written by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
(will be) published on December 10th 2013 by Disney Hyperion
#1 book of Starbound trilogy
read in English (not translated yet)
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?
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 Icarus is falling. She’s like a great beast up in the sky, and I imagine her groaning as she wallows and turns, some part of her still fighting, engines firing in an attempt to escape gravity. For a few moments she seems to hang there, eclipsing one of the planet’s moons, pale in the afternoon sky.
Titanic in space was the line that was constantly repeated everytime someone promoted These Broken Stars, and it wasn't wrong at all. Yes, there are big similarities between the movie and this book, but there's also SO MUCH MORE. I'm not one who read a lot of sci-fi, but These Broken Stars is definitely what I want to read when I read a book from the sci-fi category. I enjoyed it even more than Across the Universe by Beth Revis, which happened to take place in outer space too (but for some reasons I just cannot bring myself to read the second or third book of the series). The collaboration between Amie and Meagan was done beautifully, and this is only the first book of a trilogy! Yay!
The first thing that attracted me to These Broken Stars was, of course, the cover. I'm always drawn to cover that contains space as the background. Then to the girl who was wearing a stunning green dress, with gorgeous hair... And the boy, with the dog tag dangling from his neck. This cover describes our main characters perfectly. Lilac did really wear a green dress when the Icarus crashes, and Tarver was a soldier in this book. Also, this might sounds lame, but I really, really fancy their names. Lilac. Tarver. Lilac and Tarver. Perfect for each other ;)
There was instant attraction (no, not insta-love) that appeared when Lilac and Tarver met for the first time, but because of her glum experience corcerning a boy in the past, Lilac was quick to send Tarver off. Tarver, who initially did not recognize who Lilac was (daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, mind you), felt rejected and humiliated. When the Icarus crashes, these two people weren't exactly on a good term with each other. Lots of bantering, bickering, and push-and-pull game happened on their first few days on the strange planet, but their chemistry was undeniable. I really enjoyed every dialogs between them, and I love how easy it was to differ Lilac's voice with Tarver's.
"Would you like a rest?
She considers the question, then nods, reaching up to tuck her hair back where it belongs. "Where will I sit?"
Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise lounge I've carried for you in my pocket, Your Highness. So glad you asked.
I have to admit, the principessa-attitude of Lilac in the first few chapters was annoying, and this girl was so stubborn, but this stubborness later resulted in a totally new version of Lilac. It was lovely to see the transformation of Lilac throughout the story. She's real, quick to learn, and quick to adapt to the situation. Along with Tarver, who's perfectly fine doing the survival thingy since he's well trained as a soldier, they helped each other to survive and stay alive in that totally strange and lonely planet where Icarus landed. And who doesn't want to have a boy like Tarver? This guy had manners, a hard-working man, loved his family, realistic, good at surviving, and handsome! Seeing Lilac and Tarver's character development was one of my favorite things about These Broken Stars. Their love was a slow-burn, but it was beautifully built, so when the 'confession' finally happened, it felt so worth it to read all those awkward, don't-really-like-each-other-but-have-to-stay-together-in-order-to-live moments in the previous pages.
“I choose her. I choose whatever world has her in it.”
So, yeah. There were a lot to These Broken Stars other than the sci-fi and romance part. The story was also about survival, and there was a slight paranormal side too, which I found strange at first. Tarver thought Lilac was being crazy, as a result of shock that struck her when the tragedy occured, because she started seeing things, hearing whispers, and all. At about three-quarter of These Broken Stars, something unbelievable happened (it left me speechless for a moment there), and up until this moment I'm still confused about that 'energy-creating' part, but oh well, it doesn't really matter because in the end, the story wrapped up exactly in the way I wanted to be!
Furthermore, I love how both authors described the setting in the book. On the Icarus, I can easily painted the image that was described through our characters, the luxuriousness of the ship, the festivity of the party... The tense feeling when the escape pod, albeit imperfectly, managed to part from the Icarus, the loneliness and helplessness feeling when Lilac and Tarver crashed in an unknown land... The uncertainty about their chance at surviving without any other people to help them, and will they ever be found and could they go back to their family? These Broken Stars is definitely a book that would make you feel a lot of emotions in different ranges.
I would totally recommend everyone to read These Broken Stars, eventhough you're not a fan of sci-fi, or YA in particular. This is a very well-written book, the dual narration works for both characters, and the story will simply left you feeling dazzled and pleased. These Broken Stars have easily made it to my 'best books I read in 2013' list. Also, there's no sequel to Lilac and Tarver's story, so you don't need to worry about what's in the future for this lovely couple! The second and third book in the Starbound trilogy will be something like.. companions, so just like Stephanie Perkins' books, it will feature other couples, and each book could be read as a stand-alone! Make sure you read it :)