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Light Years Better Than I Expected!!,
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This review is from: Across the Universe (Paperback)
So imagine this? You've read so many young adult fiction books that you're pretty sure if someone cut you open you'd bleed predictable arrogant boys and typical shy but beautiful girls with an obvious, slightly cheesy, plot right? Well then read this!
This is absolutely incredible. This is the point where I have to tell you not to judge a book by it's cover because, in my opinion, it doesn't strike me as a book that's going to make me think or excite me. But this was so different to what I expected and in such a good way. Now enough of the gushing, here's why:
In a world pretty much exactly like ours is right now, people are getting cryogenically frozen. Only the select few. Why? Well we need to preserve them for their trip across the universe where their intellectual or military-trained brilliance will allow them to create life and forge a possibility for existence on another planet. So, our planet is Sol-Earth. Which I take to mean original Earth. And the planet our frozen friends are flying (On GodSpeed - some super cool spaceship) to is Centauri-Earth. As in centuries away. Actually, 300 years away. Give or take one or two.
Amy is our leading lady. Our leading, about-to-be-frozen, lady actually. Her parents work for the company deciding on this project and are being cryogenically frozen so Amy has been given the option too, as cargo rather than as an essential person for the mission. The great thing is that we get to see the entire freezing process - the even better thing though is getting an insight into what it's like once she is frozen. I was shocked that her brain was still functioning (in that she wasn't asleep), she seemed to be having almost coherent thoughts. I loved that, I thought that was a brilliant idea from Revis and really well portrayed.
Which leads me to Elder (because Amy is frozen now for 300 years). Elder is on Godspeed. Years in the future he is the very ship transporting Amy to Centauri-Earth. I really liked Elder (his name is explained if you're thinking it's a bit of a silly name). He's not like the typical young adult love interest because he's a really good stand-alone character. Upon Godspeed Elder starts to notice strange happenings - somebody keeps unplugging the frozen people, which kills them by drowning. One "almost" victim is Amy, but luckily she isn't killed in the unplugging process. Essentially we're calling unplugging murder.
So the journey begins, and the relationship of course, between Elder and Amy to find the murderer. There are little quirky ideas that I liked a lot that Beth Revis has thrown into the mix. Like the concept of a "monoethnic" community of people which supposedly reduces discord upon the ship. Ideas like this which are really quite shocking made me think about the book and the concepts; any book that forces the reader to think and ask questions is, to me, a success. Other ideas that were science related were great as well, like the medi-patches (tiny, needle-infested, patches which calm people down). The explaination of some of these things was very well thought out.
I recommend this book wholeheartedly. It sat, dejected, on shelf for quite some time because I doubted it's potential and I really wish I had moved it to the top of the pile sooner. It was a fantastic read, and if you're anything like me and you think you've read so much YA fiction that you just can't be surprised anymore then I implore you to read this. You'll be pleased!