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Across the Universe Paperback – Nov 29 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Razorbill (Nov. 29 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595144676
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595144676
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3 x 21.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #74,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Entirely original, deeply compelling, and totally unputdownable--I've found a new favorite!" --Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth

"A murder mystery, a budding romance, and a dystopian world gracefully integrated into a sci-fi novel that blows away all expectation." --Melissa Marr, New York Times bestselling author of Wicked Lovely

"A horrifying and deliciously claustrophobic masterpiece that's part sci-fi, part dystopian, and entirely brilliant." --Kiersten White, New York Times bestselling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally

About the Author

Beth Revis lives in rural North Carolina with her husband and dog, and believes space is nowhere near the final frontier. Across the Universe is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Across the Universe starts with one of the most powerful opening chapters I've ever read. We meet Amy as she's about to be frozen, as she's faced with a decision. Will she stay in the comfort and familiarity of Earth, or will she agree to be frozen for 300 years and travel into the unknown with her parents? Her inner debate gives the reader an immediate snapshot of the character in the way perhaps nothing else could have. Of course, we know what Amy decides. She allows herself to be frozen, discovering too late that she's going to be aware the entire time. Can you imagine 300 years trapped in your own head? Ugh, it's enough to give me nightmares.

The narrator in this story alternates between Amy and Elder, the leader-in-training of the people awake aboard the ship. In the centuries since they left Earth behind, the culture of the ship has changed completely. All control rests in one man, Eldest, and his judgement might be a bit questionable. The unfolding of the horrors that were perpetrated in the name of survival in this society had me riveted to the page. Every time I thought I couldn't be more shocked and appalled, I was proved wrong. The truly chilling part of it all is that in every decision that was made, you can see a grain of sense, and almost understand why they chose to go that way. That, friends, is a good dystopia. While I felt like I figured out who the murderer was fairly early on, there was so much else to discover in this plot that I was never left wanting. And there was a big surprise at the end that I never saw coming.

Revis's writing could be used as a textbook on how to properly apply the concept of "show, don't tell." I felt like I was on board the Godspeed with Amy and Elder.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me tell you, I was not disappointed when I finished Across the Universe. Beth Revis deserves every great review her book has received. And I just read that AtU reached #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list.

In the very first chapter, I became immersed in the mystery of the starship Godspeed. From the extra year it would take Godspeed to reach its destination to the inhabitants' strange behaviors, I just wanted to know the truth (along with the main characters, Elder and Amy). It was a difficult journey for the two characters to learn the truth, some things I expected while others came as a complete surprise to me. When the two characters finally do learn the truth, they must decide what to do with their new knowledge. Some of those decisions were disclosed at the end of the book while others wait to be revealed in the next book ' which I can''t wait for.

Beth Revis' world-building ' or ship-building in this case ' was amazing. I could see the entire ship around me and when I finished the book, I didn't want to leave Godspeed. Some of the situations that occurred weren't the greatest, but I wanted to stay on and explore. I hope to do that with the next book in the series.

Across the Universe is written in first person, present tense, switching back and forth between Amy and Elder's viewpoints. Ms. Revis did an excellent job writing from these viewpoints and I never once felt lost or confused as to which character's head I was in.

All characters are described well and I knew exactly who Amy and Elder were through their thoughts, actions and words. I must admit, I love Elder. Although he is the future leader of the ship, he is extremely curious and somewhat rebellious against authority.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great premise with a great opening scene that grabbed me right off the bat. But then it drags on and on through the middle. Maybe it's a reflection of my age, but how much angst can a teenager have? This book gets very slow all through the middle, but have faith - it does pick up near the end just enough to cause me to pick up the second book in this trilogy - fingers crossed it gets better with the second book!
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Format: Paperback
I feel bad saying this, because while I found the book difficult to put down in the moment - I hated it. I hated it for a few reasons.
1. The romance is totally unnecessary, detracts from the plot, and creates major character plot holes and issues with character arc.
2. Elder is not likable, at all. In fact, I wanted to punch him in the face for the entire book even before the end.
3. The main character is somewhat of a mary-sue. She's kinda perfect, beautiful, smart and so on.
4. While some of the concepts were super cool, the logic behind the mystery made very little sense.
5. It made me feel claustrophobic the entire way through, which is a good writing tool but didn't make me enjoy the story much.
6. Considering the amount of actual plot, this book could be a lot shorter and would be a lot better if heavily edited.
I don't know, I personally feel this book had a great concept, and I liked the twists, I liked the dual narrative so you could understand certain aspects of the plot, but frankly, I just felt that Elder as a character had no personality and was terribly characterised. This book fell into the trap of 'you're the first boy I meet therefore we will fall in love' and although it negates that in some ways, the plot twist does little to even change that, which it should have.
I originally read this book when it first came out, and my opinion still hasn't changed; while I would like to know how it ends, I disliked it enough that I would never be able to put myself through the second book. I did however buy it for a friend. So perhaps other readers would enjoy it, but for needed a lot of work.
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