These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Summary: 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.
Source: I purchased a hardcover.
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These Broken Stars was way better than I initially expected and was a book that lived up to its gorgeous cover. It’s been sitting on my shelf for ages and I didn’t want it to be terrible, so I didn’t read it. That makes no sense, but I do that from time to time. Finally, I cracked open the book and fell in love.
These Broken Stars took the story of underprivileged boy and rich society girl who wants more out of life from the pages of every classic romance and propelled it into science fiction on spaceships, through space, and crash landed it on an unknown planet with strange moons. If that doesn’t sound awesome, let me assure you, it was. I know, I know. It’s YA. So it’s going to terribly full of annoyances, right? No.
Lilac was nothing like her name would suggest. She wasn’t simple, she didn’t throw a rich girl tantrum, she wasn’t incredibly naïve and only fell for Tarver because she appreciated his skills as a survivalist, which is what I thought was going to happen and I was bracing myself for it. Tarver didn’t look Lilac’s way because he saw something he didn’t deserve or he saw the delicate nature of her and decided he liked it, which is also something I was scared that would happen.
For a book that blended science fiction and romance in the YA category, it did a pretty good job of staying away from tropes that would’ve prevented it from being taken seriously. I enjoyed seeing Tarver and Lilac trudge through an unfamiliar planet. To the reader, everything was unfamiliar, but the basics of survival weren’t. The situation was less than ideal, but both of them became tougher, stronger, and more human as a result of their struggle on the strange planet. Something about the planet seemed off to the characters and when it was all revealed, it was kind of a cool twist. At first, I thought maybe they were on Earth because they lived in a universe where planets were terraformed according to guidelines and everything was done to sustain life in order to sustain humans, so large predators and out of control plants weren’t something the characters would typically find on a terraformed planet. But then I realized that the planet must have been something else altogether since it had that strange moon. I liked the mystery of it all and the way the bits of the puzzle were put together to form a pretty amazing final picture.
I genuinely liked Lilac and Tarver, which is rare in an otherworldly YA story for me. I loved that Tarver wasn’t the asshole I’d find in most romances in which the characters end up in a world that is familiar to the guy. He didn’t treat her like she couldn’t handle herself. And she wasn’t annoying or super sensitive or demanding. She got stronger, she kept her cool, and she provided a lot of skills that helped them survive more efficiently as a team.
I was shocked by how much I enjoyed These Broken Stars and I would definitely recommend it to others. I also liked that there was enough of a conclusion to make me feel satisfied. So many series in YA leave me hanging and desperate for the next book and it’s a relief to come across first books that are satisfying by themselves.
I recommend the book to anyone who enjoys science fiction with a blend of romance where the story doesn’t just merely focus on romance, but also to those who enjoy the classic romance struggle where class gets in the way. It’s a very well done blend and comparable to the blend of classic romance and futuristic elements like that of For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diane Peterfreund, which was a YA futuristic novel based on Persuasion by Jane Austen.
Labels: Review, Science Fiction, YA