Disclaimer: Review copy provided by Disney Hyperion via Netgalley for review (thanks!)
These Broken Stars follows two very different people, Lilac and Tarver, from a futuristic galaxy as they try to survive in the wilderness of an unknown planet after a ship crash in space.
I really love the way how These Broken Stars is set up and formatted. I didn't exactly understand it at first, but the beginning of each chapter is in the present (in terms of the book's timeline – not 2013), giving a very brief synopsis in a sort-of interview/interrogation style with Tarver. Then the chapter gives an elaboration, telling the story behind the interview/interrogation in Lilac's and Tarver's point of views. It sort of reminds me of If I Stay with its many flashbacks, but not as depressing (thankfully).
The romance between Lilac and Tarver is probably a little fast, but I can't really tell. In other words, compared to a lot of books I've come across that have romance, These Broken Stars is one of the ones not written in such a way that the reader may cringe. *phew*
What I didn't like though, is Tarver's personality. Usually I love it when a main character is sassy and has an attitude. Tarver's though... it just didn't bounce out really well. I mean, yes, he's sarcastic, and yes he has an attitude, but I just didn't really like it. It didn't really seem to go in with Lilac's personality.
I'm not being sexist. Otherwise, I would never have said that I liked Augustus Waters' personality from The Fault in Our Stars. In fact, I probably would have said that I hated Gus's personality.
(Oh no. With that being said, I'm bound to be the target of tomatoes for a while. *gives a very innocent look and ducks*)
It's not because it's John Green either. I can't always say an author is my favorite when it's my first time reading their work(s).
Of course, everyone's opinions, likes and dislikes of a character's attitude in a book is completely different from someone else.
For a debut novel, Kaufman writes an astronomically intriguing story. The situations Lilac and Tarver are put in aren't too exaggerated or unrealistic, and in a way, the story keeps the reader guessing until the author smoothly reveals what's really going on. I had to wonder a few times why a few horror elements were doing there, lurking about.
For anyone who likes science fiction/fantasy with a hint of romance, you might want to try out These Broken Stars. Maybe someone else will have a much better time with Tarver's personality. No guarantees, though. And no rollbacks in the process.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Owls