This review is spoiler-free!
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Romance
Release Date: December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Format: Hardcover, 378 pages
Find it here: Goodreads || Book Depository
Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
If you guessed that I first picked this up because of the cover… then you know me too well. Best way to drag me into buying without care: space and pretty dresses on the covers of things. Luckily enough for me, this book was actually set in space, and I was basically geeking out the entire time I was reading it.
I love a good sci-fi, and while there was definitely something small lacking from this book (which is why it didn’t get five stars from me, but it definitely was on the track to having them!), I really loved the idea of two characters from different worlds getting stranded on another planet (planet) and having to struggle to survive. The fact there was the possibility of aliens added into it just made it even better.
The two main characters of this book, whom you read through in alternating chapters, are Lilac and Tarver — designated space heiress and sassy space major extraordinaire, respectively. The intermittent bits of the interrogation that Tarver has to go through are also present, giving hints as to what to expect at least a little come some later point in the novel, and are actually my favorite parts of the whole story. I really, really enjoyed the story, but the parts where Tarver gets to show his wit and sass and take-no-shit attitude in such a clear-cut way despite how small the exchanges are, are my favorite parts. I adored Tarver.
I won’t go too in-depth for fear of spoilage, but, as you can no doubt guess, there is some romance in this story. I does have a feel of insta-romance to it, but I decided to go ahead and ignore the slight hint due to the circumstances. Yes, you’re stranded in space with one other person who’s in your relative age group and yes you’re relying heavily on each other to make it through this alive, but you just survived a horrible tragedy and are one of two sole survivors of a tragedy that killed thousands. You’re going to probably cling to the other individual in some form, and the fact there was some chemistry before the crash even happened curbs that feeling of insta-romance for me, too. I really liked the pairing we were given and the way they interacted, so when the romance started to poke out, I didn’t necessarily feel like it was totally uncalled for.
The survival part, aside from the bits of interrogation, was the best part to read. I enjoyed hearing about their world before the crash, but once these two teens are alone in that small part of the universe, my interest in everything spiked. Kaufman and Spooner work so well together, and the interaction between their characters, both to one another and to the world around them, is really so nicely done. I really did wonder what was going to happen at some parts of the book, and even though they outright tell you something specific is going to happen at some point during the interrogation, you’re still left grasping at straws.
All in all, definitely a really, really fantastic book. My biggest complaint was that there was something missing for it to be a full five stars in my eyes, probably because I was expecting something with a little more oomph at the end there (which, wow Nova, they crashed from a spaceship at the start and you want more oomph, I know), and I didn’t get it, so I was mildly let down. It’s still a very good book, and I recommend it to anyone who likes Across the Universe by Beth Revis, or likes YA sci-fi in general.
Before I finish this off, I just have to say that the entire time I was reading this book, I was reminded over and over again of a Star Trek fanfiction I read way back when. Does anyone else do that? Consistently think of fanfictions when they relate a small amount to the book they’re reading? Maybe I just read way too much fanfiction, which is entirely plausible.
Anyway, thanks for reading! Let me know what you thought of the book if you read it yourself, and what the others are like if you’ve also read them!