Published: January 2011
Copy: My own
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 rules.
Amy 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 next.
Now 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.
What an incredibly thought-provoking book. I really enjoyed reading Across the Universe. It was different. It's a science fiction/dystopian/coming-of-age hybrid, that manages to cover the best of each genre and meld them together into a taut, intriguing story that captures the imagination and takes the reader on a ride across the stars.
I found that Amy and Elder were very easy to relate to. Their reactions and emotions seemed real and believable, which is quite a feat, considering the story is set an unidentified number of years in the future and takes place entirely on board a space ship. What fascinated me about the story was its underlying message about the dangers of drug abuse and gene manipulation, and also the nod to cloning and euthenasia.
My interpretation of the story is the message that it's ok to be yourself. We don't have to follow like sheep - it's ok to question and expect answers. We may not always get the answers that we want, but that's ok too.
"I force myself into the picture of calm. If I have learned one thing from Eldest today, it is this: Losing my temper will make me look foolish and childish. Instead, I speak slowly, calmly, and clearly, as if I were explaining something very simple. " I have begun to look for the information that you have refused to teach me. I am supposed to be the Eldest one day. If you don't tell me what to do or what I need to know to rule, then I'll just figure it out another way. If you're going to stand there and be mad at me for looking for answers to these question, then you have only yourself to blame; it's your job to teach me these things first."' (page 316)
Words to live by, perhaps. Ultimately, Across the Universe was a fascinating, intriguing book that explored the possibilities of 'what might happen' if we ever venture out into the stars. I loved it and hope you do to.