Jul 17, 2012

Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Across the Universe by Beth Revis
Paperback, 398 pages
Published March 3rd 2011 by Razorbill
Source: purchased
My rating: 5/5

Goodreads Summary: AMY has left the life she loves for a world 300 years away.

Trapped in space and frozen in time, Amy is bound for a new planet. But fifty years before she's due to arrive, she is violently woken, the victim of an attempted murder. Now Amy's lost on board and nothing makes sense - she's never felt so alone.

Yet someone is waiting for her. He wants to protect her - and more if she'll let him.
But who can she trust amidst the secrets and lies?
A killer is out there - and Amy has nowhere to hide...

Some books you don't want to finish because they are that good, and just when you turn the last page, you want to go straight back to the beginning and re-explore it. The blurb of this book doesn't even give you a hint of how multi-layered, smart and thought-provoking it is. When I bought Across the Universe, I hoped I would at least like it. But I couldn't even imagine that I would love it so much. Beth Revis is as of now among the top five of my favorite YA authors.

Across the Universe takes you on a riveting, dangerous and mysterious ride from the word go. The story evolves and expands without loosing the edge or slowing down in pace. The dystopian aspect is exploring themes of Orwell/ Huxley (race uniformity, genetic and breeding manipulation, drug induced mind control, alternation of history, freedom of individual thought...) in a micro-society, the inhabitants of a spacecraft on a journey that takes centuries. The blend of sci-fi and dystopia works flawlessly, and I'm glad it doesn't suffer from the usual YA problems. The characters are unique and interesting young people, all of them facing great challenges and changes. The romance is never directly pursued since there are more important things to think about, but it doesn't mean that Across the Universe is lacking when it comes to emotion. Certain pages are bound to bring tears to your eyes, other will disgust you, enrage you, make you laugh, or stifle with the palpable anxiety and claustrophobia. It delivers a new surprise every couple of pages-some expected, some not, and keeps your interest from the first page through the last. 

Beth Revis has written a book that will be equally appealing to and enjoyable for both younger and older readers. It's easy to read through in one sitting due both to its easy flowing style and tension that won't let you rest until you find out what is going on. I couldn't put it down.

As you can see, there was nothing about it that I didn't like. Revis' take on dystopia is my favorite among the many that I've read in YA recently (yes, better than my previous favorites Hunger Games and I even dare say Delirium...but that's a close call).

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