Monday, March 17, 2014

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars (Starbound, #1)  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.

My Review:

This was an interesting sci-fi read with great characters.  After the crash, which takes place in the beginning portion of the book, there are really only two characters, since Lilac and Tarver are stranded alone on a planet together.  This leaves room for them to easily develop as characters.


Of the two main characters, I feel that Lilac changed the most over the course of the story.  I think one of the reasons for that is who she was at the beginning.  She started off as rich, spoiled, and naive.  When she landed on the planet, she assumed that she would be rescued quickly, since, after all, she was the daughter of the richest man in the universe.  It took her a while to accept the fact that, maybe nobody knew that she had survived the crash, so they had no idea that she needed rescuing.  Once she gets used to the fact that no one is coming for her, she copes pretty well with the whole crash thing.  She gets horrible blisters all over her feet from all the walking on the planet, and she doesn't even complain very much about them.  She is pretty tough.  Also, when the crash happened, she was the one who was able to do some electrical stuff to get the pod to detach from the ship.  That shows that there is more to her than meets the eye originally.

From the beginning of the book, I liked Tarver.  He was such a good and noble guy.  He didn't even like Lilac, because of the way she had rejected him, yet he still helped her when she was in trouble during the crash.  When they land on the planet together, it seems like Lilac is the last person he would want there with him.  He pushes her quite a bit when they have to walk from place to place, yet he is also there for her when she needs him.  He has a strong sense of duty from all his time in the army, so he would never consider abandoning.

The relationship between Lilac and Tarver is a slow burn that actually starts as dislike.  From there, it progresses to friendship, and eventually, love.  It all develops naturally, though, and I thought it was perfect.  When they are on the Icarus, Tarver doesn't know who Lilac is, and he asks her on a date, and she proceeds to reject him, making it clear that he is beneath her.  When they land on the planet together, they are forced to at least tolerate each other and work together.  They fight over things quite a bit at first.  She believes rescue will come, so they should stay where they landed; he believes no rescue is coming, so they should explore more of the planet.  As they get to know each other more, the nature of their relationship changes.  They no longer disagree so much, and I started rooting for them to become a couple.  It becomes clear how much they both care about each other.

The planet that Lilac and Tarver land on is fascinating, and something you find out more about throughout the book.  They expect that someone will be living on the planet, since they know of most planets being inhabited, yet they don't find signs of any life living there.  Partway through the book, some strange stuff starts happening with some voices.  It is interesting to read about.

The interrogation sections between chapters are interesting to read.  At first, you have no idea why he's getting interrogated, and you don't really figure it out until the end of the book.  Usually the snippet of the interrogation that you read relates to what you'll read about in the following chapter.  Tarver isn't necessarily the most cooperative in the interrogation, but the reason for that is shown in the story.

If you like YA sci-fi, read this book.


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