Release Date: December 10th, 2013
Genre: Young Adult, Science-Fiction
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Where to Buy:
Here's the Summary:
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.
Okay, so I know I'm a little late to the party on this one. These Broken Stars came out about a year and a half ago, and anyone with a functioning set of eyeballs had to stop and take second look at the book with that. gorgeous. cover. Not only that, but the summary promises us a nerve-wracking survival-type story on a deserted planet with a side helping of romance between two teenagers from two very different backgrounds. Yes, please!!! I can't believe it took me this long to get to it. For shame!!!
First, I'll start by saying that as far as the writing goes, I'm not worthy! Every sentence/ paragraph/ chapter is beautifully crafted and poetic. Ms. Kaufman and Ms. Spooner have a way with descriptions that leave you in awe with a serious twinge of jealousy. lol Even so, reading prose like this is what helps us budding authors spiral into full bloom. I'll definitely be reading more of their work.
Second, I'm sure this comparison has been made before, but there were obvious nods to Titanic in this novel. If it was unintentional, I'd be thoroughly surprised. You have a redheaded socialite (Lilac) with a controlling parent, and her love interest is a handsome kid from a common background (Tarver), albeit, instead of a wayward sketch artist like in Titanic, he's a decorated war hero at the young age of eighteen. But you see the similarities there. And in the beginning, they meet on a fancy space ship which has practically been deemed un-crashable and one of their finest ships yet, which, you guessed it!!! Ends up crashing. Except in this story, the romance happens after said crash, not before.
Third! The romance. I'm a sucker for complicated love at first sight. But let me take a moment to clarify - not complicated as in the guy is an *sshole and the girl falls for him anyway because he's oh-so-hot and she just can't help it. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT TO ALL GIRLS EVERYWHERE - it is NOT love when a guy treats you like crap and humiliates you, even when he has rock-hard abs and a killer smile. Ever. Stay away and find a guy who adores and respects you. Nuff said. Now that that's out of the way, I mean complicated as in she fears it may not work between them because of her overbearing, manipulative father, so even though there was an initial attraction, she keeps him at a distance to spare both her and Tarver. And because she keeps him at an emotional distance, he thinks she doesn't really like him because of his upbringing and thinks he's not good enough. But don't worry, they have time as they journey across a deserted planet to figure things out. And when their guards finally drop and they give in to each other, it's sweet and steamy and beautiful.
Lastly, there's the well-crafted suspense. So Tarver and Ms. Lilac crash on a deserted planet. The crash itself has you gripping onto the book (or in my case, Kindle) for dear life, even though you know they have to make it or else the book would be about one person trying to survive alone until they find a way to get rescued. And this story doesn't have Tom Hanks or a volleyball named Wilson, so we pretty much know they both survive the landing. But the scene of said crash is so well written it's hard not to tense up as you're reading. After the crash landing, you have a deserted planet with beasts in the woods and weird whispering beings, and the characters suffer hallucinations, near starvation and hypothermia. Then one of them gets sick and it's a race to help them before they die. THEN, at the end, something dreadful and unbelievable happens, and I absolutely refuse to speak more of it because I don't want to give anything away, but how it's rectified is horrifying and wonderful and just plain amazing.
There were a few places where the story dragged, even with all the suspense, surprisingly, but one could argue that they were key moments for character development so I won't take away a whole star for that. Just a half of one. :)
Nothing to say in this category.
In conclusion, if you're in need of a well-written suspenseful romance, READ THIS BOOK. You don't even have to be a Science-Fiction lover to enjoy it.
Favorite Quote: “For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it's gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the after-images away.
Until all that's left is us.”
About the Authors:
Amie Kaufman is the New York Times bestselling author of of two young adult science fiction trilogies. She had the good fortune to be raised just one block from her local library, and took full advantage of that fact growing up. She and her sister spent their childhood summers re-creating their favorite books by camping in the back yard, mapping their neighborhood, climbing trees, stepping through magical doors and sailing the local seas.
Raised in Australia and Ireland, she has kissed the Blarney stone six times, thoroughly cementing her gift of the gab. She now lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and her rescue dog. She still sails, and though she climbs fewer trees, she remains partial to investigating the occasional magical door.
Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She's traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there's a bit of every trip in every story she writes.
She currently lives and writes in Asheville, North Carolina, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there's no telling how long she'll stay there.
In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.