Posted by : Deborah Takahashi Sunday, November 6, 2011


Plot Summary:
Seventeen-year-old Amy, and her parents, have been traveling on a spacecraft called Godspeed under the guise that they would be amongst the first to establish life on a new plant. The only catch is that Amy and her family would have to cryogencially frozen for three hundred years. Although Amy is hesitant leaving everything, and everyone behind, she decides being with her family is more important. The only problem with this situation is those who froze her had no idea that she was still conscience. For three hundred years, Amy is alone with her nightmares until she is unexpectedly re-animated a hundred years later.Unfortunately, her awakening wasn't planned and she almost dies if it wasn't for Elder. As Amy slowly regains consciousness, she learns there have been some disturbing changes on Godspeed where society has taken a huge step backwards rather than forwards. Moreover, Elder, who is being trained by Eldest, starts to learn that his role in society is not at all what he though and struggles to find the truth about who he is and what he, as the future leader, must do to maintain justice and order. Furthermore, those who have been frozen, like Amy, are being murdered by a ghost and both Amy and Elder must stop this from happening.enteen-year-old Amy, and her parents, have been traveling on a spacecraft called Godspeed under the guise that they would be amongst the first to establish life on a new plant. The only catch is that Amy and her family would have to cryogencially frozen for three hundred years. Although Amy is hesitant leaving everything, and everyone behind, she decides being with her family is more important. The only problem with this situation is those who froze her had no idea that she was still conscience. For three hundred years, Amy is alone with her nightmares until she is unexpectedly re-animated a hundred years later.Unfortunately, her awakening wasn't planned and she almost dies if it wasn't for Elder. As Amy slowly regains consciousness, she learns there have been some disturbing changes on Godspeed where society has taken a huge step backwards rather than forwards. Moreover, Elder, who is being trained by Eldest, starts to learn that his role in society is not at all what he though and struggles to find the truth about who he is and what he, as the future leader, must do to maintain justice and order. Furthermore, those who have been frozen, like Amy, are being murdered by a ghost and both Amy and Elder must stop this from happening.

Critical Evaluation:
This story is probably on of the most beautiful stories I have read in a while. Many important issues such as tolerance, love, and ethics are being discussed as both Amy and Eldest uncover the truth about what it means to be human. This story combines mystery, space travel, the downfall of society, and love in a powerful tale that one cannot put down. By reading from Amy and Elder, readers get a wonderful insight into who these teens are and the power of their minds and hearts. More importantly, we get a rather scary insight into a world where emotions have not only been taken away, but denied because our free will does not always lead to the right decisions, which, unfortunately, cannot be prevented. This book will definitely bring about a lively discussion, especially where all sides of the stories are presented and analyzed.

Information about the Author:
According to her website, Beth Revis was born in North Carolina who always loved to write: " Despite being a complete over-achiever and teacher’s pet in high school, she often wrote short stories instead of taking notes during classes. This habit persisted into college, except the stories became novels" (para. 5). Revis went onto to North Carolina University and earned her BA in English with a Minor in History and later got her MA in English. Like most of us English majors, she became a teacher and absolutely loved it:
Although Beth had originally begun teaching thinking it would be a nice way to pay the bills before she got a book deal, she discovered that, much to her surprise, she didn’t just like teaching, she loved it. This made it much harder for her to quit when she decided to focus more time on her writing (para. 8).
When she is not writing, she loves to travel and enjoys being with her family, husband, and dog. One of her goals, before she dies, is to make her way to Jerusalem, the Great Wall of China, and the Pyramids of Giza.

Genre:
Teen Sci Fi, Teen Romance

Reading Level/Interest:
Grades 9 & up

Books Similar to Across the Universe:
Awards & Recognition:
  • Kirkus Starred Review 12/1/2010

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Deborah Takahashi
Pasadena, CA, United States
My name is Deb and I am a Librarian who absolutely loves to read and recommend books to teen and tween readers. In this blog, you will find reviews on a variety resources ranging from books, movies, video games, and much more. Please feel free to leave any feedback, especially book recommendations!
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