Imagine you are cryogenically frozen on a spaceship that is headed to a new Earth, but it won't land there for over three centuries. Imagine you wake up, a couple centuries early in an unknown place with metal walls and fake rain, a place where you know no one, a place that is absent of everything and everyone you know and love, a place with a strange way of living, a place with different societal norms and a place with way too many rules and secrets. Imagine that because you are non-essential to the mission and your parents are , that you won't get to see them until the ship lands. This is exactly what happens to our main character Amy. Amy is alone on a spaceship until she grows old, and all of your friends and family on Earth are long gone by now. Amy must solve the mystery of why someone unplugged her cryo chamber and who did it, before it is too late and more people are unplugged to0 early. Along her search for answers Amy befriends Elder who will be the next leader, and Harley who is an artist and Elder's best friend and they work together to stop the culprit, uncover secrets and to save lives.
"Across The Universe" is told in first person but every chapter alternates between the two main characters Elder and Amy. I really thought this worked well for the narrative as when Amy was still cryogenically frozen we got to see what was going on in her head and what she was thinking about, while we also got a good picture of the setting and what was going on the spaceship through Elder's perspective.
The world Beth Revis built was marvelous and unlike any other. I could picture every detail of the ship and all of the levels of the ship in my mind, and I absolutely loved how the dust jacket of the book contained a diagram of the ship as well. I also loved how Revis immersed us into the future, from everything from mentioning past history events that have not happened yet to the technological advances: compartments that food appears in out of nowhere, compartments where towels disappear, and so much more.
I also thought the character development was magnificent. I loved hearing the thoughts in Amy's head as she graveled with her reality, and seeing how much being away from Earth without her parents has affected her. Amy started out to be scared, angry and sad all of the time, and then became a fearless, powerful, strong female lead that will do anything to do what is right and to save those that she loves. Elder also was well developed and we really get to see him fighting his own battle: the realization that the truth is not what he has known his whole life.
I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves a thrilling and heart-wrenching sci-fi read!