Book Reviews · Original Posts

Book Review: These Broken Stars

these broken stars

These Broken Stars is the first book in the Starbound Trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. It had been recommended to me several times by various people, so I finally picked it up, and I am so glad I did! Here’s the description from Goodreads:

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.

That’s a concise summary, but very accurate. Let me start out by saying that I’m writing this review after having finished the entire series, not just the first book. I’ll try not to let that affect my review. I enjoyed it so much that I just had to keep going, regardless of my blogging timeline!

First, the basic format. The chapters alternate between Tarver and Lilac’s points of view, which I had no problem adjusting to (though I generally prefer multiple points of view, when given the option). Between each chapter is an excerpt of some kind of interview Tarver is undergoing, though the timeline of said interview is unclear at the beginning of the novel. However, I loved this as a storytelling technique, because as the story progresses it allows us as readers to see the differences between what is actually happening and what Tarver is telling his interviewer, which becomes important. This is one of the first books I’ve read in a long time where I loved first person writing! On general principle, I hate first person, because I think it makes the writing childish and the narrative hard to take seriously. Also, there’s more telling than showing in first person, because the characters aren’t going to describe a setting with the gorgeous kind of prose the author can use in a third person narrative. But I LOVED first person here! Tarver and Lilac have really unique voices, and I LOVE THEM BOTH SO MUCH!!

Okay, so I’ve heard their relationship described as a bit insta-lovey, and I won’t say there’s no argument for that, but honestly, it didn’t bother me. I watched specifically for it, actually, after reading Nova’s review, and though their relationship develops quickly, I would say given their circumstances it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. I mean, they could be stuck with only the other one for the rest of their lives after the Icarus crashes. If that’s not an acceptable place to love the one you’re with, I don’t know what is. I thought they were adorable, actually. Tarver is sweet and funny but also very clearly military, and Lilac is a very determined princess.

The plot moves swiftly along, I thought, and there were lots of surprises. I was hanging on the edge of my seat, particularly the further along I got! I worried about these two the entire time, I tell you.

Overall, this was some of the best lighthearted YA science-fiction I’ve read in a long time! I immediately grabbed the sequel, This Shattered World and give These Broken Stars a solid five stars, because I’m definitely going to revisit it in the future! Here are some of the best quotes:

On Lilac’s coping mechanisms:

“The anger is a shield, and if I relinquish it, I’ll shatter.”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Tarver being cute (which he is a master of, let me tell you):

“And there it is, against all hope, like the sun peeking out from behind the clouds. The smallest hint of a smile.”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

On Bad Things:

“You don’t mention death when it’s hovering near someone you love. You don’t want to attract the reaper’s attention.”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Their cute comments:

“You picked a hell of a time to start believing in hunches and feelings.”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

On the truth:

“‘We’re after the truth, Major.’

‘That’s exactly what I’ve given you. You’re looking for something else.'”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

On Love:

“He’s drowning. And I’ll drown with him.”

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

There are more, but they’re spoilers! Everyone who needs a cute, fun read should grab this book!


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