Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi
Synopsis: 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.
I shall begin this review with my usual gripe about the covers chosen for some of these YA books. This cover doesn’t even reflect what this book is really about and I’ve come to find out that bad covers for good books is a pet peeve of mine.
Let’s get on to the actual review of the content. Our story is told by dual perspective that seems to be all the rage lately and each chapter begins by what one presumes is a short snippet of an interview/interrogation between the male protagonist, Tarver, and a special agent. These snippets are set in the future of the story so you know something happened but you’re not sure what exactly happened.
Let me quickly state that I enjoyed this book far more than what I thought I ever would. Having heard the ridiculous comparison of ‘Titanic’ in space I was waiting for a space romance and despite love being a large part of this book, it’s not nearly everything. This is, in essentially a survivalist book and I am a huge sucker for a couple being stranded in an island and their love grows slowly from there. This is that book except that instead of being shipwrecked, they’re spaceshipwrecked and they land in an Island that is creepy as hell giving me serious “Lost” vibes. I think that is as well as I can describe it to give you an idea of what this book is really about.
Now, the love story – despite not getting the gushy feels (really let’s be honest, at my age I seldom get those in any piece of literature) I grew to really care about these characters because they evolved organically as the story developed. Lilac is a prim-spoiled princess and Tarver is a soldier trained for survival. At first I thought Lilac was going to be annoying for the whole book, bogging down Tarver who only wanted to survive but she changed – that change was not overnight – but it did happen and I ended up really loving her, maybe even more than him. Their love came slowly and I enjoyed how distinguished their lust-at-first-sight was from the real connection that developed after spending so long together.
I don’t want to go into spoilers but I will say this – I’m interested in the companion novels, the entire premise and what we find out about the planet left me wanting more because there are still loads of unanswered questions. This year has been the year of discovering Amie Kaufman, who I think writes some of the best YA books out there. I want to read Megan Spooner because this book flows so well I cannot distinguish their voices from one another. Overall, not very sci-fish in my opinion, mostly two young people trying to stay alive in pretty bad conditions mixed in with some psychedelic mind-fucks and of course a love story.