Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
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.
This book was honestly nothing I had expected and I really enjoyed that. I’ve made an effort to stay away from spoilers this whole time, and it really paid off. I was intrigued and confused and stumped by lots of things, and it made the ending that much more satisfying.
The book starts off with Tarver, a decorated war hero, and Lilac, daughter of the most powerful man in all the worlds, traveling aboard a giant luxury spaceship. They meet and immediately hit it off, only for Lilac to push him away, since Daddy Big-bucks also has a habit of disposing of any men interested in his darling daughter. However, something goes horrible wrong and the ship, the Icarus, is ripped out of hyperspace. Tarver and Lilac get stuck in an escape pod together, and thanks to Lilac’s secret mechanic magic, they break away from the ship before it crashes onto a planet. Now they are stranded together on a world mysteriously devoid of people, and have to survive the land, and each other, in order to find a way home.
I really enjoyed this book. It was so refreshing and original as a YA sci-fi book, and I can really appreciate that. The plot was fairly well paced and surprising, the writing was beautiful, but the driving force behind it’s success was really the characters. Tarver and Lilac had such good chemistry and substance, that when a majority of this book focused on their relationship, instead of being slow or boring, it kept you interested. I think that the author’s decision to write this book in alternating points of view was a stroke of genius, and as a result, I fell in love with both characters.
Tarver was actually two boys in one body; the calm and collected soldier, and the emotional, caring poet. Both parts are completely different but worked well together in this one boy, and I loved him transitioning between the two, never knowing which was right. At first, his soldier was in control, evaluating the situation and keeping them alive. But as the story went on and his feelings for Lilac grew, he showed a new side of himself, a side that loved his family and their little house, a side that wanted Lilac to be apart of it. I really want to know more about his time in the war though. He refers to it sometimes, but I would love to see that part of his life, and what he did to become so famous.
I honestly hated Lilac at first. After she so cruelly rejected Tarver, I assumed I had her all figured out. And once they survived the crash, only for her to think that the people who died were the lucky ones, I knew I had her all figured out. Shallow, spoiled, weak, a princess with no back bone, living in fear of her father and what all her rich friends thought. I wanted a flaming piece of the Icarus to come flying out of the sky and smush her. But then, something unexpected happened. She started actually doing some stuff and showing that she was strong, that she could help and not be a damsel in distress. She grew and transformed into an impressive girl, with depth and brains and courage, and in the end, I was almost as in love with her as Tarver.
Their story was so wonderfully written, I wanted to cheer. It was eerie and spooky, but so intense and beautiful at the same time. At some points, it would start to slow down, only to come right back up and kick you in the face. And I absolutely love that I had no idea what the hell was going on. Not to brag (I’m totally bragging) but I’m usually disgustingly good at guessing what’s going to happen and it upsets me every time. But with all the whispering voices and hallucinations, I had no idea! I had a few really out there guesses, none of which were right, but it teased you up until the end. And that last chunk of the book hurt so good. The whole book was a huge emotional roller coaster but that last part almost killed me. Even if you’re reading this book and feel like it’s maybe a little slow, just you wait.
The only complaints I have are that yes, it goes a little slow sometimes when they are just walking around through the forest, and the ending was a little anti-climactic. Not the ending ending but the solution to their problem on the planet, while that whole situation had me nervously sweating and chewing my nails, it was kind of like “poof!” then done. I was intrigued by the mystery of the planet and hoping to get a little bit more details about certain things. Yes I know I’m being very vague, but I’m trying to not give anything away.
I’m actually super excited for the next book though! I know that it’s not going to be about Tarver and Lilac, which does make me a little sad, I’m really excited to visit the war and other planets. And I’m hoping it takes place after this book so maybe we will see how Lilac and Tarver are doing like in the tabloids or something. Also, I heard this is being turned into a TV show?! That’s kind of crazy to me, this seems more like a book meant for a movie, since it’s kind of slow and just one book, at least as far a having the same characters go. But I’m still excited to see what they do with it.