Book Talk: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Publisher: Penguin/Razorbill
Date: January 2011
Series or Standalone: First in series
ISBN: 978-1595143976
Format: Hardcover,  416 pages
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awake on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into a brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship—tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

First line: Daddy said, “Let mom go first.”

From the opening pages of Across the Universe, you can tell this book is going to be magic. I read this book in one sitting and closed it in begrudgingly, not wanting it to be over. Beth Revis did an amazing job telling this story. She weaved in so many small details and each one of them built on the other to create this world of metal and lies, tucked away in the abyss of space. It’s a thriller, dystopia, sci-fi, romantic adventure all in one.

Godspeed that has been travelling though space for 300 years. The people aboard are waiting for the new society that lies ahead. These are the people who will populate the uncharted territory—them and the secret stash of frozen bodies that

lie under the main levels of the ship. The frozen are the best and brightest that Earth had to offer and volunteered to go to the new world and help create the best life possible.

Amy is one of the frozen. She volunteered to go because her parents were going, but really, she had nothing to offer a new world—she just didn’t want to be alone. Amy is awoken 50 years before Godspeed is scheduled to land on the new planet and her awaken throws her life—as well order on the space ship—into chaos. Amy is a freak in a very controlled environment, a place where everyone looks and acts the same—and no one is supposed to talk to her.  Half of this incredible story is told in her perspective.

The other half is told from Elder’s perspective. Elder is also a teenager—a very important one. He’s the next in line to lead the ship and is under instructions from the current leader, Eldest. Eldest is constantly frustrated with his successor because of their differences, which makes Elder a target of Eldest’s anger and frustration and Eldest doesn’t teach Elder as he should. Once Amy is thawed, Eldest questions how can Elder be a good leader if he is blinded by the trouble Amy will cause.

Elder ignores the warnings about the girl with red hair. Elder quickly falls for Amy, and as more of the frozen start to die it causes him to see that things on Godspeed aren’t quite what they seem. Maybe Eldest isn’t what he seems. When Elder finds himself at the center of a mystery that’s bigger than both he and Amy, he knows she’s the only person he can trust. But can Amy allow herself to trust Elder? The answers to everything lie within each other.

It’s such a marvelous story. The story jumps between Elder and Amy, which adds more to the book than if it had just stayed in one perspective.  It has so many twists and turns it’s like a rollercoaster. All the characters in the story are well developed and important. Every person has a role to play. You will laugh, cry and be sitting on the edge on the edge of your seat.

Beth Revis weaves this story together and leaves no holes. She uses all the fears, the hopes, the questions of life in the future. She makes a world so vivid and haunting, you want to jump in the pages. I know I did. I loved this story. It’s mysterious and romantic and sad and just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you find out you don’t. The characters are solid and their voices so vivid. I love the imagery that Revis uses—it’s obvious that Godspeed has lived in her head for a long time. It’s incomparable to any book that currently exists in YA.

I can’t wait for the sequel!

Also, you can enter an ARC giveaway here!


  1. So excited for this one! I pre-ordered a copy for my Nook and can't wait until I can finally download it. Thanks for this review!

  2. This book sounds really interesting! Thanks for the review.

  3. I can't wait to read this one--lucky you for having read it already but thanks for the review :)

  4. I'm looking forward to reading this one. I've heard a lot of good things so far.

    Thanks for the review.

  5. I'm looking forward to this one too! :)

  6. Beautiful review - loved reading your reaction to it!

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  7. You have no idea how long I've been trying to get my hands on this one! *fingers crossed*

  8. I agree with you. I'm only about half way in, but its unlike any other book in YA.

    By the way, I'm your newest follower (#190)!
    Please stop by :)
    Hafsah @ IceyBooks

  9. Great review! Thanks for the giveaway!


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