For What It's Worth

Friday, December 6, 2013

Early review: These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner


13138635It'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. 
A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy. 
Goodreads | Aime Kaufman | Megan Spooner | Amazon
Source: Free review ARC provided by the publisher – Disney Hyperion - via BEA

Release date: December 10th, 2013

Review: I admit it. I only read These Broken Stars because Wendy from The Midnight Garden was swooning over Tarver Merendsen. I’m always on the lookout for a GOOD guy, especially in YA, and Wendy did not exaggerate…Tarver is awesome.

Honestly I’m not a fan of the big billowy dress cover, so even though I had the ARC, this book wasn’t at the top of my TBR pile. I’m so glad I moved it up due to Wendy’s rec because Tarver or not, this is one incredible tale.

It is SO hard to find a story that keeps you on your toes and guessing what will happen next. I had all sorts of theories as to what was going on or how things would be resolved and I was only partially right half the time. LOVE that!

These Broken Stars is romance, sci-fi, thriller and survivalist tale all wrapped into one.

Tarver is definitely book boyfriend material but Lilac is his match and more. Their relationship goes from forbidden to combative to passionate and heartbreaking. I thought this was going to be insta-love, and it was to an extent, but Tarver and Lilac have to work for it. The romance does not take over the whole story. I loved both of them equally – whether they were together or apart.

Minor Quibbles: I have to admit that some of the sci-fi aspects went over my head at times but I just went with it and it all fell into place. What a creepy world the authors created! I would formulate my theory of what was really going on only to throw it out the window and have to start again with each new twist.

This story is basically ALL Tarver and Lilac. I loved the intensity it brought but it also left some plot threads underdeveloped. I wish we knew a little more about Lilac’s father in particular. Their relationship and Lilac’s guilt over a previous incident didn’t really make sense to me. I can't say a whole lot more about that without spoilers but her devotion to her father left me scratching my head.

The Starbound series will be three companion novels so a bonus is that These Broken Stars wraps up nicely and is a stand alone!

Final thoughts: Romance! Excellent – independent - characters! Creepy cool world! In space! These Broken Stars was a really fun ride full of twists and turns that had me guessing right up until the very end. By the way – that billowy dress on the cover that initially turned me off? It’s perfect and is actually part of the story!

24 comments:

  1. Oh, Tarver. He's SUCH a good guy, trying to do what he needs to do, thinking of his family, worried about people. And Lilac, despite her upbringing and privilege, is still a very sympathetic character. Interesting ending, too, huh? Not what I expected.

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    1. I thought it was going to be a cliche and boring love story TBH but Tarver and Lilac made it so much more than that.

      I wasn't sure how I felt at first with that twist. But I guess like Tarver - I learned to accept it lol

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  2. I really loved this one and I have a feeling we haven't seen the last of Lilac's father. Cool that's it's going to be a companion series!
    Kate @ Ex Libris

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    1. It wasn't at all what I was electing and that's awesome to find these days!

      I hope that Lilac and her dad are int he next one - that was the only thing that I didn't feel was developed enough but it's a very minor complaint.

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    2. And that would be expecting - not electing lol

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  3. Wait, this is supposed to be read as a stand alone? Companions are wonderful but I need a direct sequel to this one first. Grrr.. well this is disappointing. Great review though!

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    1. I believe it will be the same world with some crossover from the characters.

      It do wish there was more (& maybe there will be) with Tarver/Lilac/and her father but otherwise I liked that it was self contained.

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  4. I may be generalizing here but I do find most of Hyperion's books stellar. Doesn't matter if it's YA or MG, I most usually end up loving it.

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    1. I haven't read many books by them but the ones I have are always good.

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  5. I always get so disappointed when it comes to YA, fun to see that there are some good ones

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  6. I'm not much for YA SciFi these days, but have to admit all the great word of mouth has me very curious. So glad this lived up to hype!

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    1. It was a mash up of a lot of things - not just Sci-fi. It was kind of cool and unexpected.

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  7. I have to say I love the title. That so drew me in. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the lack of development. Still sounds like a good read. What really sells me is that ending. Wrapped up! Even series books should end that way! :)

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    1. Oh I hope I didn't give the impression that there was poor plot development. It was actually very complex and well done - I only wished there was a bit more with the father/ daughter relationship.

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  8. I agree that this book had it all with lilac and Tarver. He was one of the better book boyfriends. I didn't know that this was going to have companion novels , and I agree that we are going to see more her dad. I enjoyed it and the cover was different.

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  10. I agree -- liked the way that insta-love (or attraction) developed into something more. And that there was that plot twist that completely changed their relationship in a way that really worked for me. I also think that Lilac's father may continue to be a villain in future books.

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  11. I keep hearing amazing things about this one, so I think I might need to check it out. that's great you loved it more than you thought you would. And yay for the dress actually serving a purpose in the book!

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  12. Now I need to meet tarver! Great review...I keep hearing so many wonderful things about this one!

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  13. Alrighty then! It's been moved back in my awareness. I read a few so/so reviews and didn't think I'd like it. I think I may have an ARC lieing around here somewhere, so maybe I'll tackle this on my xmas break.

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  14. Heeeeee, I love it when you cave into my pressure! You are so tactful about my relentless badgering, too. ;) Isn't Tarver dreamy? *sigh* I'm so glad you loved it!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  15. OK, that's it. I'm reading this book. If it gets Karen's seal of approval, it's good enough for me. :)

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