The feel of the book is very dystopian, don't shy away from the words Science Fiction, it's not going to turn all Star Wars on you. One thing that might disappoint readers of this is the sheer lack of romance - nothing really happens between Elder and Amy, even I was fully expecting it from the start of the book. Heck, from reading the cover! There's plenty of room for more romance in the second book though.
At the heart of the story, you meet Amy and follow her as she goes through being cryogenically frozen a year earlier than she could have, only to wake up and discover that it's fifty years too early and she might never see her parents again. After that she has to deal with the strange residents of the ship, who all look alike - same hair colour, same eye colour. Amy is a freak on the ship - the residents have never seen a girl with ginger hair and green eyes before. The residents themselves seem to have no emotions at all - and the ones that do are labelled crazy and live in a mental ward.
Across the Universe is one of those books that blows your mind. One of those where you go, 'How on Earth (or in space!) did the Author dream this up?' And one of those that you finished and immediately want to read more. Unfortunately for me the next book in the trilogy is not out until next year. I'm not sure if I can wait that long!