Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Book Review: Across the Universe

TITLE: Across the Universe
Book 1 in a planned series
AUTHOR: Beth Revis
CATEGORY: Young adult
GENRE: science fiction, romance, drama
PREMISE: a girl gets frozen and then wakes up over 250 years into the future on a ship that's headed back to a ravaged Earth.
MY REVIEW: I really wanted to like this as much as everyone else did. Believe me, I am very tired of being the naysayer about popular books. It's not fun and despite what it may seem like lately is not what I've set out to be. Unfortunately I review my books honestly so I will just say that this book is...mediocre but shows promise.
There is some nice writing here, especially for a author's first book so yay author on that point. She explained things clearly and I was able to picture everything. She also did try to think outside the box and throw in some thought-provoking stuff and try to make the book interesting. Unfortunately she didn't try enough because everything in this book felt familiar.
Now I know there isn't a lot of sci-fi on spaceships in YA right now so maybe that's why people are so giddy about this and I agree I am intrigued by that and a girl stuck in the far future. However, the whole frozen and waking up in the future has been a staple of sci-fi for years so it's nothing new. Also not new is the guy falling for the girl practically overnight and for no real reason other then she's "different". Also there's a lack of character developement, or even character personality at all. No, author, throwing in random hobbies for your girl MC does not make her a character. Also, while stuff was explained, the stuff explained...didn't make a whole lot of sense. The plot also didn't make much sense and the ending was predictable. Honestly it just felt like a mish-mash of every other sci-fi stereotype out there (I even felt a few allusions to Wall-E in there).
The book isn't completely hopeless like I said. There are some good things in it and I think it's good starting point for getting YA readers more interested in sci-fi (if any of you haven't read it, I rec Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy if you want more of this). It's just that it's yet more of the same old same old and didn't really grab me like everyone else. But if you don't happen to read a lot of sci-fi this may be interesting to you. Just please know, the hype is overdone.
WHO SHOULD READ: Twilight fans, those not really into sci-fi but looking to get started
MY RATING: Three out of Five spaceships


  1. I really liked this! The beginning was terrifying for me and really pulled me into the story but the story did feel a little flat afterwards, I guess. I can see why you didn't enjoy it - after all you stated it pretty clearly in your review... XD
    I think with Sci-Fi, YA readers avoid it purely because there's very little sci-fi YA books around. Perhaps that should be changed. ^^

  2. I did actually quite like the beginning (it was part of the nice bits of writing that was in there) but like I said, after it quickly became more of the same that we've been seeing.
    I do hope that because of the popularity of this that more sci-fi pops up because honestly YA needs a lot more of it. Most of the sci-fi I've read is adult or TV and I think that's a problem. Obviously I like fantasy but it's becoming very hard for authors to do new things in it because EVERYONE is writing it nowadays. So I do hope this opens the doors at least for more sci-fi which is why I'm not totally upset at this book. I just think it could be better but I'm hoping the author turns things around in the next book and this is just one of those lackluster first books.