! I’m reading this book right now and am thoroughly unimpressed, but thought maybe I was just suffering from backlash or something…great review! I’ll finish this book but I’m glad someone else besides me isn’t foaming at the mouth with love for it.

  • Angie
    February 16, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Yeah. You hit all the points that bothered me right on the head. This one was actually a total DNF for me. Something rather weak and lowly masquerading as science fiction. Ugh.

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 10:50 am

    Melissa – Highfive to awesome inner-geekiness! I will embarrass myself by saying that I have a huge crush on astro-nerds and don’t know much outside of what I’ve seen on tv and read for leisure, so thank you for posting! The thing with the ship in Across the Universe is that its engines can WORK, but they only work at halfmast of their old power capabilities. Thus, the ship is late for its arrival at the planet because the thing is slowing down (hence my WTF moment). There’s no mention of trying to navigate around objects (or that pesky business of trying to STOP the ship once it reaches its location, which I have to imagine is a whole other problem) – and that’s a little frustrating, too.

    That said, the d’oh moment was just one nitpick in a book that I couldn’t connect with on any level. 🙁

    Diana – Interesting article! (Although following the comments, I’m not sure if I’m completely buying it, but what do I know?) In any case, as it came out a few days ago, I’m pretty sure the author didn’t have it in mind when writing about the ship’s propulsion systems.

    raych – Oh yes, I feel you. Subtlety. I wants it please!

    Phoebe – if Dennis Quaid was somehow written into the story, I would TOTALLY pick up the sequel. 😆

    Bahnree and Angie – I’m right there with you guys. I’m really glad that others enjoyed this book, but it’s kind of nice to also see that I’m not the only one that felt underwhelmed!

  • janicu
    February 16, 2011 at 11:43 am

    I think this book could have been much better in the science fiction front. I feel like maybe it’s a decent book for people who aren’t SF readers to ease them into it, but it doesn’t do enough beyond that. What disappointed me most was that it didn’t make me think or wonder and that’s what I expect to do when I read science fiction. So it ended up being just OK and I felt like it COULD have done so much more. I felt like the foundation was there, it just didn’t dig past the veneer of what science fiction is.

    You guys are seriously loving the footnote feature or something. It cracks me up, carry on.

  • April
    February 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

    This review is very helpful for me.

    I’ve been eying this book and trying to muster up an interest in it while worrying about the Science Fiction aspects as far as whether or not this book would be new or more of the same.

    It’s never any fun being letdown or reminded of countless other things you could be re-reading or re-watching instead. So thank you for saving me from a world of frustration!

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Janicu – Bwahaha! You noticed? Yes, I love my footnote plugin. It’s FUN. *ninja*

    On a serious note, I understand what you are saying regarding the lack of any compulsion to read MORE SF after finishing Across the Universe…which is a shame, since there are so many awesome titles available for new readers.

    April – I’m glad I could help!

  • mb
    February 16, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I am a sucker for a good science fiction novel (although I gotta say that I have yet to read a contemporary YA scifi novel that has actually been good).

    I wonder you would like Ender in Exile by Orson Scott Card. Although it’s #6 in the Ender saga, in internal chronology Ender is still a teenager, so maybe it would qualify for YA status? I know many people don’t like Card for his political & religious beliefs, and some of his books are REALLY REALLY bad, but this one I liked. I don’t think it’s considered YA, but rather SF. The first 1-2 books in the Shadow series (spinoff in Ender universe) has mostly teenage protagonists as well.

    Anyway, I can’t resist giving recommendations and this book came to mind.

  • Huh
    February 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    “The cover was pretty, and I am a sucker for a good science fiction novel (although I gotta say that I have yet to read a contemporary YA scifi novel that has actually been good).”

    This comment seems rather revealing about you. You have yet to read a contemporary YA scifi novel and yet you are a sucker for the genre? Seems an odd comment for a person who regularly reviews YA books. You only like non-YA scifi novels? You only like non-contemporary YA scifi novels? If either of these are true then I won’t read further YA scifi reviews from you since you appear to not enjoy the genre and so as someone who does it is unlikely that I will value your opinion. I’m not a fan of “Across the Universe,” but I am even less a fan of this review.


  • Huh
    February 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Sorry, typo. The second sentence of my comment should have been

    “You have yet to read a contemporary YA scifi novel that you thought was good and yet you are a sucker for the genre?”

    I assure that this typo is more than a little revealing about me!

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm

    Hi Anonymous/Huh – Let me clarify: I am a sucker for good science fiction. Most contemporary, or new, YA Sci Fi that I have read has been unfortunately underwhelming. If you read through my review, I do recommend one 2010 YA SF title (i.e. Living Hell by Catherine Jinks, which shares some of the same tropes that Across the Universe uses, but executes far more adroitly than the latter novel).

    You’re absolutely entitled to disagree with me and voice that opinion. It would have been cool, (and probably more helpful) however, if you had suggested some contemporary YA SF titles that you think are worthy as opposed to peacing out after making a weird assumption about my personal liking of a genre.

  • Anne
    February 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    For excellent contemporary young adult science fiction, try Zoe’s Tale, by John Scalzi. It’s in his Old Man’s War universe, but was written as a stand-alone science fiction book for young adults (the narrator is a teenage girl, and for a middle age man, Scalzi does an amazing job of pulling off the voice!)

    It’s been nominated for multiple awards, and seems like the kind of thing you would enjoy. You should totally review it for this blog 🙂

  • Thea
    February 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    mb – Thanks for the rec! Personal opinion of the author aside, I have loved some of Orson Scott Card’s books, and the Ender cycle is very close to my heart.

    Anne – Thank you! I’ve heard nothing but good things about Zoe’s Tale. Consider it added to the review list 🙂

  • Tiffany M.
    February 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    One science fiction ya novel I enjoyed is Academy 7. It’s a nice, surprisingly enjoyable read. Fairly quick, too. Just in case you’re looking for a sci-fi read.

  • Angelique
    February 16, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    Aw, I appreciate your honesty about your feelings in your review but I have to say I absolutely loved this book!

    Happy reading Book Smugglers…

  • J.R
    February 17, 2011 at 3:29 am

    Huh sounds like somebody spurned, if you ask me.

    …Are you actually a modern YA sci-fi writer, then? 😮 (if so, do a better job already!)

  • mb
    February 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Another vote here for Zoe’s Tale by Scalzi!

  • Adrienne
    February 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Yaaaahhh!! You just saved me from reading yet another book. Thank you! I wasn’t buying all the hype for this book which is everywhere

  • Across the Universe by Beth Revis - The Book Smugglers
    February 18, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Across the Universe by Beth Revis – The Book Smugglers…

    […]As I’m a sucker for dystopias, YA, and science fiction, I had high hopes for Across the Universe…which unfortunately collapsed into a big melted puddle of cryo-liquid. But I’m getting ahead of myself. First, the story: …[…]…

  • Redhead Heroines
    May 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Even though I really loved Across the Universe, your feelings are definitely justified! I liked the book in spite of those things. The plot was seriously so obviously, which I hated, and the relation to Brave New World was a little irritating as well.
    However, I don’t think that Amy and Elder were one-dimensional at all. They’re voices were a bit similar, but distinctly their own as well. I also thought that the romance aspect was more of an infatuation story than a love story. The novel ends on an open note in respects to their relationship. All in all, I think your view of the novel is refreshing in light of all the praise! 🙂
    – Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of “Across the Universe” by Beth Revis

  • Book Review: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi | The Book Smugglers
    January 11, 2012 at 12:03 am

    […] narrative (to be frank, I haven’t been a huge fan of recent books that employ this trend; see Across the Universe and Legend). There’s also the more significant problem that the high-tech component of the […]

  • Matthew
    January 27, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I just finished the third book in the series and popped on here to see if you’d reviewed it because then I’d feel like I had someone to commiserate with. I can see why you didn’t make it to book three! I liked Across the Universe alright, though I had many of the same problem you did with it. I can promise you that each book after amplifies these problems exponentially. I think finding out how the whole series ended was not worth the time it took to read the last book.

  • The Book Smugglers | Joint Review: When We Wake by Karen Healey
    March 5, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    […] and is also gaining popularity in the current wave of YA SF – Beth Revis’s lackluster Across the Universe comes to mind, as does the amazing and infinitely more successful A Long, Long Sleep by Anna […]

  • Monique
    July 23, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I’m really suprised that so many people disliked the book, it wasn’t the greatest sf book i read but it was still pretty good. Truthfully it is very hard to find a sf book that i dont like (yes i have tried, nothing yet) but i found this one with just the right amount of different elements needed. It kind of reminded me of Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder which i really enjoyed which might be a factor but i really didnt find anything that would make me dislike it. I never really picked up on the things you brought out. Maybe i wasnt paying enough attention…. Or maybe im too easily pleased.

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