Monday, August 6, 2012

Mini-Reviews: Across the Universe and I'm Not Her

I posted mini-reviews of Where It Began and Incarnate last week, now I'm sharing my thoughts on two more books I read awhile back and never wrote full reviews for-- Across the Universe and I'm Not Her


Across the Universe by Beth Revis 
A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.
Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone-one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship-tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.
Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming. 

I feel as though I was one of the last people to read Across the Universe, but I just was worried because I am not always a huge fan of science fiction. But I definitely had nothing to worry about. This book was awesome! It was packed full of mystery, romance, and death and always had me on the edge of my seat. The whole premise was fantastic and it was apparent Beth put a lot of thought into every inch of this book and especially the ship, Godspeed. I was immediately drawn into this book and had a hard time putting it down for a second. I love a good mystery and Across the Universe certainly had that. The book is told from alternating points of view between Amy and Elder (the future leader of Godspeed) and it allows the reader to get to know the characters extremely well. Amy is one of those characters that I know I would like in real life. She is very strong and independent and I felt for all that she was experiencing. Across the Universe definitely lived up to all of the hype and it was such a unique and original debut. I am extremely excited to pick up the sequel because I still have so many questions. One advantage of starting the series late is that I don't have to wait for A Million Suns!

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

January 11, 2011/Razorbill/416 Pages/Young Adult/Book One

Source: Publisher (ARC)
Other books in this series: A Million Suns, Shades of Earth 


I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler 
“For the first time in my life, I didn’t feel envy…”

Tess is the exact opposite of her beautiful, athletic sister. And that’s okay. Kristina is the sporty one, Tess is the smart one, and they each have their place. Until Kristina is diagnosed with cancer. Suddenly Tess is the center of the popular crowd, everyone eager for updates. There are senior boys flirting with her. Yet the smiles of her picture-perfect family are cracking and her sister could be dying. Now Tess has to fill a new role: the strong one. Because if she doesn’t hold it together, who will?


I can't deny that contemporary novels have a special place in my heart and I'm Not Her was no exception. This was an emotional and intense read that will impact every reader in different ways. Although I am an only child, I could understand Tess's and Kristina's relationship. Cancer is a topic that is not often dealt with in YA today, but I think it is an issue that most likely affects many of us. Unfortunately, cancer is something that has probably touched every person in some way and Janet Gurtler did a wonderful job of showing not only how it affects the victim, but how it affects the entire family. I'm Not Her was told from Tess's point of view, and we were able to witness her come to terms with the fact that her perfect older sister was dealing with a life-threatening disease. My heart went out to Tess, because even though people at school were suddenly talking to her, she was still alone. Especially because her parents were not handling things well. Tess grew as a character over the course of the novel and the reader gets to see just how Kristina's cancer affects not only her family, but her friends and classmates. My only complaint was that sometimes I felt a disconnect from certain characters and wanted to see more of the family's interactions with Kristina. Overall, Janet is a great writer and certain scenes made me so emotional. I am extremely glad I read this novel and I am anxious to pick up more of Janet's novels. She doesn't seem afraid of tackling serious issues and her future releases all sound just as interesting.

Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

May 1, 2011/Sourcebooks Fire/285 Pages/Young Adult

Source: Publisher 
Other books by this author: If I Tell, Who I Kissed


Look for more Mini-Reviews soon!


  1. So glad you loved Across the Universe, that's one of my favorites. Just wait until you get started with A Million Suns - it's just as great and surprising :)

    Nice mini-reviews!

  2. I'm so surprised you liked Across the Universe! I really really didn't like it. At all. These were my thoughts anyway...!/2012/01/across-universe-by-beth-revis.html

    But I'm Not Her sounds so interesting as you said because cancer is a still a slight taboo in YA literature. Definitley looking that up.!/

  3. Across the Universe is a great read! I haven't heard much about I'm Not Her looks really good, too.

  4. Across the Universe was wonderful. I'm so glad you gave it a shot.

  5. Yay! for you liking Across the Universe. I thought it was awesome too. Like YA Book Queen the series is one of my favourites. You will love the sequel. Great mini reviews.

  6. You're so not the last person to read AtU. I AM. And funnily enough, I was going to start it last night. But then didn't. WHAT GIVES? I'm glad you liked it, though :) This makes me want to read it soon. Or maybe just wait until the third book is out.

  7. Sounds like both books went over well with you.
    I haven't read either but you made me want to.

    AtU sounds really good but I have not picked it up because I'm not big on Sci Fi, but it sounds amazing anyway, so I'll probably give it a try :D

  8. Glad to see you liked both of these books-I enjoyed both as well. Hope you enjoy A Million Suns as well!

  9. I am writing a blog about how teachers canuse popular ya books to foster discussions, create visions, and be agents of social change. I've taught for over 30 years, the last 24 in elementary school. I am finding that 5 & 6 graders love this book. Any hoo..great blog!


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