Across the Universe
Goodreads ratings
3.77 / 5

"Across the Universe" Summary

By Beth Revis

young adult | 399 pages | Published in 2011


Estimated read time: 4 min read

One Sentence Summary

A teenage girl is cryogenically frozen and wakes up on a spaceship to find herself in the middle of a murder mystery.


"Across the Universe" by Beth Revis is a captivating young adult science fiction novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through space, exploring themes of love, identity, and the human condition. Set aboard a vast spaceship traveling to a distant planet, the novel weaves together elements of mystery, romance, and adventure, creating a rich and immersive reading experience.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story unfolds on the spaceship Godspeed, which is on a 300-year journey to a new habitable planet. The passengers, including protagonist Amy, are cryogenically frozen for the duration of the trip. However, Amy is unexpectedly woken up 50 years early and finds herself in the midst of a complex and stratified society. With the help of Elder, the future leader of the ship, Amy begins to uncover dark secrets about the ship's history and the true nature of their mission.


The majority of the story takes place on the spaceship Godspeed, a self-sustaining vessel hurtling through the emptiness of space towards a new world. The ship is a contained ecosystem, with its own rules, customs, and power structures, creating a unique and claustrophobic backdrop for the unfolding drama.

Main Events

The following table outlines the main events in "Across the Universe":

1Amy is unfrozen prematurely
5Amy discovers a hidden chamber
10Amy and Elder uncover a conspiracy
15Rebellion and unrest among the passengers
20Revelation of the ship's dark secrets
25The truth about the ship's mission is revealed
30Amy and Elder work together to confront the ship's leadership

Main Characters

The main characters in "Across the Universe" include:


  • A headstrong and determined teenage girl
  • Woken up prematurely from cryogenic sleep
  • Unsettled by the society and culture aboard the ship


  • Future leader of the ship
  • Curious and empathetic
  • Questions the status quo and seeks the truth

Themes and Insights


  • Identity: The novel explores the theme of individual identity in the context of a closed and controlled society.
  • Power and Control: It delves into the dynamics of power and control within a confined environment, raising questions about authority and rebellion.
  • Love and Friendship: The relationships between characters, particularly Amy and Elder, highlight the importance of connection and understanding in a world devoid of external influences.


The novel offers insights into the human condition, the consequences of manipulation, and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity. It also prompts reflection on the nature of truth and the impact of knowledge on society.

Reader's Takeaway

"Across the Universe" is a thought-provoking and immersive novel that combines elements of mystery, romance, and social commentary. Readers will be drawn into the richly detailed world of the spaceship Godspeed, where they will ponder the complexities of human nature and the enduring power of hope and determination.


In conclusion, "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis is a compelling and engrossing read that offers a unique blend of science fiction, romance, and societal exploration. With its well-developed characters and thought-provoking themes, the novel is sure to leave a lasting impression on readers, inviting them to contemplate the intricacies of human existence and the boundless potential of the human spirit.

Across the Universe FAQ

  1. What is 'Across the Universe' about?

    Across the Universe is a young adult science fiction novel about a girl named Amy who is cryogenically frozen and sent on a spaceship to a new planet. When she wakes up early, she discovers a society on the ship that is divided and facing numerous challenges.

  2. Who are the main characters in 'Across the Universe'?

    The main characters in 'Across the Universe' are Amy, a teenage girl who is cryogenically frozen and wakes up on a spaceship, and Elder, a boy who is part of the leadership on the ship.

  3. What themes are explored in 'Across the Universe'?

    Themes explored in 'Across the Universe' include identity, power dynamics, ethics of leadership, and the impact of isolation on a closed society.

  4. Is 'Across the Universe' part of a series?

    Yes, 'Across the Universe' is the first book in a trilogy by Beth Revis. The sequels are 'A Million Suns' and 'Shades of Earth.'

  5. What age group is 'Across the Universe' suitable for?

    The book is generally recommended for readers aged 12 and up, and is particularly popular with young adult readers.