Across the Universe by Beth Revis
audio book; Narrators: Lauren Ambrose & Carlos Santos
Published January 2011 by Razorbill
Listened July 2011
Wow! I listened to this in 2 days. It was so good. Much better than I expected. I kind of want to listen to it again (and I still have 12 days before it's due back at the library, so I might). I don't know why I didn't try it earlier. The title kept popping up everywhere (blogs, goodreads, etc), but for some reason I thought it was about something else. Maybe there is another book or movie with this title (or similar title) that I was confusing it with.
I was looking for audio books at the digital library and I particularly wanted an MP3 so it could play on my phone. There are not many MP3 files at my library, but I saw this one and after reading the description and discovering it was YA, I added it to my list. Of course, it became available the week I'm on vacation and along with the other 2 audio books on my waiting list. It actually came a couple days after my other audio book, which I had started. But once I listened to the beginning of Across the Universe on the way home from my parents' house I couldn't stop. I almost didn't want to go to bed, but I knew I would fall asleep and miss something.
I was a little worried that it would be a bit too science fictiony for me. But outside of a few made up words and some technological advances (which weren't that more advance than what we have in real life) there really wasn't much science fiction to it. When the book started, it reminded me of Animal Farm by George Orwell. Not that there were animals running the space ship, but in its political overtones. Across the Universe explores the question of obtaining peace, but at what cost? I wonder if the author set out to address socio-political issues or if she was just setting up a backdrop for the romance and mystery. Maybe I will contact the author and ask her (maybe I can get her to write a guest post; that would be cool).
Across the Universe made me think, but not in that preachy, in your face, way. But more in the way of how a way of life might sound good on paper, but in reality there are many problems. There is a bit of mystery in this book that even I didn't figure out until the end. Things are wrapped up pretty nicely, but you are left with questions of What now? Will things work out? I didn't notice that my goodreads.com listing had it labeled as Book 1, until I went to move it to the read shelf. I'm so glad that a sequel is planned (for 2012). Hmm. I wonder if I can get an advance copy?
I recommend this book to everyone. I think it appeals on a wider range than just to sci-fi or romance lovers. If you have a kid that didn't want to read Animal Farm, see if they will read Across the Universe as I think they will get a similar take home message.