Thursday, 3 March 2011

Across The Universe by Beth Revis: Review as part of the Blog Tour

3rd March 2011, Razorbill 
416 pages, Paperback
Review copy 

Young Adult, Science Fiction

Dystopian society, spaceship, murder, mystery, high levels of creepiness, solitude, being different, repression of many things, abnormal society, genetic engineering, advances in medical science, human emotion, made up swearing but occasional real word swearing, adult relationships, an attempted rape scene, the aftermath of attempted rape.  

Summary from Penguin

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 . . .
Nayuleska's Thoughts

This is an oh wow book. As soon as I started reading I was captivated. I mean, I learned about Amy before she got frozen. Along with all the emotions that brought about. I could barely breath as it all happened - the book makes you think you're there, just by her, witnessing it all. And then there is Elder. Now I've finished the book, I like Elder. I liked him after Amy woke up. However, before Amy woke up, there was a lot about Elder. It was a way to get information about the ship across to the reader. But I got bored. The chapters with Elder seemed to go on and on. I just wanted Amy to wake up. The only reason I kept reading was because I knew the book was good. And it really is good. Just not the Elder bits pre-Amy. Perhaps that isn't entirely accurate. They were interesting, but they went on too long. I'm amazed I didn't skim read the paragraphs. 

Aside from that strange boredom with Elder before Amy woke up, I really like Elder. He has so much to think about because of his privileged position. He loves Amy - well, he falls in love with her. He wants her to be happy. He wants to make everything right. He questions his relation with Eldest, the current leader. The problem is, Eldest doesn't seem to like people questioning him. Especially Elder. So he punishes Elder in ways which make me doubt the sanity of Eldest. Unfortunately, compare to the nutcases who crawl out from the ship later on, Eldest is semi-sane. I never thought I'd say that about him. Although near the end her really loses it. 

The characters are lovable, because I don't like one of them. There's a lot of dislike of Amy, and the people on board the ship are told to view her in a certain way. This probably provides an excuse for attempted rape, during 'the Season' when everyone mates. It seems that people are more like animals than humans on the ship, when it comes to doing things. There is a distinct lack of personal modesty, which both Amy & I find disturbing, but it is part of the story and quite intriguing. The plot twists are huge and unexpected, and made me go wow a lot. The thought of what would happen if this was real is quite chilling. I'm glad I live on a planet, and not in space! It's a scary place to be. 

Final conclusion. 
This book is chock full of adrenaline pumping moments, I need a tissue moments, no way! moments, that I'm eager for the rest of the trilogy. 

You can check out an extract of the book here

Suggested reads:
Matched by Ally Condle - Young Adult Dystopian, similar themes explored in a society where everything is controlled, which can also be said for Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series (which I will try and re-read this year because they are awesome books),
 The Search For WondLa by Tony Diterlizzi, which really deals with being different and in a dangerous environment.
We by John Dickinson, a chilling sci-fi read. 


DaisyLee said...

Really enjoyed this too- read it in one go. Will check out Matched. Have you ever read Brave New World? It's not classed YA, it's written way back (think 1930's!) but it's good if you like dystopia fiction.The plot anyway, not sure about the characters, cause they're not that easy to like really when I think about it. Uglies though is awesome, the first two especially.

Nayuleska said...

:) I love reading books in one go. I haven't heard of Brave New World...although might skip it because characters make or break a book for me.

I'm so glad to have found another Uglies fan.

Lynsey Newton said...

SO GLAD you loved it as much as I did! :)

Nayuleska said...

:D Heehee.