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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

Across the Universe - Beth Revis Really 3.5 StarsTo see full review and a really cute dog click here: http://yalbookbriefs.blogspot.com/2012/11/across-universe-beth-revis.htmlI liked this one which is suprising because I sort of avoided it because I thought I wouldn't like it. Let me explain, dystopias and me we don't get along. You probably noticed that in my Trend Spotlights entries on them. Plus, the MC was frozen. And that scares me. It reminds me of Walt Disney and the legendary Disney vault and that's something I don't need to think about. However, I am glad I ended up reading this one even though it wasn't exactly perfect.I think the biggest strength this book had was it's world building. Which was so great because of it's setup. Imagine being stuck on a space ship frozen for over two hundred years, waking up to find society transformed. That's what happened to Amy and it was pretty cool to see what had changed on the ship. Okay, so a lot of it was sort of predictable. But I thought the set up was nice and creepy.Now, usually I don't like creepy books. However, this sort of creepy vaguely reminded me of Brave New World. Of course, this is nowhere near as good or disturbing as Aldous Huxley's book was, but enough where I actually became interested in the society Revis created and wondered about their origins.So, what went wrong?Well, the characters weren't very well fleshed out. Elder is nice enough, I suppose. But other than giving us pertinent information about this world and learning in a cliche way that his mentor was obviously insane, he's not really that interesting. In fact, some of the things he did were sort of creepy like Eldest. As for Amy, she borderlines on stupid. I wanted to like her and I sort of did, but some of the decisions that girl made......she better watch herself or she could have Bella Swan syndrome soon.Besides the characters, there were some pretty disturbing scenes. While a part of me was impressed that Revis would put such scenes in a YA book another part of me just shook my head sort of disgusted at what I was reading. Do I think she should've had these scenes? Yeah, I guess I do since they added to the world building but they still disturbed me.Finally, my biggest pet peeve was probably with the pacing. It took me awhile to get into this book and I felt like this disjointedness continued throughout the book. Maybe it was because of the dual narration.Despite these faults though, I still found myself oddly enjoying this one.Best Feature: Set Up. After reading Mothership and Obsidian, I've been wanting to read more YA novels set in space or about aliens. So I really liked the fact that this novel was in space and that it tackled the subject of colonization. I mean, you always hear on the news all the time about how astronauts are trying to build ships to travel to Mars or whatever. This is a great What If and I liked the implications that occurred after being stuck on a spaceship for two hundred plus years.Worst Feature: Slow start. Honestly, it was really hard to get into this one. It took a lot of patience and lack of reading material on a long commute home for me to get into it. However, once I did I really got into it. But not in the usual way you get into books. I felt like with this book, it was more or less the possibilities I was interested in rather than the actual story. Okay, that sounds weird. I guess what I mean is I kept thinking about the social implications that could happen in the world that Revis created rather than wanting to turn the page. Although, exciting things do happen in this book it's not like page turning worthy excitement. Most of the climax I sort of guessed. Still there was enough of the world building that interested me that I'm planning on checking out the sequel at my library.Appropriateness: Ugh. The Season (a.k.a. a legitimate time to rape and impregnate) while it does give the book a creepy element, it's hardly appropriate. Also, there is a fair amount of violence in this book as well. Definitely not for younger teens and tweens.