February 9, 2014

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Series: Starbound {Book 1}
Source & Format: Library; hardcover
Links: GoodReads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

The hype surrounding this book is extraordinary. For a while in December, everyone was reading it! I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it; the romance, the science fiction, the references to the Titanic all had my name on it. My expectations were sky-high, and boy, did this book go way beyond them!


THE CHARACTERS

I loved the depth of character in both Lilac and Tarver. Lilac is the perfect strong female lead – there are scenes in the book where I don’t know how well I would do in her place. She is fearful, but instead of bowing to that fear or depending solely on Tarver to save her, Lilac uses her own skills and strengths to save them a fair few times. Her stubbornness and her spirit make her an unforgettable character. 

Although she is cast as the rich girl (think Rose in Titanic), Lilac doesn’t abuse her status. I never once imagined her as a “poor little rich girl,” but her struggle with that particular identity is something she is forced to overcome in the wilderness of the uninhabited planet. It’s what Lilac doesn’t see in herself that makes her so endearing. 

I’ll admit it: I fell in love with Tarver’s character in the first scene. His obvious impatience for the falsities of “polite” society made me laugh and let his personality shine through. He was a man that appeared to be constantly at war with himself. Aboard ship, he was battling to act politely and not quietly sneak away downstairs to be with the rest of his fellow soldiers, like he truly wanted to. It was on the planet that he really began to shine. His point-of-view on the planet was fascinating, showing the soldier’s tactical and practical mind warring with the man’s emotions. 

THE PLOT

The romance was the most character-driven element of the plot (and my personal favorite). I loved how the authors dealt with the romance, especially in the beginning of the novel and the end. Although it was a very important piece of the plot, it wasn’t the only element. The dual perspective really made the romance itself come alive. 

Even on their lonely planet, both Tarver and Lilac are barricaded by class lines. Not only is their romance slowed down by this, but the society has left both of them broken in one way or another. Lilac struggles with guilt she shouldn’t be forced to carry and Tarver faces battle  scars of all kinds. It’s their search for identity and their slow grasp of who they truly are that made me fall in love with this story.

THE WRITING

It was strange. There wasn’t a lot of time devoted to describing the settings of the Icarus or the planet they crash-landed on, but I felt I could picture each and every setting perfectly in my mind. It was the words Kaufman and Spooner chose to create the images. I could see the glory of the Icarus, the snow-capped mountains, the flowers, the caves…it was amazing.

I loved the dual perspective of Lilac and Tarver. Using both narrators created strong characters that I felt I knew personally. When events occurred in one perspective, I couldn’t wait to get to the next chapter to see what the other thought of it all. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m in love with this original, fascinating fantasy/sci-fi novel. Truly, I devoured this book in two sittings (only because I had to go to work). It was fantastic and I can’t wait to read it again. Definitely recommended! 

Posted February 9, 2014 by Ellen in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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