I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!
Please note, as this is only a prequel novella, I will not be doing a full review for this book.
Across the Universe is one of those books that are now pretty famous. Almost everyone has heard of it, if not read it, and it’s generally pretty popular. I haven’t personally read it, and after reading this, I’m not so sure I want to make it a priority. Nothing about this prequel pulled me in or made me care about the characters. I have no idea if Selene or Luthor or anyone I was introduced to are actually in Across the Universe. (Selene I’ll guess not, for obvious reasons once you read this book.) And the writing…oh dear. I just…I didn’t like it. Any of it.
I hate to sound like a broken record. I really do. People are probably so sick of hearing about present tense writing for me. But just…it sucked all the life out of Selene’s narration, especially in the end. Considering the ending, I understand why present tense was chosen, but it just didn’t work. Selene felt mechanical and stiff, even when she was supposed to be beautiful and full of life. In addition, I felt like this prequel was very confusing. I couldn’t tell if the narrator at the beginning was Selene or just some random person before we moved into Selene’s narration. And did Luthor rape or sexually assault Selene in any way when he came into her room, or just sit on top of her menacingly? I felt like, whether she cared about the director knowing or not, it would have added some insight to the reader about why she felt the way she did if we knew for sure. Selene said Luthor had taken everything from her, but…I still don’t know what happened.
Still, there was something redeeming, though I’m not quite sure what it is. This novella wasn’t a complete waste, but I honestly couldn’t tell you why not. It was engaging on some level, and I think Luthor’s character developed in an interesting and believable fashion. But honestly, I’m not sure I would bother with reading this unless you’re already a huge fan of Across the Universe. It certainly fails as an introduction to grip readers and make them want to continue the series.