Title: These Broken Stars
Author: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
My Rating: 5 stars
I absolutely adored this book. The story of Lilac and Tarver is funny, moving, romantic and full of tension and I loved every minute of it. I had zero issues with this book and really love the sci-fi elements to it. Slight spoilers ahead.
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.
The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
Where do I even begin? This book was well recommended to me for a long time and I finally decided to read it and I was not disappointed. The book begins the trilogy with Lilac and Tarver, a rich spoiled daughter of a powerful man and a young war hero who get caught up in a titanic-like event where their ship goes down. The issue: they don’t know each other and they don’t like each other. Throughout the story, they get to know each other and unearth a bunch of mysteries about the world they have landed on, all while falling in love.
This book was so hard to put down and even thinking about it makes me want to re-read it again and again. When you first start reading this book, you think it is just going to be a love story where two people fall in love and conquer prejudice but it’s not. The plot was a lot more in depth than I realised which I really appreciated! Lilac and Tarver land on this strange planet after their ship falls (ironically named the Icarus) and face a lot of confusion, confusion that I totally understood. There are these beings on the planet and while there is no sign of any other life or evidence that anyone has been on this planet, they discover other things along the way. I love that they play such a big role in the last third of the book and that there are still questions – not everything is tied up in a neat bow so there are still things to be discovered in the next book.
I love Tarver and Lilac’s relationship. While you know they are going to fall in love, it is done really well. They both help each other, Tarver is an ass to start and Lilac is a bossy rich girl but they thaw towards each other as they go through different things. I like that Tarver is a smart ass and that Lilac doesn’t just let him get away with stuff. They challenge each other. They also both come from backgrounds where they’ve lost someone and I feel like that plays a big part in why they are so hesitant and abrupt with one another. The progression of their relationship doesn’t seem forced despite being the only ones on this planet and there are so many heartbreaking moments between the two of them. For a book with only two characters, there are no boring bits and I just wanted to know more.
The writing is absolutely gorgeous. You would never guess that the book is written by two different authors who live in two different countries. Tarver and Lilac both get their own perspectives which is a great way to keep the story well rounded. Also stressful, because you never know what is going to happen to one character if another one can carry to story (cough, Allegiant). Their voices are so distinct between the chapters which is awesome because you get sarcastic and sassy Tarver and emotive Lilac and they both progress throughout the story and take on each other’s characteristics in different ways. I love that before each chapter is part of Tarver’s military interview, and I especially love that he isn’t always telling the truth. Whenever I stopped reading for the night, I couldn’t help but read the next part of the interview to get hints into what was coming.
This book is so lyrical, moving and descriptive. During so many parts of the book I forgot I was even reading because I felt like I was on the planet and walking beside Lilac and Tarver. I feel like I know what the planet looks like, I know what the cottage looks like and I know what the fallen Icarus looks like. That can only be done through good writing and I am so pleased that the imagery is so strong. This is such an important thing for science fiction and for fantasy, something that a lot of writers haven’t got down just yet. I haven’t read many sci-fi novels and while I know this is soft science fiction, I really loved it and was totally into the world Amie and Meagan created.
These Broken Stars starts off the Starboard Trilogy really strongly and I picked up the next book almost immediately. If this has been on your TBR list, I would bump it up a few positions!
Recommended for: YA lovers, science fiction readers, romantic adventurers. I feel like this ticks a lot of different boxes and could suit anyone!
Quotes (Spoiler Free):
“Major, to what extent did you act upon your feelings for Miss LaRoux?”
“How am I supposed to answer that question?”
“I could tell myself that I’m doing it because she’ll get back to her feet just to spite me—but the truth is, I really just want to piss her off. Keeping her moving is a bonus.”
“She wants to distract me that night, keep us from revisiting the conversation about the fuse. I’ve considered telling her that if she wants to distract me, all she has to do is take her shirt off.”
“Lilac Rose LaRoux. Untouchable. Toxic. I should’ve been named Ivy, or Foxglove, or Belladonna.”
“But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possess that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?”
If you haven’t read this book yet, then I recommend it. If you have read it, tell me why you love it in the comments!