December 10, 2013

Latest Read: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Here are the basics ...
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Publication date: Dec. 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Category: Young Adult - Science Fiction
Source: Received at BEA

Summary: Catastrophe strikes when the Icarus, 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. 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. 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
These Broken Stars is a cross between the Titanic and Under The Never Sky and it's a comparison that I can't get out of my head. The Icarus is a massive luxury spaceliner and the best of its kind. It hosts guests like the rich and famous (see: Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the man behind Icarus) and revered soldiers (be prepared to drool over: Tarver Merendsen, small-town guy turned war hero). The chapters alternate between their point-of-views as they have a not-so-great first meeting and then get thrown together as the sole survivors when the Icarus crashes on an abandoned planet. It's a tale of two very different people trying to survive in the wilderness as their opposite upbringings (and obvious attraction) clash at every turn. But it's also about trying to uncover the secrets of this mysterious, abandoned planet.

In hindsight, there actually aren't too many details about the futuristic world the book takes place in. We know it's the future, paparazzi still harass celebrities, people travel in space and there are many colonies living on different planets. But somehow, even with the minimal world-building, everything still felt vivid. I could picture the spaceliner and the terrain Lilac and Tarver explored as they try to find shelter. I think it was the strong, distinct personalities of these characters (and I'd go so far as to say that the abandoned planet felt like a third main character) that really brought the story to life. So needless to say, once Lilac and Tarver crash.. that's when things get interesting. And crazy and swoon-worthy.

What did interest me from page one though was undoubtedly Tarver. He's got the whole tough, self-assured solider part down. He's also the doting son of a teacher and poet, kind-hearted and just a good guy. And while everything around him and Lilac is falling apart, he's the one who keeps them moving forward on the planet. It's hard not to fall for his character so I don't know how Lilac managed to resist for so long! She, on the other hand, wasn't as easy to connect with. I admired her intelligence and spunk and I understood her need to prove her usefulness. But I didn't start warming up to her until she warmed up to Tarver (clearly, I like this boy!). In all seriousness though, it's once she lets down her guard that we get to see and understand her better. It's their slow-burning relationship and the mystery surrounding them on the planet that reeled me in.

Do I recommend?: I do! If you like science fiction, romance and stories that take place in space, this is a great book!

Collaborative feature with Alexa! 

How do you feel about dual POVs and which do you prefer?
I've read SO many dual POVs this year! Especially in the last few months. I don't know if it's coincidence or they just got super popular lately. Regardless, I would say for the most part, I love dual point-of-views. But it really depends on the book. If both characters are likable and compelling, I enjoy being able to see both sides to the story and how each person may have interpreted a moment. Books like These Broken Stars, the Legend series by Marie Lu, Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi or Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando work really well with the alternating chapters. Each side was equally interesting. Then there's The Vow by Jessica Martinez where I enjoyed one person's chapters far more than the other. Or there are the instances where a series started off as a single POV and switches it up to dual (totally worked - Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout; did not work - Allegiant by Veronica Roth). I don't have a preference over the other. For me, it's really on a book by book basis. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 

1 comment:

  1. I love that we both just gushed about Tarver in our reviews. Clearly, we have a favorite character in These Broken Stars! Really, what I like about it is HIM and the beautiful writing. I just loved the way this story was written, and that's definitely what is keeping me interested in the series.

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