Across the Universe: Beth Revis

I mainly checked this book out at my library because it’s a fairly popular book that I have not read.  Let’s see how my date with it went, shall we?
My feelings for this cover are sort of like the book.  Despite the God awful poses on the models, I really do like the way the background is in this cover.  It’s gorgeous.  Sort of upset they changed the overall “theme” of these covers.

General Summary: Amy is frozen for two hundred plus years as part of a colonization process that NASA has planned.  However, somehow, she is unexpectedly unfrozen and finds herself in a society that is unlike her own.

Review:

I liked this one which is suprising because I sort of avoided it because I thought I wouldn’t like it.   Let me explain, dystopias and me we don’t get along.  You probably noticed that in my Trend Spotlights entries on them.  Plus, the MC was frozen.  And that scares me.  It reminds me of Walt Disney and the legendary  Disney vault and that’s something I don’t need to think about.  However, I am glad I ended up reading this one even though it wasn’t exactly perfect.

 

I think the biggest strength this book had was it’s world building.  Which was so great because of it’s setup.  Imagine being stuck on a space ship frozen for over two hundred years, waking up to find society transformed.  That’s what happened to Amy and it was pretty cool to see what had changed on the ship.  Okay, so a lot of it was sort of predictable.  But I thought the set up was nice and creepy.

Now, usually I don’t like creepy books.  However, this sort of creepy vaguely reminded me of Brave New World.  Of course, this is nowhere near as good or disturbing as Aldous Huxley’s book was, but enough where I actually became interested in the society Revis created and wondered about their origins.

So, what went wrong?

Well, the characters weren’t very well fleshed out.  Elder is nice enough, I suppose.  But other than giving us pertinent information about this world and learning in a cliche way that his mentor was obviously insane, he’s not really that interesting.  In fact, some of the things he did were sort of creepy like Eldest.    As for Amy, she borderlines on stupid.  I wanted to like her and I sort of did, but some of the decisions that girl made……she better watch herself or she could have Bella Swan syndrome soon.

Besides the characters, there were some pretty disturbing scenes.  While a part of me was impressed that Revis would put such scenes in a YA book another part of me just shook my head sort of disgusted at what I was reading.  Do I think she should’ve had these scenes?   Yeah, I guess I do since they added to the world building but they still disturbed me.

Finally, my biggest pet peeve was probably with the pacing.  It took me awhile to get into this book and I felt like this disjointedness continued throughout the book.  Maybe it was because of the dual narration.

Despite these faults though, I still found myself oddly enjoying this one.

Best Feature: Set Up.  After reading Mothership and Obsidian, I’ve been wanting to read more YA novels set in space or about aliens.  So I really liked the fact that this novel was in space and that it tackled the subject of colonization.  I mean, you always hear on the news all the time about how astronauts are trying to build ships to travel to Mars or whatever.  This is a great What If and I liked the implications that occurred after being stuck on a spaceship for two hundred plus years.

Worst Feature: Slow start.  Honestly, it was really hard to get into this one.  It took a lot of patience and lack of reading material on a long commute home for me to get into it.  However, once I did I really got into it.  But not in the usual way you get into books.  I felt like with this book, it was more or less the possibilities I was interested in rather than the actual story.  Okay, that sounds weird.  I guess what I mean is I kept thinking about the social implications that could happen in the world that Revis created rather than wanting to turn the page.  Although, exciting things do happen in this book it’s not like page turning worthy excitement.  Most of the climax I sort of guessed.  Still there was enough of the world building that interested me that I’m planning on checking out the sequel at my library.

Appropriateness: Ugh.  The Season (a.k.a. a legitimate time to rape and impregnate) while it does give the book a creepy element, it’s hardly appropriate.  Also, there is a fair amount of violence in this book as well.  Definitely not for younger teens and tweens.

Seriously, there are dogs that are more civilized than the humans in this book.

Blockbuster Worthy: Sure, why not.  I do like sci-fi.  And I think this might be an interesting adaption because of the weird dystopia world that was created on the ship.  So here’s who I’d cast.

Amy: Emma Stone.  Because she’s my go to Hollywood redhead for any character that has a semblance of a brain.  Though sometimes I honestly wonder about Amy.  Okay, Amy does annoy me lots.  But if anyone can make her better it’s Emma.

Elder: This is a tricky one Elder is suppose to be monoethnic, so I don’t think you’ll have a perfect looking Elder.  I sort of imagine him looking a bit like Taylor Lautner except hotter.

Overall Rating: I’m going to give this a six point five.  There were a lot, a lot of things that bothered me but I sort of found myself really liking this one.  I guess the best way to describe it would be going out on a date with a guy who totally isn’t your type but later you find out he’s a great kisser.  So much, that you can overlook the fact that he has a Dungeon and Dragons obsession.  And yeah, this book isn’t going to be for everyone.  I could see how you’d really like it or really hate it.  But for me, it was a nice surprise.  Or maybe I’ve just lowered my standards.

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2 thoughts on “Across the Universe: Beth Revis

  1. I liked it even with all its problems. I'm planning on reserving it's sequel at the library soon, so I'll see if things get better. I feel like with this one it's going to be either a love it or hate it sort of book. A lot of it depends on how you feel about sci-fi and dystopia.

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