Feeling burned out by the typical over-dramatic YA books complete with angsty love triangles, narcissistic heroes, and insipid heroines? Do you want to read a book where you can go at least five pages without screaming at the main character’s stupidity? Do you want your books to entertain you *and* make you think?
Well, I’m CrepuscularSnidget and I’d like to welcome you to this week’s episode of Teen Books That Don’t Give You Homicidal Urges. Please give it up for our guest star, Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
The Plot: Across the Universe tells the tale of Amy, who is leaving her life on Earth behind to be cryogenically frozen aboard the Godspeed along with her parents. They will be awakened 300 years in the future when they land on Centauri-Earth, their new home. However, Amy is mysteriously unplugged 50 years ahead of schedule and almost dies. Then more people are unplugged. What follows is an exciting murder mystery as Amy and Elder, who is to be the next leader of the ship, try to figure out who is behind the unpluggings. Is it Harley, Elder's artist best friend who longs to see the stars? Or Orion, the Recorder (historian/librarian) with a mysterious scar? Could it be the man who was Elder before Elder was and is claimed to have died mysteriously? Or, as Amy and Elder suspect, is it Eldest, the ship's leader who seems to exert a sinister power over the ship's people? The novel is packed with twists and turns, and when the culprit is revealed, it is a tremendous shock.
Why This Book Is Speshul: Beth Revis can write. I don’t usually cry at books, and when I do, it’s at the end. I was crying at the first chapter. I barely knew the characters yet, but the powerful scene when Amy says goodbye to her parents when they are frozen had me sobbing. And as the book unfolded, I was feeling all the feels as Amy must reconcile herself to the fact that she may never see her parents again.
This book makes you think. It haunted my brain for weeks after I read it. Could I let myself be cryogenically frozen like Amy? What would it be like, to grow up when your parents remain unchanged and frozen? Is it morally acceptable to freeze people?
Who Should Read It: Anyone who likes science or thinks they hate science. Beth Revis is that good. If you’re craving an intricate mystery and a thought-provoking story, pick up a copy of Across the Universe.
Bonus: The titles of Across the Universe, and its sequels (yes, it’s a trilogy! Squee!), A Million Suns, and Shades of Earth, are all taken from a Beatles song.