Book Review: Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Series: Across the Universe, #1
Publication Date: January 11th 2011 by Razorbill
Rating: StarStarStar

Summary: 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 awaken 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 the 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.

This was supposed to be my most anticipated book of 2011. I could not wait to read this one so I actually contacted the publisher for a review copy. It was the first time I had ever done that and my effort paid off. I got a chance to review this book in advance.

I’d like to say that I’ve read a handful of reviews praising ACROSS THE UNIVERSE. It sounded exactly my kind of book so I could not wait to get my hands on it. However, when I started reading, I just found that the book did not live up to my expectations and fell very far from it. Unfortunately, as much as I would love to, I just cannot write a fantastic review raving about ACROSS THE UNIVERSE.

To sum up what ACROSS THE UNIVERSE is really like, it is 400 pages of pure development. Nothing really happens. There is a lot of talk about “secrets” aboard Godspeed, but you don’t really get to that until page 300. Which made me think: did the book really have to be that long? Was everything positively necessary to the plot?

I do have to give the author Beth Revis some credit. There were some secrets that were positively shocking. I never would have seen them coming. One of the most eye-opening scenes was the beginning of the Season. It was actually immensely disturbing that I had to stop reading and tell my friend about it.

However, the most essential secret to the plot was quite painfully obvious – which killed me. I love suspense. I love it when an author keeps me guessing to the end, which is why I was almost livid when I found out that I figured out the big shocker one hundred (or less) pages into the book. I would love to point out that that is not supposed to happen.

And now for the romance… One of the selling points of the book was the romance. Science fiction and romance? It was too good to be true! I honestly did not feel any chemistry between Elder and Amy. It was so disappointing. Elder failed to attract me one bit because there was no air of mystery around him. I was presented with everything about him and there was no guessing about his feelings.

I couldn’t get myself to like Amy either. I couldn’t relate. I guess it’s the fact that when I moved out of my house for college, I transitioned quickly. Amy came across as extremely dependent and needy. I felt like every time she pulled herself together, she would just collapse once more from the fact that she was without her parents. I love a solid, independent female lead and Amy is nothing close to that mold.

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE has a fantastic premise. I absolutely loved reading about how views of Earth history has been altered and the similarities between Eldest and Hitler. It made me think. However, the premise does not make up for the actual execution of the book. I figured out the ending when the book just got started, and the ending was too drawn out to the point of being corny.

Would I still recommend others to read this book? Yes, but don’t set your expectations too high.

A huge thank you to Razorbill and Penguin for letting me review this book!

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  1. Aw, bummer. This is one of my most anticipated reads, as well. It worries me that you figured out the big mystery so quickly. I totally agree with you: I love suspense and mystery when reading when they’re done well. If a book is too predictable, it makes it considerably less enjoyable.

  2. Aww, that sucks. I hate when I get such high expectations just to have it fall through, as it did with you. :(

    I already have this book and was planning to read it soon. I hope I won’t be too disappointed.

  3. Eeek, that’s too bad. I’ve been eagerly looking forward to this one, so at least I know now to lower my expectations. It’s really the worst when a book ends up disappointing you.:/

    Thanks for the honest review!

  4. Aw, this was one of my most anticipated books too. I’m thinking of maybe just checking it out from the library instead of buying it myself.

    Great honest review, though! All I’ve read were good ones so far, so this definitely helps me maybe lower my expectations a little more. Definitely don’t want to end up disappointed.

  5. Somehow I dreaded the hype that would surround this book. Too many gorgeous covers and great premises squandered by the fact that the storyline has to be dragged out through more than one book. So many great ideas, but the execution never lives up to my expectations ;__;

    Lately a lot of debuts and new books make the first installment nothing but a reaaaally long intro. 400 pages of development, ugh.

  6. hmmm… great review. Thanks for being so clear on your thoughts about this book. It almost makes me want to read it even more, to compare opinions. Hopefully I’ll get it in from the library soon after it’s released…I’m one of the first holds.
    Again, great review! :)

  7. :( Oh no. I was really looking forward to reading this. I’m disappointed. I had really high hopes.
    I still plan on reading it but I’m a little bummed. I was hoping for a spectacular review from you to get me even more excited about it. Oh well.

  8. Oh no. A character you didn’t like, a romance you didn’t feel, not much action, and an ending you can see coming early on…that hits all the marks of what I don’t like in a book! Too bad!

    Good for you for contacting the publisher though! I’m still too afraid to do that, but hearing you say you did gives me a little bit of confidence.

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