Review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) – Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Release Date: December 10th 2013
Published By: Allen & Unwin (Aus) & Disney Hyperion (US)
Pages: 374
Goodreads: Add it to your reading list

Rating: 4 out of 5

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.

Review: These Broken Stars is a remarkable novel that is just as much a YA romance as it is sci-fi.

I LOVED the first few chapters – they are completely gripping and action packed. The Icarus is crashing, and we’re not entirely sure what’s going to happen. As it lands, and Tarver and Lilac recover from this, we’re learn about their surroundings and situation at the same time they’re experiencing it for the first time which gives us as the reader the feeling that we’re being included.

Tarver and Lilac are both our protagonists with alternating chapters from each of their perspectives. It’s a great move for a story of this kind where the characters initially aren’t so good at communicating with each other – so as the reader, we’re not missing out on anything because we’re still receiving a really complete view of both their mindsets, thoughts and feelings at each step of the way.

I love the emotional journey we are taken on with Tarver and Lilac. They start out pretty well hating each other, and here and there’s we are given little gestures and small tokens that help them eventually build on a friendship, and then we see things work their way into something more. Interestingly enough they both started as a love interest in the first few chapters, but Lilac really pushed Tarver away in a very cruel humiliating way. The rest of the novel is then based on them trying to get over that and start over again.

I feel it’s also worth pointing out the character development in this story. So on point. Lilac is a really unlikable snotty princess when we first meet her. Untouchable because of who her father is. I took great delight when she was trying to rock climb in her high heels just for the simple fact that she was so stubborn and wouldn’t give in. I enjoy the strength that we see in her even at that point, but to see her character toughen and grow up throughout the novel was really rewarding in itself. She stopped relying on her namesake and actually dug in and started to become useful and resourceful.

Tarver on the other hand was always swoonworthy and awesome. I can’t say anything about him that I really didn’t like… haha

The storyline itself was very original and clever, and I feel will appeal to people who both like and don’t like sci-fi books. Even though this book is set in space, there is minimal action that happens in orbit as the Icarus crashes in the first few chapters, and both Lilac and Tarver are on a foreign planet trying to survive. It’s probably accurate to suggest there’s a really strong adventure element to this book as well – and I really enjoyed this part of it.

For me, the last 50 pages were amazing especially. There’s some fantastic story development that happens during this time to wrap the first book up. I am really satisfied at the ending of this book, and really curious at how it’s going to continue and in particular I want to know what the plot of the next book will look like.

A definite must read – highly recommend this one!

Australian Giveaway – Win a signed copy of These Broken Stars!

Thank you to the wonderful folks at Allen & Unwin Australia, they have provided Book Nerd Reviews with three giveaway copies of These Broken Stars to giveaway to 3 very lucky Australian winners (Sorry international folks, postage costs too much – you may want to check out our December International Giveaway though!).

Even more exciting was that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the official book launch party for These Broken Stars in Melbourne a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to meet Amie and Meagan and asked for them to sign each of the giveaway copies! I also was able to land a free bookmark for each book as well as a bit of swag. So each winner will receive a signed copy.

This giveaway will run from now through to the end of the month, finishing on December 31st, so make sure you get your entries in before then. Everyone will get a free entry below, just for being rad (Yes I know… I am trying to bring rad back). You’ll get additional entries for putting in some effort – that’s only fair!

Please, I know I’ve mentioned it above – but people with an Australian mailing address only. Otherwise it’s really annoying when we administer this to find out one of the winners is in the Netherlands and we have to re-draw a new winner. Thank you and best of luck! x

 

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