Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 374
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Reviews for book 2 & book 3

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

A few days ago I was sitting on my couch and realizing that everything I'd read recently was really kind of... dark. When did I stop reading good old fashion love stories? Oh yeah, that's right. I don't really care much for those. But I did want to read something a little happier than normal. I looked through a few options and ended up settling on These Broken Stars. I mean, the cover is so gorgeous, how could I not be drawn to it?) So I ran out to Barnes & Noble (under the pretense of gift shopping) and promptly purchased a copy for myself!

I'm honestly not one for sci-fi, which might come as a shock since I love dystopian novels! When this first started on board a huge spaceliner, I wasn't really positive how I'd feel about it. But then the action started and I had a really, REALLY hard time putting it down! I've seen mixed opinions on the world building in These Broken Stars, but I have to say that I was totally enchanted by what the authors have done with this future universe. The Icarus itself (seriously, who thought that name was a good idea?) was really amazing. Each separate part of the ship was described perfectly! And the planet they land on is equally well-done - maybe even better. The terrain seemed believable, if a little odd. The sign of a well written book, in my opinion, is whether or not I can fully picture it in my head, and I could picture myself on this planet as the characters made their journey.

Oh, the characters... I wasn't sure about Lilac from the beginning. While I sympathized with her situation, I still felt that she was being a little ridiculous in the way she handled herself. Maybe even a little bratty. But as the book progressed I came to really like her and her spunk! Tarver, well there's a no-brainer. He was a fantastic character! I always feel like I'm able to identify with characters who have been to war and back and that was no different here. I was able to see where he was coming from in many of his actions and even his fears. And the romance between Lilac and Tarver seemed natural! It's about time that I got another YA book without the instalove that everyone seems to enjoy so much. The struggle between them and ultimate acceptance of their situation and each other made me love them even more.

The story itself was creative and original and I loved it. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the main premise behind the planet itself is absolutely nothing like your average dystopian. And then there was that thing that happens that everyone but me seems to already be aware of... My heart stopped. I thought I was going to lose it right there. But I pushed on and breathed a sigh of relief and, as you can see from the rating, I loved the way These Broken Stars was wrapped up in the end.

My only complaint about this book is that it isn't a series. When I saw book two before even starting this one, I just assumed it was going to be a trilogy. Well, apparently it is, but they're completely separate stories. So, while I loved this one, I was really hoping to read more about Lilac and Tarver! But I suppose I'll be alright and I will definitely be picking up book two soon!