“Across the Universe” by Beth Revis
Humans on a spaceship, far from anywhere, isolated and in an extremely non-normal social setting…classic sci-fi. It’s such a great platform to ask, “What if?”. And it is likewise the perfect chance to ask, “What makes us us?”
This book had great pacing and the two main characters had great voices. I wanted to know more about them and I wanted to know it now! They were full of emotions and questions – they weren’t just talking heads or walking hormones. Their unique perspectives inside the ship made them great narrators and also gave them natural reasons for conflict. The setting and the personalities provided the tensions – no need for contrived plot injections of misunderstandings or random happenings.
It wasn’t as deep or nuanced as I might have liked, and I was left wanting more detail about the society of the ship beyond the circle of characters, but it is YA. I think it was only my perspective that made me want more, not the writing.
This would be a great introduction to sci-fi. I read it to see if I could use it for our teen homeschool book club, and had to rule it out because of the sexual content – the other families wouldn’t go for it. It’s not sexually explicit, and the main characters aren’t involved (aside from an attempted rape), but it’s outside the comfort zone for these parents. Too bad, because there’s a lot to talk about in this one, a lot to disagree about and wonder about.
I was worried when I saw ‘Book #1’ on the cover that I’d be left hanging, but “Across the Universe” has a satisfying resolution. Not all happiness and unicorns/supernovas, but the kind that lets you close the covers without monologue-ing at the author, ya know?