Sunday, November 17, 2013

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
So, I’ve been in a bit of a reading rut lately. I’m not sure if this is because I’ve decided to re-watch all of Gilmore Girls or because I just haven’t been in love with any books recently. This book more than got me out of my rut. This was so much more than I was expecting! The cover (which is beyond gorgeous by the way) and the publisher completely made this sound like a good old fashioned YA romance novel. And it ended up being so much more than that. It was kind of like a mixture of a Titanic type love story, with the show Survivor, the book Hatchet, and Ender’s Game. Interesting mixture, I know.
I loved the points of view shifts between the love interests. For starters, the guy was actually believable! He thought about things besides holding hands and touching the small of the girl’s back (though this does happen because what YA romance wouldn’t mention this very important body part?) And his relationship with his family was super interesting and I even kind of wanted to know more about his poet mother. Then there were the interviews between each point of view shift.
At first these interviews upset me because they clearly tell the readers that eventually the couple gets off the planet. It’s about Tarver being interrogated and it doesn’t sound like things will end well for the couple. But by the third or fourth interview segment, I came to love them. Tarver is such a rebel in them and it’s so fun to see him lying and telling off who’s asking questions. I liked Lilac a lot too. And normally I’m not a fan of the spoiled, rich girl character, but it becomes clear from the beginning that Lilac is much more than her stereotype. She’s a girl who feels guilty for what happened with a past boyfriend, a girl who knows more about spaceships than most boys, and a girl strong enough to trek around foreign territory in broken heels without complaining.
I’m such a sucker for a good survival story. I was a huge fan of Hatchet and The Hunger Games and I was so happy to have another book to add to my survivalist list. And it was more than cool that it was on another planet. There’s something really terrifying about people trying to survive an unknown landscape in another world. Especially when some weird alien/supernatural type stuff gets thrown in (along with a giant, wild, man-eating cat creature).
This book has it all: romance, mystery, survival, suspense, one giant spaceship crash, and lots and lots of those perfect “when are they just going to kiss” moments. The romance is slow to build, very slow. The two become friends first and this is yet another thing this book had going for it.
The end felt just a tad bit rushed. I was a little confused on a certain plot twist that I can’t talk about without spoiling some serious stuff, so I’ll shut up about it. But overall, this was one fantastic book that I didn’t want to finish. I kind of prolonged my reading because it was so good, I didn’t want it to be over. I can’t wait to read the companion novels these authors have planned. It gets a 10/10 and I highly recommend this one.

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