These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Book One of the Starbound trilogy
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I literally just finished this book and ahh, I don't know how to review it! I know I really enjoyed this book, and I know that there were some things that I wasn't quite sure about, but for some reason, the write words are not coming to me, to write this review. So, um, if this review seems scattered in any way, I apologize! I really just don't know how to review this book - I'm at a loss for words! In a good way, I believe.
Tarver and Lilac meet once, twice, before everything goes to naught. Tarver doesn't realize until after the second encounter, when Lilac is a complete b**** to him, that Lilac is the spoiled daughter of the richest man in the universe, Monsieur LaRoux. Nobody goes near Lilac LaRoux because of her father and the LaRoux reputation - untouchable. But none of that matters when the Icarus is torn from hyperspace and crashes onto a planet. Lilac and Tarver surprise by safely entering an escape pod before the ship breaks apart and crash lands.
Lilac and Tarver also crash land on the planet. It seems to be terra-formed, but Tarver's military knowledge keeps him cautious of this unknown planet. Lilac, on the other hand, has a horrible time adjusting to this new change. She's used to being pampered and waited on, and when she realizes it's just her and Tarver, her attitude turns nastier and more selfish than before.
Most of this book deals with Tarver and Lilac exploring the planet and trying to survive. Kaufman and Spooner did an EXCELLENT job of keeping this realistic. Survival was not easy for either character, but especially not for Lilac. Princess couldn't even handle walking - her impractical shoes prevented her from keeping up with Tarver many times.
In this sense, Kaufman and Spooner characterized Lilac and Tarver VERY well. Lilac is nothing but a spoiled Daddy's girl, used to the REALLY good life. I hated her at first, bu I came to realize that it wasn't easy being her (despite living the privileged life), that she didn't necessarily ask for that life (though yes, she never really complained), and in reality, she changed quite a bit, from beginning to end. Lilac's transformation was very appealing - it made me really like her, by the end of the book. Her strength of character really shined by the time we got to the interrogation.
And Tarver. I love Tarver so so so much. He is easily my favorite character of the book (granted, there aren't that many, but still). His strength of character impressed me more than Lilac's. Tarver is a decorated war hero for good reason, and he uses his experience to survive on the mystery planet. He also has a great deal of patience, to not punch Lilac in the face or leave her with the pod or something. Honestly, I might have done one of those things, in the beginning.
Or all of them.
But anyway. Yay Tarver! He's awesome. He really made this story interesting. I like that Kaufman and Spooner integrated both characters' points of view in this novel. It helped me understand (and like) Lilac more, and I just loved reading Tarver's scenes. He's a pretty great guy!
The plot of this novel is slow, in my opinion. It's all about survival, and explaining how Tarver and Lilac survived takes time. Also, building up to what the heck is going on with the planet takes time. A lot of time. Almost the whole darn novel. Yawn. I'll talk about that later.
Romance - great. The progression of Tarver and Lilac's relationship is slow but realistic. In a difficult and hopeless time, they still fall in love with each other. SOMEHOW, Tarver deals with Lilac's snootiness in the beginning, and in the end, for good reason.
The end... well, you'll just have to read this one to know what I'm thinking! But it was pretty... crazy.
What I Did Not Like:
As I mentioned before, this novel's plot is kind of slow. I put this one down several times, because it wasn't interesting at that point, or because I was bored and wanted something DYNAMIC to happen. Not many dynamic things happen in this book. Ship breaks apart. Boy and girl survive, explore planet. Girl is ridiculous, boy is amazing. They find out things. The end happens. I mean, that's basically it.
And honestly, I really don't understand what's wrong with the planet, and the illusions, or whatever. It doesn't make sense to me, with the energy and whatnot. You'll have to read the book to know and understand what I'm talking about (no spoilers from me!), and I hope you do, because I really didn't understand everything. I feel like the explanation part, or the climax, is a bit rushed, and things aren't very well explained. Like, all of a sudden, Tarver and Lilac know exactly what is happening, and they totally understand each other and everything, but we as readers are still kind of in the dark.
It could just be me, but I doubt it. I'm usually pretty astute with these things.
Would I Recommend It:
I would definitely recommend this book to just about anyone! I have a deep love for science fiction, as well as a good romance, and this book/the authors did a great job of delivering both of those. I really did enjoy this book, despite a few things I didn't understand or like.
4.5 stars -> rounded down to 4 stars.This book is definitely going down as one of my favorite reads of 2013!
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