Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Hardback, 374 pages
Published December 10th 2013 by 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.”
From the very beginning I had an idea that I would really like this book. I was not disappointed. These Broken Stars follows Lilac and Tarver’s journey as they crash land on an unknown planet. They must gather supplies to survive and focus on getting to a point in the far, far distance. But the “whispers” have other ideas for Lilac and Tarver. They intervene when the pair needs them the most; but when a tragic event rips them apart, will they help them. Or are they running according to their own agenda?
I will start with the negatives. There wasn’t a lot of time spent in space, and I’d definitely class this of more of a survival story than a sci-fi or space novel. I felt that the beginning scene- the Icarus’ crash- was very quick. It didn’t lack detail, no, but I just felt that a couple more pages or even paragraphs could have been devoted to the event. Also, I felt that some scenes were a little repetitive. It wasn’t anything majorly obvious and didn’t take away the limelight from the rest of the story at all as I found myself drinking in every word; devouring every sentence. I wanted this book to last forever- to never end. Can you tell that I liked it?
These Broken Stars unfolded much differently than what I thought it would. Especially because I was expecting epic space adventure. But the characters surprised me the most. I wasn’t really expecting to like them as much as I did. Some people would say that they were a little typical: a rich-kid that realises that life isn’t as easy as what it seems, a war hero who looks down his nose at people who look down their noses’ and a father that hates the war hero and doesn’t want his daughter anywhere him- or any other male- for shit. But I really liked these characters’, I felt that they went beyond the stereotype and I loved seeing the characters development and the shift between them- especially Lilac and Tarver. Lilac becomes so much stronger and learns that she must also shoulder burdens like everyone else. And Tarver realises that people aren’t always what they seem on the surface and that his initial impressions of people aren’t always correct. This was expertly shown in a dual perspective from both Lilac and Tarver. Their voices were easy to distinguish without having to look back and remind yourself of whose voice you’re reading in. The power shift was also admirable in this book and, I felt, was original and added even more to the book. Another really awesome thing about this book was the interview snippets at the beginning of each chapter giving you small, subtle clues throughout- keeping the reader wholly invested in the story.
The “whispers” added an almost paranormal aspect to the story. Adding another layer of suspense to this novel. I loved the idea, even if at the end it took me a while to get my head around the whole concept of them. However, it is explained properly and is broken down so that you eventually understand everything. Something very unexpected happened towards the ending, wrenching Lilac and Tarver apart- I was sobbing at this part so much! The ending of this book was really great. However, there are a couple of questions that I found unanswered: What happened to Lilac’s “body” when the planet was destroyed? And what were the “anomalies” that were discussed with Tarver in the interview?
Overall this is one of my favourite books I’ve read this year and I would recommend it to anyone who loves survival and adventure stories, science fiction and romance. Even if you aren’t all that hung up on those I would still recommend trying These Broken Stars as it is definitely a brilliant thrilling read. The sequel to These Broken Stars and second book in the Starbound series, This Shattered World, is out December 23rd 2014 and follows two other characters. Even though I am sad we won’t be reading from Lilac and Tarver’s POV, I hope they’re still featured in the book somewhere and we find out what happens to them.
Thanks for reading. Please like and comment below if you have read this book, you want to buy this book but need more persuading or if you agreed/disagreed with my review. I’d love to hear from you! Or you can contact me here.