These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars

by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Book 1 of Starbound


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.

I'm not entirely sure I know how I feel about this book, because while I didn't hate it, I didn't necessarily love it either. So a platonic like is probably good enough to describe my conflicting emotions.

A lot happens in this story. Maybe a bit too much. But even so, it took a good long while before I started getting into the book. I’d say at about the midpoint was where things finally started getting exciting; but at the same time, I still felt like there was so much going on that I had a little bit of trouble keeping up.

Nevertheless, I became hooked and merrily breezed through the rest of the book.

There are just a few points that came to mind while thinking about These Broken Stars , because I don’t have much else to say.

First of all, I do like Tarver and Lilac. They weren’t the most relatable characters at first, and I had an even harder time sympathizing with Lilac. But by the second half of the book, I was invested in their story. Would they survive? Would they find out what’s going on on this isolated planet? How will their relationship pan out?

They are good people. They just aren’t all that outstanding, honestly. Though I DID appreciate the vast development that took place with Lilac. She, literally overnight, went from spoiled princess to kickass survivalist. I’m conflicted on how I feel about that, but I’m really not complaining.

Second: I’ve mentioned this before in other reviews, but I’m not a big fan of the interchanging first person POV--I’m barely a fan of first person POV, period. But I’ve learned to live with it because so many of my favorite books are written in first person POV. But the interchanging first person POV tends to get confusing sometimes, and especially if both voices are fairly similar and don’t contain too many nuances.

If you’re going to write a book using an interchanging first person POV, why not just write it in third person omniscient or something like that? You can still see the character’s thoughts and feelings, and it doesn’t get confusing.

Fortunately, the voices of Tarver and Lilac were slightly unique enough that I didn’t have too many problems telling them apart. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have moments of confusion, because there were times when they DID sound quite similar. There might have been once or twice where I had to put the book down in the middle of a chapter, came back hours later, and thought I was reading Lilac, but had actually been reading Tarver.

Finally, the story was creative and the world intriguing. I’m curious to see how the rest of the trilogy pans out, but to be honest, I’m not in a hurry. Maybe space operas really aren’t my thing. Maybe I am so far removed from young adult age that I have trouble relating with young adult characters now. Maybe I’m just picky. Or maybe my tastes have come across some permanent changes.

These Broken Stars is a young adult fantasy slash science fiction slash futuristic type of book that I probably would have enjoyed immensely a few years ago when I was obsessed with young adult fiction. The first half was a little slow-going. The second half was much more exciting.

But the ending of the book, to be honest, just felt like a bit of a hot mess. I had a good amount of feels and emotions running through me during those last few chapters, that’s for sure. But I’m not entirely certain if it was all good or still very conflicted.


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