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A Reader of Fictions: Across the Universe - Fiona Apple

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Across the Universe - Fiona Apple

Across the Universe
Across the Universe, Book 1

Author: Beth Revis
Pages: 416
Publisher: Razorbill

Brief Summary
The novel opens with Amy watching her parents getting frozen to be sent on a space journey three hundred years along; they are both scientific mucky-mucks and have gotten approval for Amy to come too. Her dad has just told her she can choose to stay on Earth in the life she has always known though, so what should she do? She'll miss her boyfriend and being frozen is clearly painful. Still, she loves her parents and takes the plunge. Of course, she didn't account on being unfrozen only partway through the journey, which means she will die of old age before her parents awaken. And the ship is now ruled by a crazy Hitler-esque dictator named Eldest, so can she really trust Elder even if he is her age and a bit sweet on her?

I ended up reading Across the Universe in two phases. I initially got the book from the library, as I was one of the first holds. Unfortunately, that meant my time with it was limited and I did not have time to finish it, since my library pile had gotten rather out of control. So I got about halfway through and had to return it and wait until I could re-procure the book to finish it. The point of all of this is that my opinion of the book had changed a bit when I came back to it.

The first half of the book did not really succeed in engaging me. I had heard so much hype and was so looking forward to it, and it did not live up to that. (Isn't that always the way with me?) Upon return, as I skimmed through the book to make sure I remembered everything and tried to locate my stopping point (because genius that I am I forgot to make note of that location), I found myself thinking how cool it was. Reading through the rest of the story was then a breeze.

The story still was not quite perfect (like many other teen dystopias, there's a section pretty much straight from The Giver), but I am super hopeful about the second book in the series. I really liked how shades of gray it was (not in the Jasper Fforde sense). Elder is the perfect example. He's a good a guy and I related more to him than to Amy (how much can I really relate to someone who runs for fun?), but he definitely has a dark side (and not in the oh no, I'm a vampire who might hurt you sense).

Dystopia fans should definitely not miss this one, as it is one of the awesome ones that is really a dystopia on several different levels (although more than the dictator would be spoilers). As a final enticement, here's a quote that encapsulates the book: "This ship is built on secrets; it runs on secrets."

"Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup,
They slither while they pass they slip away across the universe"

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Anonymous Leslie said...

I just finished reading this and am so glad you reviewed it! I thought the ending was a little too quick and no loose ends or reactions were recorded, but I guess since there's going to be a second book, they'll discuss more in-depth then.

I'm also pretty sure Amy would have had a bit more mental problems after being frozen half asleep for so so long. I would have been bat-s**t crazy after all that time.

October 29, 2011 at 3:42 PM  

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