Series: Starbound #1
Author: Aime Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: December 2013 by Disney Hyperion
Synopsis: 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
I was very nervous about reading These Broken Stars. For one thing there was a lot of hype. When this book came out last December I saw practically every blog I follow raving about how fantastic it is. I'm pretty sure it made a lot of people's best of the year lists. That was my first fear, that it wouldn't live up to the hype. Based on the synopsis it sounds like there is a lot of traveling around a deserted planet and trying to survive, which if you follow my blog you know I hate. My second fear was that it would be full of boring travel montages. Boy was I wrong. This book lives up to the hype and is so much more than a book about survival.
Now don't mistake me, it is a book about survival. Lilac and Tarver get (space)shipwrecked on a strange planet after their postmodern Titanic is ripped out of hyperspace and they must complete usual stranded passenger tasks like finding food, shelter, and a way of communicating to get rescued. But this book is so much more than that. There is much more mystery than I expected. I thought that the main reveal was going to be what planet this was and I was convinced I had figured that out. Wrong again. The mystery was much deeper than that and about halfway through the book I began doubting my theory and completely shocked by the twists and turns that the authors were throwing my way. As the book winded down and the secrets began to be revealed I had my mind blown by one event and revelation after another. This book was one big mindfuck (sorry I swore, but I had to do it, that's the only way to describe the feeling). This book was a mystery, wrapped in a riddle, inside in an enigma!
What also surprised me about this book was how much I enjoyed the romance. At first I expected a clichéd rich girl falls for bad boy from "the wrong side of the tracks" kind of story but again this book proved me wrong again. It was so much more than that even though, yes, that was the gist of their relationship. At the beginning I was annoyed at their inability to act on their attraction but as they spent more time together and got to know one another better my feelings for them as characters grew and my longing for them to get together as a couple grew. I appreciated the subtle moments of romance where their relationship wasn't shoved down my throat. Even though there was insta-attraction their actual relationship was more of the slowburning kind of romance which I love.
|Gaius and Number Six get it! Do you?|
The only clichés here is an underlying theme of the book which completely sums up my feelings about it, "there is more than meets the eye" and "don't judge a book by its cover." This book was full of surprises and thrills. Just when I thought I had everything all figured out it would throw me for a loop with another shocking surprise. The plot was full of surprises but so were the characters. What was so interesting is that because the chapters alternated perspectives between Lilac and Tarver we got to see the characters through each other's eyes but we also got to know them on a deeper more personal level. It helped to connect with them and root for their survival.
When the book was finished and my book hangover set in that I realized how fantastic and mindblowing this book really was. It is a great piece of young adult Science Fiction and I loved having my brain exploded in the process of reading. Never before have I been so glad that I was wrong about a book.
I give These Broken Stars a 10 out of 10
I recommend this book to anyone who likes Science Fiction, someone looking for a slowburning romance, or anyone who likes stories full of mystery and suspense. Definitely for people who are fans of Lost and Battlestar Gallactica.