Book Review: Across the Universe

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian
Big Themes: Space Travel, Cryogenics, Murder Mystery, Leadership, Individuality
*Grad School Text*

Note: This will be an abbreviated review because it should have been reviewed months ago, but I’ve been on a blogging hiatus.  The book isn’t fresh enough in my mind to do a detailed review, but I wanted to post my overall thoughts.

Summary: Along with her mother and father, Amy is cryogenically frozen for space travel to awake three hundred years later on a new planet.  Except she doesn’t awake with her parents on a new planet. She is unfrozen prematurely and almost dies.  Was someone on the spaceship trying to kill her?  And why?

What I Liked:

AMAZING First Scene:  Beth Revis sets up the reader where we have the opportunity to empathize with Amy through a memorable, tense, and excruciating scene.  The wealth of sensory details places the reader in the scene and forces them to imagine what it would be like to be cryogenically frozen.

The Blend of Genres: This book is part science fiction and part murder mystery and part dystopian with a smidgen of romance.  This was an unexpected and exciting blend.

The Science Fiction Concepts: The book felt really fresh because there hasn’t been much space travel in mainstream YA.  I liked all the future technology as well as the emotional toll that this technology took on the characters.

What I Didn’t Like:

Humans Mating: The way humans mate in this book is pretty disgusting.  I know that was the whole point, but it was still disturbing to read.

The End Reveal: No spoilers, but I wasn’t happy with who was responsible for opening Amy’s cryo chamber.  I felt like Beth Revis had been hiding information that we should have had.  And that the trick of having an unreliable narrator was not executed well.  But that’s just my opinion.


I gave this book four stars after I finished it.  I thought it was a fun and fresh take on all the dystopian we’ve been seeing lately.  I still haven’t read A Million Suns, and haven’t rushed out to buy it… which makes me wonder if I should have given the book four stars.  On a side note– The new covers for this series are hideous.

6 comments on “Book Review: Across the Universe

  1. The first scene of this book is excellent, but then there is basically no reference to the trauma Amy experienced from it. It's upsetting to me when author's write scenes specifically to affect the reader, but then don't have it affect their character. Character development: it's a thing that's needed.

  2. LHughes says:

    I completely agree with you! I think I had several issues like that with this book which is probably why I still haven't rushed out to read A Million Suns…

  3. fakesteph says:

    Hmmmmmm…. I'm intrigued. I've owned this one for a long time and really need to get to it!! Very interesting thoughts.

  4. Aylee says:

    UGH, don't get me started on the new covers!! WHY?! It makes me so sad because I seriously loved the covers as they were. I assume the cover change is to make them seem more guy friendly though.ANYWAYS. This is such a fun series! I agree, not perfect by any means, but so much fun. I do recommend the second if you can find time for it – Beth Revis somehow manages to have some sort of surprise reveal or plot twist in pretty much every chapter.

  5. LHughes says:

    I've heard the sequel A Million Suns is better… but this book was definitely interesting…

  6. LHughes says:

    My class talked about how these books would appeal to guys if the covers were different… and then a few days later they released the new covers! I agree they wanted to make them more guy-friendly… but I still think the new covers aren't as appealing. :(I have heard a lot of good things about A Million Suns, and I LOVE PLOT TWISTS, so I will definitely check out book two!

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