I ve heard it mentioned before that DNF Did Not Finish reviews were useless and self indulgent Why would someone want to read a review by someone who didn t even finish the book My answer to that There s always going to be a small fraction of reviewers who don t connect with a book and can t finish it, but to dismiss all DNF reviews, I think, is problematic Especially for an author.Because it s not necessarily the reader s fault for not being able to connect to the book Often there are rookie mistakes made in writing, plot or characterization that inhibits readers from investing in the story Being able to hook a reader within the first couple of pages is an essential skill of any artisan storyteller and if you re having a lot of DNF reviews or simply bad reviews then they probably contain a goldmine in advice to help improve your range of skills.I credit Revis with imagination and thoughtful plot The language changes and mono ethnic parts of this book showed the kind of forethought and deep, intensive investigation I generally like in an author.My issues were that the writing is very vague and sloppy One of the first events in the book, Elder attempting to save the ship, is vague in the writing which makes it difficult for readers to visualize the scene or get a handle on what s happening.The characterization is equally nonplussed, taking quite a while to really root down There is little incentive to connect with the characters or anything that makes them feel particularly vivid or well constructed It s basically one cardboard cutout after another, filled with overused archtypes.By page seventy five I knew who the antagonist is, which is bad storytelling I even flipped to the end to double check and was able to easily verify that I was right because I had trouble believing that Revis had made it so obvious Do not hang giant, obtrusive warning signs over your secret antagonist Please.Overall I couldn t bring myself to invest in the story and characters This review may be useless or self indulgent to some but I think reviewing even the first 125 pages of a book to give feedback is a higher compliment than if I d ignored it entirely.Also, and this is the important part, bite me. I had much trouble forming my thoughts about this book to write a review Across the Universe is a hard book to describe Yes, it has that lovely cover that beckons everyone to read it Yes, it has an interesting premise Yes, it has all these elements to make it a brilliant read, something fresh and exciting But, for me, it just didn t give me everything I had wanted.Dystopias and I have a love hate relationship I love The Hunger Games and Unwind but others books, like Matched and Wither, are iffy to me than anything If I were to compare Across the Universe to certain dystopian novels, I would say it could have been the child of The Host and Inside Out with a bit of Star Trek thrown in for good measure I m definitely a Star Wars fan rather than a Star Trek fan, though, so you can imagine why this book and I clashed a bit Almost the entire story takes place on the ship christened Godspeed as it travels to a new planet, labeled as Centauri Earth, which humans hope to colonize The estimated time of travel is 250 years, and sixteen year old Amy is one of the few to be frozen alive and loaded as cargo, set to be reawakened when the ship makes landing.Due to outside forces, however, Amy is reawakened early.and she finds herself on the ship, a country unto itself ruled by a man named Eldest who has a successor named Elder The story flip flops perspectives between Amy and Elder so that you get the whole story.and it s not a bad story to read It is, however, a game of truth and lies, deception and trust, conspiracies and secrets You never know what s true or not in the story, and I found that to be a bit of a flaw I dislike books where you never know who to trust It takes away something from the story if I have to question everyone s credibility.As characters, Amy and Elder sometimes seemed like pawns going through the motions than anything else Amy was a much vibrant character than Elder, who went back and forth too much for my tastes I didn t like how he always went back to Well, Eldest said when all the while I was thinking, You can t trust a damn thing Eldest says The only other character I liked was Harley, the is he crazy or is he not artist, whom I actually believed was a better match for Amy than Elder But, of course, that pipe dream is dead.so that cued grumbling on my part I will give Revis kudos for this she made the science believable to me In a year where there are so many dystopias to read, she actually grounded her book in some realism as far as science and its power go But she leaves this question too should we let science rule us, or should we use science sparingly and see what we can do for ourselves It s a question we all will one day have to face for ourselves Across the Universe, for all its lofty ambitions, just didn t wow me as I had expected Instead, I was left with a read where I liked some parts and disliked others All in all, it was an underwhelming read to me Will I read the sequel that s likely forthcoming That, my friends, is still left up in the air. I didn t enjoy Across the Universe as much as I thought I would Like most YA, after the first 100 pages, you know you re reading a novel written for teens That isn t a bad thing, but readers looking for a deep, complex novel, aren t going to find it here.ETA YA is not synonymous with shallow Some writers think it is, but it isn t They think that because they re writing for teens, they get a pass to write a book filled with plot holes I don t think that s the case with Beth Revis, but I just wanted to clear up my statement.Across the Universe doesn t know what it wants to be On one hand, it s a typical YA romance that revolves around infatuation at first sight On the other hand, it s got an interesting premise, even though it isn t very plausible when compared to other Science Fiction novels that tackle Generation Ships It isn t necessarily a bad book Not at all I d call it Science Fiction 101 for those who haven t read Ender s Game But it isn t a good book Not by any means I was really disappointed with the last 150 pages Instead of a mature ending, we re treated to a classic Agatha Christie, everyone is the suspect mystery We have adequate build up and suspense in fact, we have very good build up and suspense and our pay off is equally decent But, I could see the villain from a mile away Across the Universe is predictable, but highly suspenseful, kind of like a bad whodunit As much as I liked Across the Universe, I have a few major problems with it.1 The RomanceI have no idea why Elder liked Amy Oh, I know he thought she was attractive Why, I have no idea Because she s different No Studies have been done to show that the introduction of a variable into a constant society doesn t produce these effects For the record, Pocahontas didn t fall in love with John Smith That was a lie Disney lied to you If you didn t know that, I wonder about your intelligence Logically, Elder should have been somewhat freaked out by the appearance of Amy Not disgusted, just freaked out Instead, he accepts her and falls in love with her for no reason except for the fact that she is different Apparently, the rest of the women on the ship the ones that looked like him were all beneath him I won t go into detail about how wrong I think that is As for Amy, I can understand why she likes Elder It makes sense He s the only person who s nice to her, he s attractive, and she s lonely They don t sizzle on the page They have no chemistry Honestly, I wish the romance had been left out of this book It s been hyped up so much, and it s such a failure.2 AmyAmy is annoying At times, she reminded me of Bella Swan There is a murderer aboard the ship and Eldest wants to kill you What do you do A Logically pull yourself together and try to keep a clear head You love both of your parents, but you remember that they re essential to the survival of the colony You re worried, but you want to explore the ship and make discoveries After all, you re in space No one forced you to come.B Panic Worry about your Daddy and constantly think about pulling him out of cryosleep, but don t think one whit about your mom Think constantly about running your singular hobby and your old boyfriend Jason, who you can t live without You also constantly talk back to Eldest, who could toss you out of the ship at any time Which of these sounds logical Well, if you re a female YA protagonist, you picked B Amy angst about being in cryosleep for the first 90 pages of Across the Universe Then she continues to angst and whine about her Daddy, Jason, and how unfair her life is Yes, she is seventeen and she still calls her dad, daddy I see a problem with this But she doesn t spend than five seconds thinking about her mom Amy made Across the Universe really annoying This could have been a four star book without her But her constant whining annoyed me I understand that she s in a difficult situation, but she s in space Thousands would die to be in her position It reminds me of those stupid girls that complain about going to foreign countries for the summer You re going to France you idiot, why are you whining 3 Did I Mention the Romance Elder is a decent character Kind of dumb, but decent He s a regular teenage boy when he isn t lusting over Amy He reminded me of Jacob Black And yes, I m a Blackwater fan I hate Twilight, but I can t for the life of me relinquish my liking of Blackwater and Jacob Rosalie Knowing this, you should understand why I immediately started shipping Victrie and Elder together Sparks weren t flying off the page, but they had way chemistry than Amy and Elder Unfortunately, Victrie is only mentioned in a couple of chapters She s still my favorite character, which leads me to my next point.4 HarleyHarley, oh Harley How interesting you are You re probably my second favorite character view spoiler How I hate that Revis killed you off You were a much better match for Amy than Elder hide spoiler There were a lot of problems with this book Some were parts that just fell flat when they should have created some intrigue, and some were full on fail I think I can divide my issues with the book into four categories Flat Characters, Obvious Plot Twists, Science Fail, and Bad Storytelling I ll keep the spoilers behind cuts, and try to give a fair account and some suggestions for improvement Let s start withFlat Characters Amy is a girl She s got red hair She likes running She loves her parents That s all I know about her Really Didn t I just read a 400 page book about her So why do I feel like I just went speed dating, and talked to Single 24 for 30 seconds before a bell rang Her OMGWTF Where am I response to waking early after having been cryogenically frozen for transport on a spaceship seemed generic It was initially realistic, but fell flat when no nuances or reactions that showed of her character were present If I were Ms Revis editor, I would suggest that she gives Amy of a backround identity Was she a rebel in school Did she clash with teachers or classmates about what was right A few good flashbacks to this would provide her with much of jumping off place to rebel against the fascist regime of the ship, which currently doesn t seem like a moral stance but rather a Things at home weren t like this Eldest doesn t like me whine fest, especially in light of the fact that she followed her parents on this voyage rather than being independent and staying Also, she s 17, and still calls her dad Daddy Ew.If I had only one word to describe Elder, it would be dumb He s slow to catch on to almost all plot twists, and when a thought does fly into his head, it s not strong enough to make it to logical and obvious conclusions He s devoted to Amy I don t know why The idea of him in the leadership position he was intended for seems ill suited as he follows Amy around, but I don t get the feeling it was a deliberate decision Luckily, if I had two words, the second would be Curious Elder genuinely likes to explore and know things If this were developed further, I could see myself liking the guy.Eldest is just a symbol for the control freedom dichotomy and questions of having emotions and sadness versus having contentment but no feelings which the book touches on, but seems afraid to comment on He s of a set piece than a character, and I wish he and these themes were developed, which could have been done in interesting ways, especially with a ward of insane people on the ship.Obvious Plot TwistsI literally predicted all plot twists before they happened Revis seems to have gone for quantity over quality here, packing half a dozen into the end of the book, none of which are surprising, save one which only succeeds in surprising us because she basically cheated with the format of the book Some of the twists I only predicted a couple chapters early, but many were early, early on in the book, effectively killing the murder mystery plot I literally knew who the murderer was the first time we met the character, and was able to also predict other plot twists about him from the get go Revis needs to use a lighter touch with her hints and foreshadowing Several times I actually thought we had solved a mystery, only to have the characters puzzle over it a couple chapters later, and me say What, you didn t get that, really My entire experience reading the book went like this Hey, they sure talk about how the other Elder is dead a lot, I bet view spoiler he s not really dead hide spoiler Video full series review spoiler free 2 11 17 After reading the second book and having time to sit on it, I m lowering my rating of this one from 3 stars to 2.5 stars The sequel was fine, but this first book was a rough start and was a mostly negative experience for me.Original 2 6 17 I wrote some harsh things about this book on Twitter and in earlier reading updates about how it was offensive, so I want to address that This book is a dystopia, which I didn t realize going in In some respects, it is intentionally offensive A terrible society is set up that you are supposed to hate and want to be overthrown.I never know what people consider to be spoilers so I m hiding some of the following points Open if you want to know.Race view spoiler Race is something that was handled questionably The society in this book is monoethnic They are described as having darker, olive toned skin and dark hair and eyes When the main character Amy is introduced with her pale skin, red hair, and green eyes, the other character Elder immediately sees her as beautiful than anyone else I felt that this reinforced white beauty standards If the races had been changed, however, it may have also reinforced exoticism though I m not the right person to ask on that She is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen, but also the strangest Her skin is pale, almost translucent white, and I don t think it s just from the ice How can this girl fit into the monoethnic no differences at all world Eldest says provides perfect peace p57I think it was just an unfortunate situation that the book wrote itself into The main point the book is trying to make is that our differences should be celebrated and there is a line in the last half about identity being tied to race, so by trying to erase race the leaders of this society were erasing what makes humanity so beautiful He has no concept that a race is part of a person s identity he just sees it as a difference, a difference that s better off eliminated p306Ultimately, I can appreciate the point the book was making by showing race erasure as a flaw in the society, but I think it was done a bit clumsily hide spoiler 3.5 stars The movie Passengers with the God like Chris Pratt made me really want to read this book.I actually couldn t finish the movie, because I thought it was too slow and the romance was just too expected, but the book entertained me quite a bit.The ship itself Godspeed is pretty curious It has its own separate levels and functions and the world inside it is reminiscent of a dystopian one The setting is honestly my favourite thing about this book The story combines mystery, family friendship and science fiction in a way that grips the reader The romance lacks originality and passion, but fortunately it s not inundating the plot.Many plot twists are hidden inside chapters, especially the last ones They made me want to immediately pick the second book up Started it and it s surprising so far.Amy is a lovely, humane girl Elder s role is important, and I certainly did like learning about it and him, but he s not a memorable character.I m so curious about what s going to happen next This is the sort of series that you know you won t guess the ending of It s going to be plot twist after plot twist Good Great, even I ll read on Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin A Love Out Of Time A Spaceship Built Of Secrets And Murder Seventeen Year Old Amy Joins Her Parents As Frozen Cargo Aboard The Vast Spaceship Godspeed And Expects To Awaken On A New Planet, Three Hundred Years In The Future Never Could She Have Known That Her Frozen Slumber Would Come To An End Fifty Years Too Soon And That She Would Be Thrust Into The Brave New World Of A Spaceship That Lives By Its Own RulesAmy Quickly Realizes That Her Awakening Was No Mere Computer Malfunction Someone One Of The Few Thousand Inhabitants Of The Spaceship Tried To Kill Her And If Amy Doesn T Do Something Soon, Her Parents Will Be NextNow Amy Must Race To Unlock Godspeed S Hidden Secrets But Out Of Her List Of Murder Suspects, There S Only One Who Matters Elder, The Future Leader Of The Ship And The Love She Could Never Have Seen Coming Really enjoyed this I loved all of the twists and surprises The characters were just okay though This could have been a 5 star book, I think, if I d loved them I think Harley was my favorite I m excited to read on and see where this story goes As science fiction, or as a dystopian space mystery this book was pretty much awesome I loved the idea behind it frozen people being transported on a spaceship to a new planet, destined to arrive in 300 years from take off but, uh oh, not everything goes to plan Someone is reviving the frozen people in their containers with the intention of letting them drown.I really liked this whole aspect of it, and I ve never been a space story fan I never cared for Star Wars, Star Trek or anything like that My problem was how the book was sold to the audience It should have been shown like this But instead it was marketed as a romance story, which it just wasn t A few lustful imaginings of a teenage boy is hardly a romance novel, the publishers obviously thought that was all young adult readers want But, let s face it, very few guys are going to be interested in reading this book just by looking at the cover yeah, I know, guys are silly and what s not to love about pink sparkles This is much sci fi or mystery than it is romance In fact, there is hardly any romantic suggestion at all and most of what there is happens to be one sided Does Amy even like Elder that way She seemed to do an awful lot of pining for her ex boyfriend, Jason, rather that showing much interest in Elder.Not that I mind that much, the story wasn t lacking without the sweet nothings and teen love perhaps a refreshing change actually , plus I loved the sci fi Will definitely read the next book. Space is awesome I say that like I ve been there For all you know, I have I could be a certified astronaut in the U.S Space Program who took time off from being in space to write fiction about being in space and that s why I ve been on Goodreads so much I could be You don t know.Okay, so I m not I haven t nor probably never will go to outer space, but that doesn t stop me from thinking it s the coolest and most awesomest thing in the universe Which as a matter of fact it actually is the coolest natural thing in all the verse that is presuming you can call it a thing Really space is the absence of things As the absolute absence of anything, is it really a thing Should it even have a name Maybe we should just call it That might be a accurate description view spoiler Shhhh, no one is supposed to know this Space isn t actually completely void There are still particles up there somewhere, which is why even space never reaches Absolute Zero But no one needs to know that we actually know so much about The Void, mmmkay hide spoiler
Beth Revis writes books She also eats too much chocolate, wishes she could travel , and prefers puppies to people Beth lives in rural NC with her boys one husband, one son, two very large puppies.
- 399 pages
- Across the Universe
- Beth Revis
- 25 June 2018 Beth Revis