In anticipation of the end of the world, 100 VIPs are frozen and sent aboard a space ship to travel 300 years into the future, headed for a planet that is assumed to be habitable for humans. Joining the frozen cargo is a group of about 3,000 people who are meant to keep the ship running and do all tasks necessary to sustain life until they reach their new home. Of course with such an enormous goal with many unknowns come plenty of challenges. Across the Universe is a pretty serious novel due to several controversial subjects that are broached. As a result of the ship’s leaders lies and deceit (some of which may seem justified) many issues are created or the reader foresees a problem rising in the future. We also are quickly shown how detrimental it can be for someone to be given incorrect or partially true information. Beth Revis creates some really great characters, several of which are developed so well that they’re often adding an element of surprise. She also includes a light love story into the mix. I was reminded occasionally of Ally Condie’s Matched while reading this story. As book one of a completed trilogy, I’m anxious to continue on and see where Revis takes us in the subsequent novels.
Profanity/Language: 10 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; 1 derogatory name; 1 scatalogical word; 1 anatomical term.
In addition, there are two instances of a character saying abbreviated terms such as “POS” and “effing”.
Violence/Gore: Many (23) brief incidents including a character throwing a cup at someone (no injury); a character’s pending death mentioned; warning to character that some my try to “get rid of her”; character wants another to threaten to kill someone; character worried that another is dead; remembering death of a loved one; character’s leg is injured (never find out how); second hand report of character dying; second hand report of plague; mention of genocides, war, suicide, crusades, civil rights violence, murder and riots; second hand report of murder and attempted murder; mention of character committing suicide; character bites lip until it bleeds; grabbed someone’s ear until it bled; punching; character hits another (no injury); murder; suicide.
Sex/Nudity: Many (35) brief incidents including character imagining and thinking about a kiss; dreaming of nearly kissing; character touches another’s neck; kiss; second hand report of a kiss; arm around; character grabs another’s wrist; hugging; holding arm and hands; characters naked so they can be frozen; character jokes about running naked; female character sees another female character naked during doctor exam; mention of rules about mating to prevent incest; character recalls seeing animals mating and being taught about reproduction; male character “checks out” female character; male character licks lips at female character; second hand report of male character looking down female character’s shirt and asking another to pick things up so he can watch her bend over; mention of wanting to prevent incest on the ship; second hand report that male character saw female character naked; reference to people having sex on television; attempted rape with nudity and touching; implied sexual activity; touching areas normally covered by bathing suit; male character looks at frozen naked female character; half naked people groping and kissing; people mating.
Mature Subject Matter:
Death; murder; suicide; (mentions of slavery, crusades, genocide, civil rights violence, apartheid, racism, war, incest).
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Teenage character tastes what seems to be alcohol; medications given by doctor for questionable reasons.