Book Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Pages: 306 epages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Date Published: December 10th, 2013
Date Read: July 5th, 2014
Format: ebook on my nook
Cover Love: I think it’s beautiful! Definitely very YA – two young people, reaching for each other, obviously in luuuurve and separated somehow. The blue sky brings to mind Doctor Who as well 😉
Given 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.”
What I’d Add: This is all pretty accurate. Everything outlined here happens in the book. And if anything further were included, it would be major spoilers.
It’s Sorta Like: Two people who survive a luxury liner crash – Titanic in space, anyone? Plus some deserted island jaunt.
My Grade: B+
Review: I knew a girl in high school named Meghan Spooner…(one of the authors here). I mean, it’s not the same one, because they spell their names differently, but I did a double-take when I saw the authors…
Anyway! Is this my first YA review on the blog? I feel like I’ve written another one, but I really do read a lot in the sci-fi fantasy portion for Young Adults. There are a lot of great dystopian reads there, which might be my favorite genre ever in the history of books.
And this one is pretty great. The names are a little weird…Lilac? And when her friends call her “Lil,” is it pronounced with the long “I”? Tarver is a little less weird, but still, what happened to calling kids James or Emily? But despite that, the story is really solid. And has a hell of an ending.
I wish I could discuss the ending with you all, but that would be some spoiler-rich territory. But let me just say that the action really ratchets up towards the end. Those “chilling whispers” lend a nice, eerie air to a story that would otherwise be about two attractive teens trapped on a deserted island together.
Because up until then it was a little vapid, a little predictable for me. Lilac is rich, Tarver is poor. They have a moment of connection onboard a luxury liner (only this one’s in space), but she’s from the upper caste in society, while he is poor. They Can’t Be Together. Which means, of course, that they will have to be together, because the odds are against them.
Of course the luxury liner goes down. Of course these two end up in the same escape pod and land on the same planet. All alone. Without anyone else in sight. And of course they bicker and hate each other at first. They surprise each other with what they know and what they’ve been through. As they spend more nights together (conveniently the weather getting colder, needing to sleep closer together. You know, for warmth), they learn secrets of each other’s past. Annnnnd they fall in love (betcha didn’t see that coming, eh?)
So it’s a mite bit predictable. Nothing too surprising.
Except that Lilac starts hearing voices and Tarver begins to suspect she’s going crazy.
She’s not (is that a spoiler? I don’t think it is…), and there is a lot going on here on this abandoned planet that surprise and horrify both of them. The mystery is built up here very well. The planet seems to be in advanced stages of terraforming: preparation for human life and city growth. So why aren’t there massive settlements? Where is the wildlife? The people?? A shocking twist towards the end rips at your heartstrings a little, and the book’s conclusion makes you want to tear up a little and whoop with joy a the same time.
Between chapters are brief transcriptions of Tarver being interrogated by authorities after his little jaunt on the island. Despite knowing that he gets off the planet, that he survives, you still hold your breath during scenes of action, during treacherous moments of danger for both characters. The interrogation adds to the tension instead of taking it away.
SO. Sorry I can’t reveal many details of this well-crafted ending, but it really does make the book. Without it, I’d have to give the book a slightly lower score. Everything is written well, the characters endear themselves to you, and I will be reading more in the series (especially because the next installments feature different characters. Lilac and Tarver’s story wrapped up well. I look forward to reading about someone else in this world).