Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Spiderman-Style Kissing in Space - Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Just the facts:

Overall: 3 Stars (Originally 3.5, but I think 3 stars is a better fit.)

Addiction Level: I read it every waking moment.

Believe-ability: It was believable. (It could have been more so, but I was too annoyed at the made up slang and curse words. Really, if you’re going to make words up, can you be a little more original? Frex really doesn’t cut it for me. Just use the real words or, better yet, leave it out all together!)

Dystopia Factor: The world has been turned upside down and all hope is lost! (Or the spaceship has, at least.)


   As I prepare to read A Million Suns, I thought it would be best if I re-read Across the Universe and give you a short review. That way, you’ll be caught up in no time! And I, of course, can remember more than a general ‘girl frozen on a spaceship who tries to find a murderer’ storyline. So, here it is. A mashing of my initial review and my second-time around thoughts.

   Told from alternating point-of-views, Across the Universe follows Amy, a cryogenically frozen girl, who has been mysteriously awakened before her time, and Elder, the boy who will soon control the spaceship Godspeed, upon which she is frozen. While Amy faces her new title as a recalcitrant freak, she and Elder also struggle to protect the other frozen passengers against a murderer whom no one suspects.

   I really enjoyed Across the Universe. It was an entertaining book that read like a cross between a crime-solving mystery and a true young adult dystopia. An off-balance ruler? Check. A seemingly perfect and controlled society? Check. Someone who is willing to ask the question “are you sure this society is what it appears”? Check. A little shocking during parts, Across the Universe kept me guessing at what life aboard a centuries-old spaceship would really be like.

WARNING: I’m about to step into my teacher shoes.

   There are parts of Across the Universe that I chose to overlook or didn’t really care about the first time I read the book. But, upon my second glance I find that those things are sticking with me and are really irritating or distasteful (I’m not sure how to describe my feelings toward it). Specifically, I’m talking about the use of sex and sexual innuendo that is prevalent throughout the book. All of this was present the first time I read the book and none of the words on the page have changed. So, I know that the difference in my reaction and acceptance of it is my own changing schema. (Take that as proof I earned my degree!) Now, I’m not usually sensitive to these types of things, (evidence of this is the fact that I loved Graceling) but I think that it’s worth pointing out that not all readers are ready to fill their minds with these images. I’m referencing the younger readers who are at the stage where they are trying to decipher right from wrong, acceptable behavior and unacceptable behavior, etc. Yes, I think it is relevant to the story, but reader be warned.

   Lastly, I must admit that I feel like I’m not the attentive reader that I thought I was. While re-reading Across the Universe, I could see all the clues to solve the mystery as if they were highlighted on the page. Why didn’t I see these the first time? I feel like such a dunce. Then again, I’m never very good at figuring out ‘who done it’. I’m usually always surprised at the endings to Castle. Go figure.    

   Stay tuned in the next few weeks for my review of A Million Suns!


  1. Your warnings are the very reason I've never just turned my kids loose with books without previewing them. I find sexual innuendos in pre-teen/teen books and movies so irritating . . . great review for those who are like-minded! When they're older and have discernment they can process it better.

    We're watching past episodes of Bones on Netflix right now. I usually holler out "He did it!" and I'm right 75% of the time. ;-)

  2. Thanks for your encouraging comment! I struggled a little with writing this review because I felt like I was being too picky. But Himself and I have been trying really hard to make decisions based on what is glorifying to God. And as much as sex is relevant to this book, it does not check the box for "God Glorifying".

    When Himself watches Castle with me he always says he knows who did it and we're not even ten minutes into the show!