Title: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10th 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Age Group: Young Adult
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.Believe me when I say that I really wanted to love These Broken Stars. I tried so hard, but now I feel like a loner because I disliked this book as much as most everyone loved it. It's well-written and original, I'll give it that, although it did remind me of Veronica Rossi's Under the Never Sky more than once. If you can imagine a space operatic version of Titanic, then this is that story.
As much as possible, I try not to let my liking of a character affect how I view the story, but sometimes it's simply a lost cause. Especially in this one. We got off the wrong foot, Lilac and I. These broken stars? More like this broken attitude. The book opens with a party for the elite where Lilac initiates the flirting with Tarver, but once she's with her friends-slash-bodyguards-slash-her-dad's-spies, she insults him so he'll back off. Lilac does it for his benefit because her father, the richest man in the universe, doesn't take lightly on lowerclassmen mingling with his only child, but if I were her, I'd sense that Tarver, the commoner who'd made a name for himself in the military, would be smart enough to understand if she only told him the truth. And so begins the hate in their relationship.
Soon, Icarus—seriously, what's with the doomed name?—the Titanic spaceship, hits its glacier. Lilac and Tarver bump into each other during the ship-wide panic and, despite the humiliation she gave him, he kindly escorts her to one of the lifeboats. And what does she do? Tell him to go find another, of course, because her dear father would end him if they're found in there together. If she were a real, breathing person, I'd have strangled her for a full minute. But hey, she's not all bad. She is quite knowledgeable of the science and mechanics of her father's intergalactic-travel-through-wormholes business, and even though she played the whiny, rich girl part when they landed on Planet X, she soon matures and learns how to survive under Tarver's watch.
I did like two things about this book, though. First was how equal Lilac and Tarver were. Without one, the other had zero chance at survival—because they weren't as alone in Planet X as they'd thought they were. Second was the romance. It had enough build-up by the time it took off for real. I'm glad that even though the chemistry and attraction was instantaneous for them, even during their I-hate-you stages, they didn't act on it earlier than I'd have liked.
Even though this book is told from both Lilac's and Tarver's POV, I never felt like I connected with either of them, and in a story like this one, that connection is essential. I guess that's why These Broken Stars never managed to hold my attention for long; I had to stop every so often before I felt motivated enough to continue reading. Everything—and I mean everything—does pick up during the last quarter of the book, but for me it was just too late. The ending is another thing I liked about this, and I'm glad that book two in the series will actually be a companion novel, not a sequel. Despite my overall disappointment, I still recommend that you give this book a try, because I am totally in the minority here.
MY FAVORITE PART was them spooning to ward off the cold :3