Have you ever taken a look at the cover of a book and wondered if the inside would be just as alluring? Have you ever gotten a recommmendation off of some random stranger and teetered back and forth between whether or not to buy the book because they don’t know you or your reading fetishes well enough to really ‘know’ what you would enjoy? Sometimes its best if we allow ourselves the luxury of taking a little leap of faith and impulsively saying ‘yes’ to a new, shiny addition to our bookshelves, regardless of logic or our bank accounts.
Last night at the little bookstore I work, a customer (who is a librarian at one of the public schools in town) came up to me, her and her daughter’s arms full of books from navel to chin, ready to check out and take their booty home to fawn over before placing them in the custody of the students. Among that pile was Beth Revis’ YA Sci Fi debut novel Across the Universe. Having been curious about the book after several glimpses of the beautiful cover I asked if any of the kids had requested it because, let’s face it, if kids are reading it the book must be good. She informed me that the copies they already had in the small school library were impossible to keep on the shelf and the reserved list streched out more than a month! She then spent the next 15 minutes telling me all about how the first chapter is by far the most powerful chapter in not only the whole YA genre, but the general fiction world. Who can refuse a recommendation with a promise like that?
I took home my brand new adoptive baby last night and opened to chapter one with a lot of anticipation and skepticism. Skepticism solely because so many people have been trying to cash in on the “vampires and werewolves are so sexy” trend in the world of YA lately that it’s been hard to find many books with not only a quality story, but quality writing as well.
Okay, first let’s back up a bit to a quote printed on the page before the journey begins:
“Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes, that call me on and on across the universe… Nothing’s gonna change my world.” ~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Anything with a quote from my favorite four British boys has already gained favor in my heart (I had been wondering upon first meeting if the title was some form of an homage to the fab four. *hands awesome points to Beth Revis*)
My librarian customer was not imbellishing in the least. The first line of the book is not intensely thought provoking or laden with fancy words to grasp the reader’s attention, thankfully, it is simply, “Daddy said. ‘LET MOM GO FIRST.” Go first where? Must find out… the attention span of Captain Mojo-Lost has been attracted… Several good hours, tears, and thought ponderings later, I realize that I have actually managed to devour an entire book in one sitting. The time is now 5:30 am and my body has long forgotten about sleep, sucking in the energy from this incredible book to replace the precious hours needed to secury my beauty for the next day.
Beth. Revis. Is. A. Literary. Titan.
Because I’m the bad sort of blogger who refuses to spill any secrets of the story (I’m that annoying person who watches their friend’s faces during movies because I’m more interested in their reactions to something I love than the movie itself… same thing goes for books.) you’re just going to have to get your ass off that couch (yes, I see you sitting there wasting time on the computer or Tweeting on your phone) and buy Across the Universe. The way Revis pulls you into Amy’s head and world(s) is something that cannot be described by my words or the words of any other reviewer out there. It is something you need to experience and feel for yourself. The last book that captured my heart and flighty mojo the way this one has was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows… yeah, it’s been that long, people.
Usually I give a rating to the books I review, but this one cannot be rated simply because a full five stars feels like a dishonor. My copy is now a treasured friend who’s cover I’ll run my fingers over fondly for years to come as I re-read it time and time again. There is no judging the worth of something like that.
Beth Revis, write more damn books! *tries to look all intimidating* Please? 😀