Sunday, August 14, 2011


Across the Universe, Beth Revis, Razorbill, 2011, 398 pp

The Sunday Family Read

Wow, did this YA novel have the buzz when it came out earlier this year. I can see why: it is science fiction with a sixteen year old heroine. Truly this is unusual.

Amy decided to join her parents in cryogenic sleep. They are on the spaceship Godspeed headed to a new planet and scheduled to arrive 300 years from when they launched. Amy gets woken up too early and when she realizes that she will be older than her beloved parents when they awaken, she is beyond dismayed. She meets Elder, raised on the ship and being groomed to take over as supreme ruler over the thousands of people who are keeping the ship going until they land. But mysteries and attempted murders of frozen passengers bring them together in an effort to save the day. Really this book has it all.

The story telling and plotting are such that I could not put the book down. There are some glaring flaws in the writing. You could say that it is a new twist on a story that has been told many times by better writers or you could say that Beth Revis's influences are transparent.

All in all, she has opened a genre to teens. Especially cool is the Amy character who exemplifies the teen view of life quite well and is way less annoying than Bella but not quite as cool as Katniss.

I checked out several YA reviewers who are also teens and Across the Universe was pretty much a hit. The blogosphere is now well populated by teenaged reviewers, something I had wished for a couple years ago.

The book is also the first in a trilogy with the second book, A Million Suns, coming out in January 2012.

(Across the Universe is available in hardcover on the shelves at Once Upon A Time Bookstore. It can also be ordered from the store for download as an e-book.)

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