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Across the Universe
by Beth Revis
PUBL. RECOMMENDED AGE: 14 and up
LEXILE READING LEVEL: HL720L {what is this?}
PUBLISHER: Razorbill
YEAR PUBLISHED: 2011
NO. PAGES: 416
GENRE{S}: Science Fiction, Dystopian Fiction
MAIN CHARACTER GENDER: Mixed
SERIES: Across the Universe
SEQUEL: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)
ISBN: 1595143971
READ & REVIEWED BY: Eden - StorySnoop


The Story
Across the Universe—Book Review

Seventeen-year-old Amy has left her friends, her boyfriend and her high school life to be cryogenically frozen, along with her parents, and placed on the massive spaceship Godspeed, bound for a new earth-like planet, a journey that will take three hundred years. When they arrive, they will be part of a specialized team of scientists and engineers who will colonize the new planet. But Amy is mysteriously removed from her cryogenic chamber fifty years too soon, and literally left to thaw, an act akin to attempted murder. Now she is caught inside the self-contained world of Godspeed and its 2,500 inhabitants, who are ruled unquestioningly by the tyrannical Eldest. Elder, the teenaged apprentice of Eldest, is fascinated with Amy and all that she represents. As he struggles to find out whether he has the leadership qualities necessary to succeed Eldest, he and Amy must learn to trust each other so that they can work together to unlock the hidden secrets of Godspeed before all is lost.
The Scoop
Across the Universe—Book Review
{spoiler alert}

Across the Universe is the first book in a new dystopian trilogy that takes place entirely on a spaceship the size of a small island. It is an exciting and thought-provoking read that will appeal to fans of both the sci-fi and mystery/thriller genres. Amy is a realistic and contemporary American teen from some time in the not-so-distant future, while Elder and the inhabitants of Godspeed are the thirteenth generation of people to be born and live entirely within the walls of the ship. The world aboard the ship is one where the ruler is supreme and maintains control of his people with emotion-blunting drugs distributed via the water system. He believes that differences, including race, religion and individual thought, lead to discord, and as a result has done away with all of them. The people are mono-ethnic and religion is viewed as a quaint, old fashioned idea. The up and coming leader, Elder, questions these ideals, especially once he meets Amy, who inspires him to embrace differences, human emotions, and truth--even when it is difficult. Amy is horrified by the mating "season" that occurs on the ship, where people engage in public sex for the strict purpose of procreating, just like animals. She is also the victim of a would-be sexual assault by one character who takes advantage of this time to force himself on her. One character kills himself by ejecting out into space because of his feelings of claustrophobia (both emotional and physical) in the artificial environment aboard the ship. There are many themes presented, such as leadership, loyalty, hope, value of emotion, individuality, etc., and no clear answers are given, which many teens should find very stimulating.
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Across the Universe—Book Review

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