Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

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Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Genre: Sci-Fi, YA
Publication date: December 10th 2013
by Disney Hyperion

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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.
-A copy was provided by Hachette Book Group Canada for review-

Guys! This is not a story about a girl flying in space in a dress! That’s only in the first chapter. I swear!

Actually, most of this book is a survival story. After a crash land on an anonymous planet, Tarver and Lilac have to find a way to get along and stay alive amongst the wild animals and Lilac’s questionable state of mind. It’s not a fast paced read, but rather a slow trek on this mysterious planet full of whispers, visions, ghosts, and other bizarre happenings. This is what keeps it completely enthralling. You get that constant need to read just one more chapter to try and get some answers as to what exactly is happening in this weird place. Is Lilac going insane, or are the voices real?

Told in dual point-of-views, we get the story from polar opposite perspectives. Tarver is on his turf. He was trained to survive in situations like these. He’s an award winning leader and expert in motivating people, pushing them to do what is needed to survive. I really enjoyed his strength, his drive, and especially his patience with Lila who, on a completely different standpoint has never been close to being in a situation like this where a ball gown is impractical and things are…. dirty. The character growth that Lila goes through during this ordeal is impressive, and frankly I was so thankful for it. I could have slapped her at the beginning, but she really changes completely until I came to fully adore her. As expected, there’s a romance that sprouts between these two. It’s sweet and genuine, bringing out an emotional side to the story that becomes fairly monumental when certain unexpected turn of events are strung out at us. I really really wish I could talk about these! *forcefully keeps her mouth shut*

In addition to the dual POV we also get interview sessions between each chapter. These are very brief but full of hidden meaning. I both loved and hated them, however. I disliked them because it tells us from the start that they were rescued and are now being questioned about what happened on the planet. This makes the anxiety in regards to them surviving a little less so. On the other hand, they deepen the mystery just a smudge more when we see Tarver being so strongly interrogated. You just know what they saw on that planet – what we’re about to find out – is worth this much scrutiny. In regards to the plot, I can’t say much obviously, but it becomes fairly mind-boggling as far as the sci-fi aspect. Some of it I’m still putting together, but overall I was quite impressed with the originality and imaginative nature of it all. Still, this sci-fi conspiracy side of the book was not my favorite – for personal taste more than anything. The main reason I loved it is due to the character oriented, suspense-filled survival story that encompasses 90% of it. Therefore, I’m not sure what I will make of the series as a whole (edit: apparently the others are companions so I’m excited!), but as far as this first installment I couldn’t get enough!

4 Stars
4 Hot Espressos

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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33 Responses to “Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    That’s it. I”m reading this one next…if my Kindle is charged (eep! Did I charge it?). I can see how the interviews of the aftermath would take away a bit of the tension but it sounds like, as a whole, it still worked.

  2. JennRenee

    I just started the first chapter and I am so excited to read the book. I had to put it down to finish some other books but I am getting through them faster knowing I have this one waiting.

    I can understand the interviews lessening the story a bit but it seems it didn’t take away too much. great review.

  3. Christianna

    I need to read this one! I’m all about survivalist stories and it sounds like this one is brilliant! I like that you said that it has a lot of character growth too, so that’s cool. Thanks for the great review!

  4. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    Man, that cover is so freaking gorgeous that I probably could read it if the whole book was about the cover.
    This sounds really good and I’m glad you liked it because all I could think of when I read that summary was Across the Universe by Beth Revis which was ok. I always approve when books are told in the guy’s POV too so another plus there. This also reminds me of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century which I used to love beyond words. Zoom, zoom, zoom 🙂
    I think I need to read this one!

    What happened to the vent posts, I miss those…

  5. Ellen

    I have been hearing a lot of really good things about this book. Thanks for clearing up the flying in space on the cover thing. Wonderful review.

  6. P.E. @ The Sirenic Codex

    Yes, a gorgeous cover for a good book! I love the concept for this book. The characters seem very impressive and I also love the sci-fi aspect. It may not be as prominent as I would have thought, but I don’t mind the conspiracy/survival story idea either.

    I’m looking forward to reading These Broken Stars!

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    This is coming up for review, so I shamelessly skimmed your review (sorry) I do like the survival aspect and the dual pov has me excited. I am delighted to see you rated it well.

  8. Chel @ The Procrastinator's Corner

    I keep seeing this everywhere! I’m already looking forward to this but you guys make the wait much harder. Still, I’m so glad you loved this, Giselle! I’ve heard so many good things about Lila’s growth as a characters and it’s what really made me so excited about this at first. First time I heard about the interview thingy though. Not sure what I think about that, but we’ll see. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  9. Pili

    Another super positive review for this one and I’m biting my nails even more!! I have been dying to get this one since I saw the cover and I preordered it quite a while ago and I CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON IT!!
    Thanks for a grear (and reassuring for me) review, Giselle!

  10. Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun

    I’ve been really interested in this one just because of the cover (I know bad, but I can’t help it!) and I love the sounds of it. I do think the interview aspect is disappointing since I’d rather not know how things work out. But that aside, I’ll still pick it up because I’m all about the characters and these sound great! Great review 🙂

  11. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Great that this one turned out to be a fantastic read Giselle, I am eagerly anticipating picking this one up. I like the sound of the interviews to flesh out more of the world building. I’m all for character driven stories with suspense.

  12. Kimmy

    I totally agree! I just finished reading this in the wee hours of the morning and I loved it! What a great book! I’m very curious about the companion novels and how they’ll fit in with Tarver and Lilac’s story.

  13. Molli

    I wrote my review in October and STILL am not happy with it, so I’m editing it tonight to more properly reflect all the emotions this one made me feel. The conspiracy part wasn’t my favorite either. But I’m really intrigued to see what Kaufman and Spooner do with the other two books. AND TARVER. I thought the romance was really genuine too. 😀

  14. Amy @ Book Loving Mom

    I’m glad that you liked this. I will be reading it soon!! I think the interviews sound cool. It does seem like it might take away a little bit since we know they survived, but that’s okay. I have read a few books that you know that the people made it out of whatever situation, but the story is still intriguing. Great review hon!!!

  15. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows

    Eeep, I’m so pumped you loved this! I was hoping to have read mine by now but I’ve failed…needless to say when I saw your review, I was in a hurry to come by and see what you thought. I know you’re not a sci-fi freak like me so the fact that you we so invested in the characters and the story despite that is pretty cool! I think I’m going to have fun with this one 😀 Fab review!

  16. Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

    I think this is one of those books that I NEED. A sci-fi survival story set in space seems sort of like the best thing ever to me. And I love hearing that the characters have some development and growth over the course of the book. That’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. Love your review and will definitely be getting this one!

  17. Aylee

    Oh man, I’m SO curious about this one now!! I really can’t wait to find out all the secrets of this planet and what makes the story so intriguing! So happy you loved this one so much because I was worried with all the hype. I can definitely see where you’re coming from with your few criticisms though – I think I will lower my expectations somewhat. GREAT review!!

  18. Zoe

    YEAH! So glad you liked this one as much as I did! I agree – the writing is FANTASTIC and I loved the survival aspect of the story as well! Though, in my opinion, Tarver and Lilac were the best part of the story! 🙂 As always, brilliant review! 😀