Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Posted 2 December, 2013 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 33 Comments

Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
5 Stars

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.

*I received a free ARC of These Broken Stars from Disney Hyperion via Netgalley in exchange of an honest review*

These Broken Stars is a beautifully written young adult novel set in a more or less distant future, when space travel is quite common, and several planets are colonized, but there is still war and those who hold power want to hold on to that. Many things seem very different from the way we live now, but at the core, human beings are still the same, with their hopes and dreams. They still love and hate, fear and show courage. The differences are in the science and the way people can travel. Tarver is on the Icarus only because he has received several medals for his courage, if not, a lowly soldier like him would not be able to travel with such style. When he first sees Lilac, she seems familiar, but he brushes that away and tries to save her when he thinks she is in danger.

When the Icarus is folding in on itself, Tarver first saves Lilac from falling to her death, then she turns right back and saves him by hot wiring a small hub to get them off the space ship before it implodes. And that is when I fell in love with the story! A girl who doesn’t lose her capabilities when she’s in danger is certainly high up on my list of heroines I enjoy reading about. And Tarver was able to compliment her once they were away from the space ship and seemed to drift towards safety. Only they might not be safe at all – the planet they end up on has been set up as a colony, but there is no sign of human life, and the plants are a little different from what Tarver expects.

From there on, These Broken Stars take both the characters and the readers on an incredible adventure, trekking through the forest and across a mountain, with dangers lurking everywhere, they are both tested to the limit of their ability and survival instincts. At first, they can hardly get along at all! Lilac shows her rich-girl attitude and thinks her father will sweep in and save them both. Tarver has his survival training to fall back on, but he isn’t impressed with Lilac who squirms at every little thing, traipses around with her beautiful dress and heels, and who won’t listen to him when he tries to explain to her just how dire their situation is – they are basically stranded on a deserted planet, with no way to contact anyone, and they have no idea if search parties will even know where to look.

These Broken Stars goes from one danger to another, and it is a fast-paced story that brings a lot of mystery as well as an amazing character development for both Tarver and Lilac. And I was thrilled to realize the whole story gave me the same kind of feeling I had when I was watching the TV show Lost in the first few seasons of the show. The mystery, the need to find out, the way the characters had to move to survive, whispers, hallucinations… Only, the story in These Broken Stars is so much more compelling than Lost turned out to be! There is an explanation for the strange thing that happen, and both Tarver and Lilac need to step up their game when the situation becomes even worse than it was in the beginning.

The writing is excellent, the character development awesome, the setting is breath-taking and the whole universe in These Broken Stars drew me straight in and made me want more on each page! And even in such a dire situation, Tarver and Lilac both manage to find humor to lighten things up – sometimes it’s self-depreciating, other times it’s teasing the other to move on. If you are looking for storytelling that shows you what is happening in such a way you feel as if you are walking alongside the characters, feeling their fears and hopes and experiencing all their challenges, you should definitely pick up These Broken Stars, make sure you won’t be disturbed by anyone and just sit back in your favorite reading chair and enjoy the ride!

That’s when I realize, standing there in the middle of this disaster, aching all over from being jerked back and forth against my restraints, but grinning like an idiot – I kind of like this. After weeks trussed up on board the ship, chest covered in medals and days taken up by people who don’t like their war too real, I feel like I’m home.

“Only a little further, Miss LaRoux. You’re doing well.” I’m not doing much at all. I might as well be a rag doll. Comes complete with matching shoes. Spine sold separately.

I listen to his footsteps moving away, my eyes on the stones I’ve gathered and placed. Always, my ears are tuned for the sounds of engines, the whine of a flyover jet, the hum of a hovercraft. But they never come. It’s always this silence. A world of quiet broken only by my footsteps and Tarver’s, and the whispering of the woods.

I don’t want to highlight to her how strange it is that I don’t recognize these plants – terraforming flora and fauna are completely standard.

Lexxie signature (un)Conventional Bookviews




Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

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33 responses to “Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) – Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

  1. I’m so happy you liked the book too! I absolutely love the authors’ (I didn’t realize while I was reading that it was co-written!) writing style.

    The plot went places that I didn’t expect and despite not a lot happening, I couldn’t stop reading. The chemistry between Tarver and Lilac was too real! Loved your review. It sums up exactly how I felt, which means now I DEFINITELY won’t know what to say when I do write my review.

    • Thanks Lizzy! I didn’t realize These Broken Stars was written by two authors either! Because the flow is so even and flawless.

      Sorry you don’t know what to say in your review 🙁 I hope you’ll find the words you need to share the love!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • I just thought it was so appropriate that Lilac would have that kind of attitude, if you take into consideration the kind of life she’s had up until that moment…

      I hope you’ll love it as much as I did, too, Kazhy! thanks for stopping by. Have a great week with lots of good reads 🙂

  2. I so enjoyed this one, too! I was surprised by how much of an adventure it really was vs sci-fi aspects. Survivalist books like this are right up my alley, too! Ha it also slightly reminded me of Lost but yeah that show ended up being a major failure at the end. Love those quotes you picked! 🙂 Great review, Lexxie!

    • Thanks for stopping by, Giselle. Yes, the sci-fi aspects are there mostly in the beginning and the end, but the middle sure is survival for all it’s worth!

      Lost was such a great show for several seasons then… what happened? I did get lots of great friends thanks to that show, though 🙂

      Have a great week.

    • I haven’t read Crewel, so I have no idea if that and These Broken Stars are anything at all alike…

      Thanks for stopping by, Braine 🙂

  3. These Broken Stars sounds like a really compelling read, Lexxie. I love a heroine who keeps her wits about her in a crisis, so Lilac (love that name, too) is my kind of girl. And Tarver seems like a great hero as well. This caught my eye in your StS post, and now that I know it’s outstanding, I really want to read it. 🙂

    I hope your Monday is going smoothly so that you’re able to prepare for your trip. It was back to business as usual this morning, with my kids heading back to school. Now I have to go shopping to refill the pantry shelves they emptied while in vacation. 🙂

    Have a super day, my friend! *hugs*

    • Brandee, you are going to LOVE(!) These Broken Stars! Lilac is a great heroine, she is complex and capable, even if she has grown up having all she ever needed and wanted.

      My Monday has been good, even if it has been a little long – I had several meetings today, but all is well 🙂

      LOL I know something about having to refill the pantry shelves very often! Those pesky kids sure know how to empty everything out – and we do help them with that!

      Thanks for stopping by, Brandee! *hugs*

  4. I added the book to my TBR shelf before even commenting. I’ve been looking for a good YA sci-fi book. I love that they have to work together and that the questions are answered. I loved the first few seasons of Lost. The puzzle was amazing until I had no idea what was happening. Great review, Lexxie. I’m a sucker when someone references a movie or TV show.

    Robyn Jones recently posted: New Cover Celebration Hop!
    • LOL I’m so happy to find other Lost-geeks thanks to this review, Robyn 🙂 I hope you’ll enjoy These Broken Stars as much as I did!

      Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Really? Maybe I think of it at fast paced because of the beginning, and because I read it really quickly? 😀

      I agree, they interacted very well, and the writing is just beautiful 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by, Kara 🙂

  5. Whew! Just finished it today. I stayed up very late just to finish the whole thing. I just couldn’t put it down. It’s one of the best books I’ve read so far in 2013. The sci-fi element of this book may have fallen short but I don’t care. The characters, their relationship, and the prose were already enough to make me go crazy.

    I agree with all the things that you’ve said. And know what, I just want this to become a movie. I really hope for These Broken Stars to get optioned for film. Huhuh.

    The only problem that I have with this book is when Lilac passed away and then came back. The aliens who brought her back to life didn’t really convinced me. But that’s just me.

    I can’t wait for Starbound 2 to come out and see what that authors have in store for us. Weeee!

    Charlotte recently posted: Book Review: Scarlet
  6. I think These Broken Stars would be an excellent movie! I could see so much of what was happening while I was reading. I actually enjoyed the sci-fi elements as well, so I don’t think there was anything to disappoint me at all 🙂

    I thought the aliens were pretty cool, especially because of all the things they did before that happened with Lilac.

    Thanks for stopping by, Charlotte, we’ll have to try to be patient together, now 😀

  7. I am SO excited for this book! I have a copy from Netgalley to read, but the cover is just too beautiful not to own a copy for my shelves, too. 🙂 It’s so awesome to hear you had similar feelings while reading this book that you did while watching LOST – I’m looking forward to feeling like that. I love that feeling! 🙂 I’m super curious about Icarus folding in on itself – that has me freaked out. Nope, no space travel for me! I’m happy enough right here on Earth. Beautiful review! 😀

    Jennifer @ Donnie Darko Girl recently posted: Release Day Blitz ~ Hidden Magic by Melanie Crouse
  8. Jennifer, I hope you’ll love it as much as I did. And hey, were you a Lost fan, too? 🙂

    There isn’t that much detail about the actual folding in on itself, but what happens during that is very scary and intense.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  9. This is a great review, Lexxie, thanks! After I read it myself I know what you mean and agree with you. This book is really a great one. Looking forward to the next 🙂

    Best wishes
    Vi @ Gone With The Books

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