Look, I know this review is incredibly early and that These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman does not release until December 10, 2013. You know how sometimes you get so excited about things like surprises and you are fit to burst and accidentally let the secret slip early because YOU ARE JUST SO EXCITED AND CANNOT WAIT TO TELL EVERYONE? Just me? Okay, you guys These Broken Stars is like one of those surprise parties where I am so excited about it that I just can’t keep it inside me until the date of the actual party. So this review is wicked early, deal with it. I promise I will make up for it at the end of this post. Friends, I totally am not a sci-fi kind of girl, or at least that is what I tell myself, but ugh, These Broken Stars has convinced me that I could be converted especially if science fiction were this romantic. Y’all I fell fast and hard for Lilac and Tarver to the point where I was reading this on the bus back from NYC and found myself constantly glaring at these loud talkers because I couldn’t hear myself read (in my head, not out loud).
Star crossed love in a hopeless place – that’s the plot of These Broken Stars in less than ten words. For those of you who like real plot summaries in more than ten words here you go: Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman’s joint effort is about Lilac, daughter of the man who owns the biggest business in the universe, Lambda Industries and Tarver, a military hero with working class roots. The two meet on the ill-fated spaceship, aptly named the Icarus. On a journey through hyperspace, the Icarus has a Titanic-esque situation where it fails. Together, against the odds, Lilac and Tarver manage to survive only to end up on an eerily uninhabited planet. At first, they dislike each other but hold a mutual attraction. The two decide it is paramount to contact human kind and get off the planet and back home. UNTIL. Until they decide that maybe staying there, just the two of them would not be so terrible. If you are all about tragedies turned survival stories turned love stories IN SPACE girl get your library card, your credit card, your Kindle because you will want to read Kaufman and Spooner’s book. It’s got all the kisses, all the sighs, all the slow building. And maybe a fist pump or two.
On first glance, These Broken Stars looks kind of thick and long. Crack it open if you are feeling intimidated. It is made up of alternating point of view chapters with blank pages and bits from a debriefing that prefaces each chapter. If you aren’t sitting next to loud annoying talkers with annoying accents, it’s likely you’ll dash through the pages. So, the book is told from the first person points of views of Tarver and Lilac. I actually liked this creative choice because I felt closer to the two characters. It made me feel more invested in Lilac and Tarver. It made me gasp all the more at certain points. Lilac starts off as this kind of distant girl who seems a bit weak because she doesn’t exactly having roughing it skills, being a girl who has been pampered her whole life. Reading her chapters, though, I got this sense that she was growing and learning and changing. She was becoming strong and someone a bit different. But deep down, she has this huge heart that she has tried to hide because loving other unsuitable people has brought trouble in the past. Basically, she’s the kind of girl that you judge on first glance but then once you get to know her story end up realizing you were being a total jerk with your judgment.
Ladies, are you looking for a new character to swoon over? Let’s be real, there’s not exactly a shortage of romantic interests in YA, but it’s not like any of you wouldn’t welcome another addition to the stable. Friends, Tarver is legit. First off he’s military, which is awesome because he’s a hero. He knows how to handle himself in emergency situations and is calm and level headed. Second off, he is actually useful and not one of those sad, whiny, entitled types. Hell no. Instead, Tarver comes out swinging and I LOVE it. He’s also self sacrificing. He holds back his emotions quite a bit, but when he lets them out let’s just say if you like sensitivity, you’ll totally be all over these pages. AND OMG, there’s poetry! POETRY! Obviously he just needs a guitar or something and it’s all over. Yep, that’s the character of Tarver and if you have similar taste to me, you’ll clutch this book.
The world in These Broken Stars is creepy. Like, you guys I am sorry but I would never want to be isolated with no other humans to talk to except my romantic partner. That scares me, almost as much as the ocean and space. As Lilac and Tarver explore the world they have landed on, they realize that they might not be entirely alone and the creep factor goes up just another notch. Seriously, this is why I grew up terrified of extraterrestrials. Of course, there’s so much more I am not telling you about the world. Just don’t expect to be overwhelmed by outer space and science while reading These Broken Stars and you’ll be fine with the world building.
Frankly, where Meg Spooner and Amie Kaufman succeed for me is in their ability to weave a believable star crossed romance. I know that this book was pitched as Titanic in space, so I was expecting a retelling of the James Cameron movie, but again, IN SPACE. Y’all, that is not what I got. Thankfully, even though I love the movie because I am a sap, These Broken Stars takes a totally different path. The only similarities are a sinking ship and the fact that Lilac and Tarver come from different social classes. Anyways, they actually take some time to like each other and then to fall in love. Sure, they find each other attractive at first, but then you know one character opens their mouth and it’s like ehhhh good looking but NOT my type. THEN they get to know each other and admire each other as they try to survive and it is so sweet and romantic and kind of my favorite.
Basically if this does not convince you to add These Broken Stars to your Christmas wish list because I know you are making that wish list WAY early, I have failed you. One last plea for you to read this book – if you are like ugh, outer space, ugh survival, get over yourself because Meg Spooner and Amie Kaufman create SUCH A COMPELLING story with These Broken Stars. This is a story that will have you swooning, have you yelling, and ultimately have you fired up. Give it a chance, I swear you won’t hate it.
Disclosure: Obtained at BEA 2013.
Other reviews of These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman:
None yet, because apparantly I am the only person reviewing this book wicked early. Whatevs, EARLY BUZZ MY FRIENDS. FYI when you review this drop your link and I’ll add it.
Books by Meagan Spooner:
You made it through the review — now because I am so excited about this book and because I am moving and have no space for books that aren’t finished copies and because I want you to spread the good news about how awesome These Broken Stars is, I’ve added a rafflecopter contest. Now this is US Only because moving is expensive as is commuting 2 hours a day — 80 bucks a week in gas holla! So, if you live in the US or have a friend in the US who would forward it to you, try your luck because this book is worth it. ALSO, the arc is signed by both Meagan Spooner AND Amie Kaufman so it’s mad special. It’s not personalized though.