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Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

26 Nov 2013

These Broken Stars        (Starbound #1)
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Release Date: November 20th 2013
Format: ARC

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 to 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 in this place 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. 

 The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds.

I’ve heard nothing but praise and rave reviews for These Broken Stars long before its release in December this year. All my blogger friends cried their hearts out, loved Lilac and Tarver to smithereens and could not stop recommending this and I couldn’t help but want to try it out myself. Unfortunately, as soon as I read the first page, I knew it would be a struggle for me to finish the book. This is another “it’s-not-you-it’s-me” situation – These Broken Stars just isn’t for me.

These Broken Stars focuses on the survival of our two beloved characters, Tarver and Lilac. That’s pretty much all there is to it. Tarver and Lilac are the only survivors of the Icarus, which is I believe some sort of spaceship that falls out of space and crashes on a deserted and foreign land. So, for 300 pages, Tarver and Lilac are wandering around the land, trying to survive and waiting for help to arrive. All I can say is, it was a very boring book; I wanted something to happen, I wanted a strong plot, I wanted more than two people walking around and making camp every night.

It seems the majority of readers immediately disliked Lilac but loved Tarver. My feelings toward the two of them are neutral. I didn’t hate Lilac, nor did I like her. Same with Tarver, though he probably left a more memorable impression on me. Despite knowing he had to stay away from Lilac due to their difference in status, and after how inexcusably cruel she was to him, he still protected her and stayed by her side throughout the entire journey. I suppose the only time I felt anything more than indifference towards Lilac on the other hand, was when she nurtured Tarver back to health.

I hate to say this, but I got so bored by the book that after ¾, I skimmed the rest of the way through. The major “twist” was completely lost on me. I had no idea that was the twist until I finished and nothing else exciting or unexpectedly remarkable happened. The whole reason behind the strange hauntings and revelation at the end were also lost on me. Unfortunately the writing style made it difficult for me to continue the book word for word. I should also mention that the book is told in alternating POV – Lilac and Tarver’s- and their voices were so similar I had trouble distinguishing between the two.

The only part I liked (or possibly loved…at one point) was when Lilac and Tarver finally admitted their feelings for one another<3 Every touch, every kiss, every moment together after their confession was passionate, and I was so giddy with excitement <3 I couldn’t stop smiling!

This may not have lived up to its hype IMO, but so many of my blogger friends consider this one of the best 2013 debuts. I’m definitely the black sheep here, so I’d suggest giving this a go J

 A massive thank you to Allen & Unwin for providing a copy of These Broken Stars for review! 


  1. Aww it's a shame this wasn't as great as you were hoping it would be. I'm reading it at the moment and really enjoying it, though I know I might have felt a little differently if I didn't know to expect something very romance-orientated. I like Tarver more than I like Lilac so far, but I do have warm feelings for both characters. Oh no, you had to skim? :( It's always disappointing when a book with hype fails to hold your attention. But thanks for the honest review, Shirley!

    And oh my gosh, I've missed you so much! It's great to see you reviewing again. And I LOVE the blog design you have up now. It's brilliant! Welcome back! :)

    1. I'm so glad you're enjoying it! :) This is definitely one of those it's-not-you-it's-me situations…I think under normal circumstances I would LOVE Tarver's character, but something about the writing just wasn't working for me :(

      Awwwwww you're so sweet<3 I've missed you tooooo! THANK YOU SAM!

  2. Definitely a 'it's-not-you-it's-me' situation - it's quite enjoyable, but didn't exactly have enough spark to really capture your attention fully hey! Haha I know, it was quite boring for the majority of the novel, with only that scene with the monster chasing Lilac adding some kind of entertainment. Their bittering got annoying really quickly. I guess it's more of a character building story, but when they're trying to market it as a sci-fi, character building just doesn't cut it for me!

    Haha I know what you mean, it wasn't exactly an exciting twist! It just happened so suddenly, but I will admit I was VERY surprised by it when it happened, and that actually sparked an interest where I found myself wanting to read more to figure out what happened.

    Thanks for a wonderfully honest review Shirley, I'm glad we share similar thoughts on this book. :D

  3. Hahaha That monster bit was pretty awesome :) At least something happened during their never ending walk towards…whatever it was they were looking for :/

    Ohhh…okay, I have a confession to make haha. I was so bored at one point I skipped to the end, (not last page, but near the end) and Lilac was still narrating so when I got up to the part where the twist happened, I wasn't very surprised. ahahha my bad! LOL

    Ngawww Thank you Joy<3

  4. Shirley I ended up giving the exact same rating as you, I went into this book hoping for so much, but like you didn't feel an immediate connection with either character. Although Tarver did end up leaving a much better impression on me than Lilac, it still wasn't enough to encourage me to continue with their story. Thank you for your honest review Shirley!


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