These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner (3 stars)
Kel Thursday, March 27, 2014 reviewI had semi-high hopes for These Broken Stars. It was getting 5-star ratings from everyone, and I really wanted to love it. A couple of different factors combined to prevent that, but it's still a well written story and I can see why so many readers were gushing over it. Were I a bigger fan of romance, I would probably be right there with them. As it was, the little snippets between chapters from Tarver's interrogation were my favorite part.
Series: Starbound #1
Genres: YA, Sci-fi
Published on December 10, 2013
Published by Disney Hyperion
Final Rating: 3 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.
What I liked:
- The world. Although I wish we'd seen more of the technology, I liked the bits I saw, though I hope to see more in the next installment. This story spent a lot of time in the woods.
- Tarver. He's skilled, calm, reasonable, honorable, has a sense of humor and is far more patient than I would be in his shoes.
- The story definitely made me curious. I wanted to see where the authors would take it next.
What I didn't like:
- Lilac. First off, her name. "Lilac"? Nope, just wasn't working for me. I didn't dislike her exactly, but I didn't especially like her either. She's tolerable but, even as she develops, I never grew attached to her or cared much for her welfare.
- The plot reminded me a bit of the movie "Hugo." It starts off as one kind of story and you expect it to proceed a certain way. Then, halfway through, a twist turns it into a different type of story. I'm still not sure whether the twist in this book and the direction it took worked for me.
- The romance. I know lots of readers loved it, but I wasn't a big fan. It isn't handled badly, but the plot/tension/pacing are much better when they're struggling to survive versus cuddling. That, and the romance leads to certain less than smart decisions and a certain slow portion of the story that grated on my nerves. Not to mention, while there's no TV and thus limited entertainment on the empty planet, it was still a fast romance. A couple weeks, tops?
Maybe I should stay away from the next book in this series as they're all supposed to be romances of some sort; but I liked the world, the characters weren't bad and even the romance wasn't horrific. (Yay for priorities like survival and rescue!) If you're looking for a classic sci-fi, YA read, go ahead and give this a try. If you like YA romance, you'll probably love it.