These Broken Stars: Book Review

These Broken Stars is not without its faults, but it is a swoony and tense sci-fi story that will have any YA reader clambering for more.
Rating: 4 stars

These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: December 10, 2013
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.

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.

Lilac LaRoux is the wealthy heiress of the LaRoux Industries empire. With a tragic past and abusively over protective father, Lilac keeps everyone, especially men, away from her with acerbic attitude. Tarver Merendsen is a young war hero with a chip on his shoulder and a deep dislike of the rich. When the luxury spaceliner they both are on suffers a catastrophic and mysterious failure, Tarver and Lilac are forced to escape together in a small lifepod that crash lands on a nearby planet. Thrust together on a terraformed, yet deserted, planet, Lilac and Tarver must find a way to work together and survive long enough to be rescued. But something strange is happening in the world they now find themselves in: haunting whispers, hallucinations, and a dark conspiracy that threatens to destroy everything Lilac and Tarver know.

These Broken Stars has 3 main aspects to the story: survival, contentious love, and the beginning of a vast conspiracy. We follow Lilac and Tarver as they struggle to survive the world they’ve crash landed on. While the planet is terraformed, it is deserted, and nothing seems quite right. Kaufman and Spooner keep this part of the story tense and engaging, so even if you are tiring of Lilac and Tarver’s bickering (more on that in a minute), you’ll still be pulled into the story.

Now let’s talk about that contentious love story aspect. Lilac is a rich girl who must brutally belittle men until they leave her alone because her father is overprotective in all the wrong ways. Tarver is a self-important charity case who hates the rich. You can imagine how great those two get along at first. But both have hidden depths beyond what they show to the world and it’s in those depths that they begin to fall in love. However, before they get to the swoony part, you have to deal with the bickering part. So much of their bickering is based on miscommunications or things they refuse to say to the other. While I 100% agree that it is realistic to have drama based on communication issues (cause y’all, no ever communicates perfectly), the bickering and internal whining gets old.

Then we get the vast conspiracy! *cue ominous music* Kaufman and Spooner excellently tease out the wrongness of the planet through the story. The reader is kept just as in the dark as Lilac and Tarver. I’m not going to go into the specifics because spoilers, but I love the way this sets up the reader for more conspiracy goodness in the next two books. I’ll be starting book 2 once I’m done writing this review and I can’t wait to see how everything starts coming to light and tying together.

These Broken Stars is not without its faults, but it is a swoony and tense sci-fi story that will have any YA reader clambering for more.

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