Nov 25, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publishing Date: December 10, 2013
Pages/Format: 384, ARC

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury spaceliner is yanked out of hyperspace and plummets into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive. And they seem to be alone. 

Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a young war hero who learned long ago that girls like Lilac are more trouble than they’re worth. But with only each other to rely on, Lilac and Tarver must work together, making a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

A timeless love story, These Broken Stars sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Initial Reaction of Book in One Word: MOREEE

I do not know what to say about These Broken Stars. It was not what I had expected at all. I had a hard time putting it down. It was good. It gave me feels. It had swoons. BUT. There's a but.

I just don't know. It started out strong, and when the characters are on the unknown planet, while it's still good, it lacked something to make it really good (though I had a hard time not reading it). Then the book took a total 180 (SPOILER: When they kiss and bow chicka wow wow. Also, given their situation, do they really have protection to bow chicka wow wow and not have a little one on the way? I wonder...END SPOILER.) and it had a whole different feel. Then it took ANOTHER 180 (SPOILER: When Lilac died. Which, by the way, did not make me happy. I've become very sensitive to character deaths, and I don't see why that happened. And I know that she came back, but still, it's not the same END SPOILER.) and I was just all WHAT IS HAPPENING? A few things in the plot didn't quite work for me, and some totally changed the mood, and that kind of hurt the book.

These Broken Stars is about two people: Lilac and Tarver. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in existence, and Tarver is a not-so-wealthy war hero. When the spaceliner they're on, the Icarus, develops some issues, they find themselves alone but for each other on an unknown planet. (I see some of the Titanic references people have mentioned, but it also slightly reminds me of Blue Lagoon.) From there they create goals and ways to survive, but they encounter some strange happenings along the way to their destination. Lilac hears whispers and sees things, and Tarver has some issues, too. (Not gonna lie, I was kind of freaked out for a while.) Like I said earlier, it's not what I had expected. I don't even know WHAT I had expected, but it certainly wasn't this.

What happens on the planet is...weird. I won't say much because a) I'm not really sure how to explain it and what it is and b) I don't want to spoil anything. I think I kind of understood what was going on, but at the same time I would've liked more. We get tidbits, but it would've been interesting to see more of what happened in the past and the future of the planet.

For the most part, Lilac and Tarver are the only two characters to discuss. I didn't mind either of them, though I think I preferred Tarver's POV (and I love him). I liked how I could differentiate between both POVs, how they didn't sound the same. And once the two finally get past their issues and stop making excuses and the romance begins...Again, I don't know what to say. The mood and everything completely changed, and while it didn't match up with the rest of the book, I adored the two of them together. Their romance was so sweet, and I would read all the books about those two and their relationship.

These Broken Stars had two great characters, an interesting plot, and good writing, plus it was full of feels and surprises and twists and big ol' WHATs. However, there's something I can't put my finger on that's making me not quite love this book, and that may be in part to the hype surrounding it (and some twisty 180s). (Ah, hype, how you can hurt a book.) But this was definitely a good book, and my gosh, THAT COVER. (I am very excited to see how the next book's cover is done, and please, please, please let it match and not change drastically.) At one point, I was afraid to finish the book because I seriously thought all the feelings and everything happening would make me explode. But for a book with a non-Earth setting (but not too different, really) and a slow-building, OHMYGOSH-the-sexual-tension romance, this was definitely good.

Also, side note: the Starbound trilogy is not a series. It's a set of three companion novels. I just very recently found that out, and I must say that I'm disappointed. Yes, I wasn't really sure what they'd do after book one to make that into three books, but with the way These Broken Stars ended and how I cared for the characters' stories, I was really, really looking forward to another book about THEM, and only them. So just an FYI that this is the first companion novel, not the first in a series.

Did I like it? Yes I did.
Did I love it? I'm not quite sure, but I don't think so.
Would I reread it? Possibly; I wouldn't say no.
Would I purchase it? Probably, because it was a good book and that cover is PRETTY.
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of space and survival and romance and people who don't mind thinking "WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON?!"


  1. The romance really worked for me here-I felt all their feelings and was just rooting for everything to turn out okay for them. I love the idea of companion novels as it seems that all will share a common enemy (I think we know who that is); this makes me think that Miss LaRoux will definitely be back and where she goes, Tarver can't be too far behind!

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  2. THESE BROKEN STARS rocked my world to the core! It was beautiful and full of secrets, with twist and turns that blew me away. If you are looking for a book with originality, and a forbidden romance that's determined to survive against all odds, with Sci-f aspects, set in a Titanic-like world in space, then THESE BROKEN STARS is a must read for you!


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