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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

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ARC Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman + Meagan Spooner

Starbound #1
Author: Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion

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 first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.
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

~Happy Reading!


Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.