Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Me on These Broken Stars

Title: These Broken Stars
Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

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.

These Broken Stars is a mysterious love story, a harrowing journey of survival, truth, and discovery. It is a very curious twist of fate that tosses Lilac and Tarver together, these teens with very different backgrounds, and it is because of that twist of fate that they must rely on each other for their very survival. There are many secrets to be found on the planet they crash onto, but what will knowing those secrets do to them?

Lilac lives by the rules of her controlling father. She knows this very well, and so she keeps her distance from those 'beneath her.' It's not that she sees them as beneath her, as less than she is, but she does it for their own good. She sees herself as toxic, as a poison that will ruin someone's life, all because of her father. She's a more than meets the eye kind of girl. She has her secret interests and her dreams, her genuine wants and desires, but she keeps them hidden away under a thin veneer of snobbishness.

Tarver, by contrast, is a working class boy made good kind of war hero. He's not necessarily a typical 'war hero' kind of hero. He's strong and intelligent, his knowledge gained from fighting on the front lines keeps them alive, but he still has his concerns, he's still emotionally connected to the situation. He has an honest and genuine personality, and focuses on the mission at hand while paying attention to both his and Lilac's needs.

The small interlude moments between each chapter were interesting. It's rather obvious from the line of questioning that this person wants to know every single thing about the crash, every little insignificant detail from when Tarver first met Lilac, like they'd planned it. The answers the insistent voice gets are rather intriguing, truth but not the truth, lies but not lies.

Survival is key. Once Lilac and Tarver crash onto the planet, they are forced together and forced to rely on each other in order to survive. They are pushed to discover what it takes to survive when the world comes crashing down on you, when you're in a place that's foreign and alien to you, when everything around you is dead and ruined. When the dark secrets that place holds are the key to your survival, and you must rise up above your fear and face it head on.

I was so pleased at how different Lilac and Tarver's voices were. For a dual point of view book, there were clear differences in their tones, personalities, goals, and inner thoughts, and that doesn't always come across well. Also, I'm not surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I went into it hoping for science fiction, romance, secrets, and intrigue, a sci-fi shipwreck on a deserted 'island' with two characters tossed together and forced to rely on each other in spite of their differences. And that's what I got. And the romance happened naturally, it didn't feel forced or instant. With the next book in the trilogy featuring a different couple, I'm very curious as to where Kaufman and Spooner will go next.

(I received an e-galley of this title to review from Hachette Book Group Canada through NetGalley.)

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