Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Across the Universe

Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
416 Pages
High School+

Amy is boarding a spaceship, but won't remember her journey of hundreds of years.  She is cryogenically frozen, to be shipped as cargo to a new world with her parents. As she gets packed in her box, she hopes not to dream and to wake on a whole new world. Instead, she wakes 50 years too early, on a ship with a strange culture, without her parents.

Elder is in line to become the next leader on the ship when the current leader, Eldest, dies.  At only sixteen, Elder must learn everything he needs to know before Eldest leaves.  But it is hard for Elder to learn from someone who continually puts him down, plus keeps secrets from not only him, but also the rest of the ship.

Once Amy is woken from her sleep, she must adjust to her new life.  Elder must adjust to her presence, continually intoxicating for him.  Plus, someone is trying to thaw more of the sleepers.  Together, they must solve the mysteries of the ship, survive the Season for mating, and figure out what they need to do to arrive at their new planet.

This book raises a lot of issues and lots of great topics that could be analyzed.  This includes everything from what is natural, to how truth effects our lives, and organization of society.  On this spaceship, society has slid backwards, devolving into a more tribal community rather than an advanced, scientific based society like Amy left. The way that society functions and how it is controlled play big parts in this book.

One of the other issues heavily emphasized is truth and if it harms or helps people.  Elder wants to know more truth, and tell more people the truth, as opposed to protecting the general populace with lies like Eldest does.  This book is about demonstrating those differences and how they effect others.  Even the way Elder approaches Amy is influenced by truth, or the lack of it.

While Amy can be a little whiny, it's understandable in her situation.  She also makes up for it by having strong moments, and trying to get on with her life, which is completely different than what she thought it would become.  Elder is definitely smitten with instant love, but redeems himself with his own personal struggles. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book and had fun reading it.  I would definitely say high school age or older, since there are some more mature themes in this book as well.  Good plot lines, and the reader gets to see the book from both Elder's and Amy's point of view. It could appeal to both boys and girls, especially with the sci-fi theme. 

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