Tuesday, December 10, 2013

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars Amie Kaufman Meagan Spooner
These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Source/Format: BEA 2013 || ARC
[I received this book from the publisher. This is no way affects my review.]

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, journeying across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help. 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.


There's been a lot of positive buzz for These Broken Stars around the blogging community. It feels great to say that I enjoyed this story, even though it didn't exactly hit the five star mark.  There are two enjoyable main characters, a story that was extremely engrossing from beginning to end and a romance that felt surprisingly authentic in spite of its timeframe. What's not to like indeed?

Of the narrating characters, I was drawn to Tarver and immediately developed a big crush on him. (What can I say? I do adore a man in uniform.) He is an amazing example of strength, responsibility and loyalty, even when under duress. He is a protector, and a hero, and an all-around good guy. Even though he veered into serious, abrasive territory at times, his good nature always prevailed -- and that is why I loved him so completely.

Lilac is the other narrating character; she was definitely more difficult to like. She pulled off being a spoiled brat in the earlier chapters so effectively that I very nearly disliked her. Eventually, readers will learn more about her history and it will be helpful in understanding what made her who she is. My favorite thing about her was watching her transformation during the entirety of their experience on the unfamiliar planet, especially when it came to her bravery and strength.

If it isn't obvious, these two become romantically entangled. Their relationship could have fallen into the realm of insta-love based on the timeframe alone, but it just felt true to the situation they found themselves in. Personally, I thought that it developed pretty darn well. It ebbs, flows and grows over the course of time - going from indifference, to hate, to like and to something a little bit more. 

Apart from the romance, and these characters, there is also the epic adventure this story takes us on. The beginning felt a little clunky, especially because everything felt a wee bit too orchestrated to lead up to the crash. But from the moment Lilac and Tarver embark on their journey on the unknown planet, things get really interesting! I liked reading about the various landscapes they had to traipse through, and the things they faced along the way. As for the ending (a.k.a. the last few chapters), my feelings are lukewarm. There are too many elements that I remain unsure of, but hopefully, the next few books will clear things up for me.

These Broken Stars was certainly written beautifully, with words that flowed into and out of one another effortlessly. The elements are carefully pieced together, but my decided lack of personal connection to the story is what made me forgo that one star in the rating. Still, there's something intriguing here, a unique factor that kept me reading on. And that, my friends, is what makes me want to find out what happens next to Lilac and Tarver -- and encourages me to recommend this book.

How do you feel about the dual POV? Which POV do you prefer?

I like having two points of view -- if it's for the right story. I think the best use of two points of view are as follows: (1) when the two characters are in different places and haven't met yet, or (2) when the story of each individual character must be revealed in depth.

In this book, the chapters are split between Lilac and Tarver. Honestly (and this should come as no surprise), I loved Tarver's point of view. He was frank, smart and just so easy to love! I liked that he had the practicality of the soldier, but the heart of a lover.

22 comments:

  1. Yay I really liked this one. Lilac was definitely not easy to like I wanted to slap her at the start haha. But I love how much she grew throughout and became basically a whole different, hardened person. I felt unsure about the ending either. Not necessarily unsatisfied but I felt like it could have been more I guess. I'm also not 100% sure of the explanations given it was a bit confusing. I'm wondering how much they'll delve into that in the sequel - it's a companion so they might take a whole new angle too. I guess we'll see :)

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    1. The ending is the part that kind of threw me off, as I don't think I was expecting it to go in that direction. I'm curious to see how they're going to carry it on in the second book!

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  2. I loved this book! I totally agree about the romance. It could have been insta-love but it totally wasn't. It was slow-burning and I was screaming at them to just make out the whole time. Lol. I think that the subsequent books are going to be companions though so Idk if we will even see much of Lilac and Tarver. :( I love Tarver and I want more of him!

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    1. I hope that, even though the next books are companions, we still get a glimpse of Tarver and Lilac from time to time! I adored Tarver, and their relationship ended up being so cute in the end. I was certainly convinced they had feelings for each other ;)

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  3. I think what I really liked about this book was that they were both sort of hiding who they really were from the world. Can't wait for the companion novel!

    Kate @ Ex Libris


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    1. Ooh, Kate, I think you absolutely hit the nail on the head there! They really were hiding their "true selves" from everyone else, so it's kind of fun to watch it all come out when they think they're the only two people left alone together to survive. I'm excited for the companion too!

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  4. I love that this one is dual POV! Yet another thing to look forward to for when I FINALLY get my hands on it, haha.

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    1. I think the dual POV was something that worked for These Broken Stars. It certainly lent extra insight into what was going on in Tarver's head AND Lilac's, especially as they were such different people. I hope you got your hands on a copy!

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  5. I like that so many people have been saying the romance feels authentic! I'm really looking forward to checking this one out!

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    1. I was really worried that it would feel like insta-love because of the short time span of when Tarver and Lilac fall in love. But it seriously doesn't feel that way! It helps that the stakes are high, and there's an authenticity to both of them as individuals.

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  6. Hehe. I also immediately developed a crush on Tarver and his uniform! I loved his snarky softness. It took me longer to like Lilac. I did enjoy reading about her transformation from bratty to someone more likeable. And the TWIST. That kind of threw me over the edge. Wasn't expecting it at all! So glad you liked it!

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    1. Tarver is incredibly likable from the start! Even when he's trying to be all tough and gruff, it's easy to see his more vulnerable side too. I knew I was going to love him immediately.

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  7. Hurray! I’m so glad you enjoyed this as much as I did Alexa! I agree 100% with everything you’ve said – especially that the romance and the characterization (Lilac's transformation was SO well-done IMO!) was PHENOMENAL, and the writing was out of this world, but – like you – I felt the ending was a little confusing, but, like you said, I'm sure it will be cleared up in Book 2! As always, brilliant review! :)

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    1. I'm glad that we have the same opinion on These Broken Stars! It really was a fantastic book, and beautifully written to boot. Honestly, I'm dying just thinking about how long we have to wait for the next one. Thanks for reading the review and for the lovely comment! <3

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  8. Haha, I was thinking the same thing about liking a man in uniform :D (or suits, suits work as well)
    And just Tarver! *sigh* I'm big time crushing on him as well!
    I did like Lilac from the beginning, cause I didn't believe her spoiled princess act. And I really loved the development of their relationship, it felt real! :)
    Glad you liked it Alexa!

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    1. I had a feeling you'd think the same way I did about Tarver, Daisy! He's such a crush-worthy character. And their relationship swept me away in the romance, the vulnerability, the authenticity of it all!

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  9. I can't WAIT to read this one! I'm actually tacking myself onto the end of the Literary Lushes ARC tour for this book haha. I have a feeling I'm going to LOVE it and I'm so happy to see all the positive responses for it!

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    1. I'm PSYCHED for you, Brittany! I really think you're going to adore this book, too (although you might have already read it, I'm not sure since I'm responding so late). It's got some great elements, including characters to love! Happy reading!

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  10. I just finished this one a while ago; really enjoyed it, but not as much as I was expecting. I did like exploring the planet they landed on. That was really fun and exciting! And to answer your question... I don't mind dual POVs, but they have to be unique, which I feel most are not. This one did a really good job of it and I felt that Tarver and Lilac had unique voices. I like the Friends with ARCs idea! I hate not knowing who has advanced copies of books when I'm reading so I never know who I can chat with!

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    1. Well, if you ever have an ARC that I have too, we can totally read at the same time so we can chat about it too! I'm glad you really liked this one, even though it wasn't an all-star read for you. There's just something fascinating about the world that Meagan and Amy have opened up for us!

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  11. I'm really excited to read this one! I actually pre-ordered it because I kept hearing such great things about it :) I am really happy that you noted this could easily veered into insta-love but instead seemed fitting for the book and developed well. Can't wait to read it and see how my thoughts compare!

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    1. I really hope you enjoy this book, Hannah. It's really well-written, which I loved! And I also thought it was wonderfully unique, in terms of the world the authors crafted and how they made Tarver and Lilac into characters I could completely love.

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