ARC Review – These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

18296615Title:  These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Rating: ★★★★

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?

Sam’s Review – 

Huge thank you to Disney Hyperion and Netgalley for an advance copy of this book!

I was a bit skeptical of These Broken Stars when I started it. Something about it didn’t draw me in right away, the characters felt a bit off putting at first. Considering how fast crap starts to hit the fan, I felt like I should have immediately been engaged, but this one took me a good while to sink into and appreciate.

Let’s throw it out there — this book is a space opera, borrowing from all the fun space shows and fandoms out there. The dramatics are fun, a touch on the ridiculous side, but you don’t seem to mind it because there is such a desperation and franticness within the narrative that you want to keep reading. I wasn’t 100% sold on the characters right away, and I definitely found myself gravitating towards Lilac’s narrative over Tarver’s, but I found her to be the more quirky and enjoyable character of the two. Tarver is quite darling, but I think I would have adored him more if he had been a bit more Malcom Reynolds instead of Simon Tam ala Firefly.

The alternating perspectives works very well in this novel, especially considering how closely liked the narratives between characters are. I never felt confused as to how was speaking, as each voice had the perfect amount of distinction in it. The world-building definitely drew me in as I read on. There’s a lot of beautiful description in this novel and I think that alone will appeal to a lot of readers.

The one aspect I was a bit iffy on, but grew to like was the romance. I do love that Lilac played a bit hard to get, but I almost wish the novel had gone a bit further, making it a lot less obvious that they were getting together. I wish it had been more about the adventure, but I am glad it wasn’t a love at first sight, but rather a gradual connection due to the circumstances.

These Broken Stars is easily going to be a hit with YA fans, especially those who love a good space opera and are willing to overlook a few of the basic YA tropes. I loved the writing in both perspectives, and the characters really grow with you, which is definitely something I’ve come to appreciate more. This is an easy recommendation for those looking for a good survival story, as well as romance that doesn’t feel insta-lovey. I look forward to reading the next installment!

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