Tuesday, November 12, 2013

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars 
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 
Read: September 27 - 29, 2013
Published: December 10, 2013 by Disney - Hyperion **UPCOMING**
Source: NetGalley THANK YOU!
Category: Space, sci-fi, survival, ya
Find: Goodreads | Amazon

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 glittery, future world with Victorian inspired elements and beautiful ball gowns. Hyper space travel. A swoony forbidden love story between classes. An intense and epic crash a la titanic. A battle of survival, including a scenic but harrowing trek across a landscape. Creepy mind games and lots of danger. These Broken Stars has something for everyone. 

The cast

Lilac is the daughter of the wealthiest man in the universe. She is a socialite used to parties and paparazzi, but she has depth and strength that she hides well. 

Tarver is a military war hero on a publicity tour, who is not interested in the flashy life of a celebrity. He is more comfortable on the field where he is well trained and has very good survival skills. 

Big and small, loud and soft, 5 details about These Broken Stars that make this book stand out.

1) Extreme Contrasts. A glossy and chaotically crowded ship vs. an uninhabited planet. The number of survivors contrasted with the number of people who don't make it out of the crash. Tarver's world vs. Lilac's and how much that matters (and doesn't) once they're on the planet. These Broken Stars features some extreme contrasts, all of which work to set the mood of the book, heighten the tension and provide a stunning and eerie picture of before and after the ship goes down. The imagery of LOUD to quiet perfectly sets the mood of the story and is one of my favorite elements. 

2) Interludes. A brief section of dialogue between Tarver and someone else is included before each chapter begins. It takes up such a small part of the overall tale, but it simply and perfectly ties the pieces of this story together. I'm not sure this book would feel complete without it. These moments succeeded in being witty, while setting the stage for the chapter to come. They made me feel like I was an accomplice in everything that Tarver and Lilac faced, adding to my emotional connection to the story and these characters. The interludes provide a little different look at Tarver from what we see in his interactions with Lilac. As the story went along, they also helped to heighten the tension.  

3) Am I going crazy? There is an underlying creepiness to These Broken Stars that is delicious. As I mentioned above, this was partly done through contrasts, as Lilac and Tarver go from an excessively crowded space ship to an grossly uninhabited planet. But eerie things start happening once they arrive on the planet that slowly creep into the plot, adding to the atmosphere. Lilac begins to see odd things soon after she crash lands, which only complicates their trek across the deserted landscape. The strangeness of this world slowly comes into the story, adding to a rising sense of foreboding. Yum. 

4) I can't believe they go there. These Broken Stars kept me on my toes. This book is filled with surprises, but one particular part of the book blew everything else out of the water. It is shocking and terrifying, and I could not believe the authors had done it at the time. I still can't. Yes, you will know exactly what I mean when you get to this part. I kind of hate them for it. I kind of love them. But this book wouldn't be as stunning without the choice to go where they do. I'm also not sure I would have felt as emotionally connected to this story and these characters without it. Are you dying to know what I'm talking about yet? Good! Read the book. 

Don't miss Amie and Meg's thoughts on shocking their readers in my interview with them. 

5) A perfectly paced romance. For most of this story there are only two characters total, and yet, these authors managed to write a slowly building, shivery, tension filled romance that builds and builds until it explodes. But while that is happening, these two characters each get more incredible as well. They balance each other perfectly, and truly wouldn't have survived without the others strength. It's also fun to discover each of their secret passions, which are surprising and very different. If I had to pick one person to keep me alive on an uninhabited planet for an indefinite amount of time, it would be Tarver. But though Lilac seems the weaker of the two at first - she's wearing heals, a ball gown and has never had to fend for herself - that girl has a core of steal. I daresay, Tarver wouldn't have made it without her either. 

These Broken Stars was as good as I hoped it would be. I fell in love with Lilac, Tarver and their future world, and I can't wait to find out where Amie and Meg take us next! 

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Low. Companion series. 
Cover: A gorgeous cover, and that cover dress is ACTUALLY IN THE BOOK. It's not just a standard prom dress cover. Lots of fun book clues on the cover photo. 

RE the next book: A timeless love story, These Broken Stars sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy. 

Book two This Shattered World is set in the same galaxy as book one in the Starbound Trilogy. Six months after the events of THESE BROKEN STARS, the second book in the trilogy follows a new pair of star-crossed lovers—one a rebel fighting for his home, the other a soldier, her mission to eradicate the rebellion—facing down a powerful darkness hidden in the wilderness of a newly terraformed world.


Don't miss my stop on the These Broken Stars blog tour, including my interview with authors Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, found HERE


  1. Okay, now I'm really excited about this book. I loved the blurb and the cover (I can't help it, I love the pretty dresses and even better that it's actually in the story) and now, after your review, I'm starting this as soon as I get home. YAY!

  2. So glad to hear you loved this one too! I fell in lust with the cover the first time I saw it, and have been impatiently waiting to get my hands on this book and every glowing review I read makes me more excited, more impatient but also more reassured!

    Big YAY for no cliffhangers or love triangles!!

  3. This is one of my FAVORITE reviews of this book, Lauren. You've captured exactly what I like about it and explained the story and mood so well--I know if I hadn't already read it, I would be panting to get my hands on a copy! Love love love.

  4. I love the way you described the romance, I really can't wait for this book. And you've completely piqued my interest with the part of the book that you can't believe they went there. What happens?? Oh well, I'm one of the few people who didn't get an ARC of this book so I'll have to wait until December! :) Great review! ~Pam

  5. Yep--you nailed it in this review! This book was awesome--and I am not much for survivalist stories (they freak me out) but this one didn't. I really like your first point about the contrast between the loud and quiet--I didn't think of it in those terms when I was reading but now that you have mentioned it , YES. You are so right--the contrast is huge and powerful:) And that THING--that jaw dropping event--gah! It left my head spinning for a while:)

    I can't wait for book #2--so many speculations about the characters and how the story will progress! Fantastic review:))

  6. I just LOVE the idea of exploring uncharted territory in space! But the prospect of exploring an uninhabited planet after a disastrous space crash is frightening (which only makes me want to read this story even more)! I want to read all about the atmospheric descriptions of the deserted and ominous planet. I want to read how these two unlikely characters band together to survive, but most importantly, I want to read how their love story unravels when there is so much to be feared. Ahhh! Your review makes me so excited for this book, Lauren; I can't stress that enough! Perfect, perfect, perfect, review! :)

  7. What a fantastic review! The extreme contrasts, the interrogation, the creepiness and the WTF they totally went there! YES to everything! I adored Tarver and his protective nature but I also appreciated Lilac's insistence to stand on her own. Such a phenomenal book and your review captures the spirit of the novel brilliantly!

  8. I loved reading both your interview with the authors and your review here, Lauren! This book sounds so fantastic and I can't wait to get the opportunity to read it for myself. The contrasts point that you make really intrigues me - it can be hard to always pull of extremes convincingly, but it sounds as though Spooner and Kaufman did a great job here! Also loving the fact this will be a companion novel series. Lovely review, Lauren! Glad it lived up to the hype for you!

  9. I totally agree with the awesome underlying creepiness. It was something I definitely wasn't expecting to be part of the this kind of book, but ended up being amazing & perfectly melded into the plot. I can't wait for more of this universe! Fantastic review, thanks for sharing!

  10. AH. Another awesome review. I didn't hear anything about creepiness until you wrote about, and I love that there are SURPRISES. Oh My Gosh. Give this book to me now. haha


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