Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars
Starbound #1
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
5.0/5.0 stars

This book should seriously come prepackaged with smelling salts because you’re gonna swoon so hardcore you just might need them. If I had to describe this book in only one word, that would be it: swoon. You will swoon for the cover, you will swoon for the writing, you will swoon for the characters, and you will most definitely swoon for their relationship.

This book is told from the dual points of view of Lilac (the spoiled and overprotected daughter of one of the richest and most powerful men in the universe) and Tarver (a young, decorated war hero who comes from an everyday working Joe type of family). They are both traveling onboard the Icarus, which is a monstrous spaceship owned by Lilac’s father. Something happens to pull the ship out of hyperspace and the ship begins to crash. People, of course, panic and even trample each other in their haste to reach the escape pods. Unfortunately, due to an electrical surge the escape pods do not function properly and will not launch. Thanks to Tarver’s quick thinking and protective nature and Lilac’s own intelligence they manage to launch their own escape pod and land on a nearby partially terraformed planet. They expect to be rescued quickly but when no rescue team shows up they are forced to figure out how to survive on this desolate planet by themselves.

While this book does contain some nice sci-fi elements it should be noted that this is really much more of a survivalist story. That being said the entire crash scene was awesome! It was intense and the wreckage afterwards was horrifying enough to make me feel queasy. There are also some well played creepy moments along their journey that gave me anxiety.

The real strength of this novel is the characters. I don’t know if I have ever read two characters who felt more real to me. I felt so connected to both of them. Their struggles and triumphs resonated so deeply with me. It makes me so sad the next book won’t be following them.

Lilac in the beginning had some brat moments when they first arrived on the new planet that made me not instantly love her but given her background it’s understandable. She was completely out of her element and is used to being protected and shielded by her father’s name. She does grow as a character as they travel and it wasn’t long before I absolutely adored her.

Tarver – book boyfriend alert! He was strong, solid, courageous, kind, and took no shit from anybody. As a soldier, he is much more prepared for the situation they find themselves in and doesn’t have as much issues adjusting. I liked him in the beginning but he just kept growing on me more and more as the story went on. It was refreshing to see a strong, confident male lead that didn’t cross into arrogant territory.

Their relationship is a bit prickly in the beginning and neither of them trusts one another for obvious reasons. Watching them slowly start to become friends and open up to each other was a thing of beauty. Their dialogue and interactions felt so true and not at all forced. I roll my eyes at a lot of romances but this one had me hooked.

This is one of the best books I have read all year. I will most definitely be buying the hardcover for my keeper shelf. They say never to judge a book by its cover but in this case go ahead. This book is as stunningly beautiful as its cover, maybe even more.

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