Thursday, September 18, 2014

Review: These Broken Stars

These Broken Stars
Authors: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Published: December 10, 2013
Hardcover, 374 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

It's a night like any other on board the Icarus. Then, catastrophe strikes: the massive luxury space liner 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 journer across the eerie, deserted terrain to seek help.

Than, 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. 

The effect this book has as soon as you open dives you into a whole other world. We are taken to a place that is reminiscent of the 1900s, but is actually a future time. We are aboard the Icarus, a majestic space liner where they women wear lovely dresses and the men gamble below deck. Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the liner's creator, a girl who is never left alone and has everything handed to her. A girl Tarver knows not to get involved with. But when they make quick eye contact and have a short moment together before the ship crashes and begins its plummet to earth, it sets everything else into motion. Tarver ends up in an escape pod with Lilac, a girl who knows more about mechanics than you would think and they land on a distant island. They are alone with no means of escape and they can only hope to find the wreckage and find a way home or at least get Lilac's father to come save them.

The language took some getting used to and the pace was very slow throughout the book as Tarver and Lilac try to survive the nights on the island. But when Lilac starts seeing things and hearing whispers, I perked up, knowing this book would be much different than I expected. Lilac slowly goes into a different world and Tarver is trying to keep her here while also trying to keep them alive. As he protects her, he also falls for her and their romance is soft and romantic. They go from not liking each other very much to falling into a deep, real love. The moments they spend together do not warn you for what will come next. Tarver is the perfect male lead with his quick remarks and high intelligence and Lilac quickly becomes more likeable the more they are on the planet. The relationship is realistic in a way that they are scared that once they leave the planet they will no longer be able to be together so they do as much as they can in a short time, which by the way, was very sweet and wonderful.

The twisting and turning later in the book sets this apart from most others I've read. The physiological villain creeps into your head and there's no way in knowing how this will end. Kaufman and Spooner take some leaps and risks and they pay off. This book made me laugh, cry and then pray that I wouldn't have to cry again and then would cry again. I'll warn, this is not a cute romantic book. This is a book about survival, love and the hold family can have on us. The back and forth between the present tense with Tarver being interrogated and them on the planet makes the suspense and tension real throughout the novel. This is a book that needs to be read, for the story, for the writing and for everything in between. A beautiful piece of work.

"I reach for her hand and wind my fingers through hers, turning them so the rain patters down into her palm. I trace a circle there with my thumb, smoothing the water in her skin. I want to show her there's nothing to be afraid of."

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