Title: Across the Universe
Author: Beth Revis
Publication Date: January 11, 2011
Reading copy from local library
Finally catching up with my January selection for the Debut Author Challenge, which is Across the Universe by Beth Revis.
This book has gotten a lot of well-deserved buzz, including being chosen as one of Amazon's Best Books of January 2011 and a starred review from Kirkus.
And I'm going to add my fangirl squee to all the rest of the rave reviews.
Before I explain why I loved, loved, loved this book, here's what the book is about. Amy's parents are essential for a colonization mission to a new planet. Amy is not. But she chooses to leave her friends, her boyfriend, her life on Earth to be with them. Even though that means she'll be frozen for 300 years while the spaceship travels to the new world. Except there's one problem. Amy gets unfrozen 50 years too early. Was it a mistake? Or is someone trying to kill her? The only person on board who can help -- who's willing to help her -- is Elder, a boy her age who's supposed to lead the ship to planetfall. And after more frozens turn up dead, Elder learns a truth he's not sure he can ever share with Amy.
The story is an awesome idea, but the brilliant execution of the idea by Beth Revis is what makes the book ROCK. The chapters alternate from Amy's POV to Elder's POV and it's this tension that drives not just the action, but the emotion of the book. The alternating POVs reveal enough clues to make the mystery work and also gives pacing to the emotional life of the characters in a way that makes them (and their relationship) believable.
And the ending does that hardest writing trick of all: being unexpected yet totally makes sense. Even though this is the first in a series, I was completely satisfied with how the book ended.
The book has a nifty website with maps of the ship, downloads, and a fan community. The book trailer is pretty awesome, too, and narrated by Lauren Ambrose.
Bonus video of Beth Revis explaining how she came to write Across the Universe
Okay, squee done. Libraries should definitely buy this book. And with a the right booktalk, I think guys would be willing to give it a read. I'd suggest Across the Universe to readers who liked Feed by M.T. Anderson or Spacer and Rat by Margaret Bechard.
Contest Alert: Beth Revis is giving away all five copies of the books from the Breathless Tour!
Read the details on Beth's blog, but hurry up and enter because the deadline is March 21st! Good luck!