Reviews

These Broken Stars by Meagan Spooner, Amie Kaufman

izzys_internet_bookshelf's review

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4.0

4.5/5

This book surprised me. When I started reading it I had a feeling ai would DNF it because the beginning was so close but before a chapter would start it would show a sort of interrogation scene and that got me hooked on there is a bigger picture to this. And then I finished the book in one sitting.

sdloomer's review

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4.0

--4.25/5 stars--

A book that seamlessly melds different genres together to create a rich atmosphere and universe--combines focus on world-building and in-depth character development.

General:
I did some light research before diving into this book--as it is the first in a loosely connected trilogy and I am one of those readers who just can’t abandon a series (warning: completionist incoming), I wanted to prepare myself to read the sequels. And what a delight! Within the first few chapters (which, I might add, are only about a few pages long each), I was easily hooked into the story.
At first glance, the story may seem a bit superficial, but it is anything but simple. The universe is well sculpted--we have an advanced view of society and culture off the first page--and our characters are well-rounded and pretty fleshed out right off the bat. Though the plot follows a Titanic-esque theme, it shed the prolonged suffering and overall despair early and concentrated on Lilac and Tarver’s journey, both physically and emotionally; plus, with no one but each other for several hundred pages or so, let’s just say there’s plenty of room for development. Yes, there’s romance (albeit a slow buildup, instant-love haters rejoice), but Kaufman and Spooner so delicately weave in intense action, suspense, and definitely flirt with the thriller end of horror.

The Characters:
Our heroine, Lilac, is headstrong and proud, yet she cares for the people in her life in her own peculiar way, especially since her overprotective father has a way of removing potential threats, be they small or large. She may be the galaxy’s princess, but that doesn’t mean she can’t stand up for herself or argue her way to what she wants. When the universe throws her a massive curveball, she (gradually) accepts it with poise, grace, and a determined attitude I definitely did not expect her to portray--something I was overjoyed to find, especially since I can only take so much of overly whiny and bratty heroines (sorry, Meira).
On the other hand, Tarver is almost exactly how I pictured him to be: cynical and sarcastic, but still grateful and perceptive of his place in society, and also a tempting Major in the military at 18--ladies, beware (or am I the only one who thinks dress blues are incredibly attractive?). He’s a soldier who really only knows how to be just that, so when Lilac comes barreling her way toward him, he has to learn how to soften up and trust her, since that’s the only way both of them are getting out of this debacle alive.

The Writing:
Writing style is an integral component of whether I decide to pick up a book or not; it’s usually what makes or breaks my final decision. THESE BROKEN STARS completely blew away my expectations for a young adult novel, particularly because the writing is sophisticated for any adult, yet simple enough for a middle school student to enjoy. Though the story is told in Lilac and Tarver’s alternating POVs, their voices are dissimilar enough that it is easy to distinguish who is speaking, even if you open to a random page; both are engaging and charming in their own ways.

Other Comments:
While the story, characters, and the blend of genres this book offers is unusually coherent, one of the things I noticed was the lack of consistency of ideas. Without giving anything away, I will note that ideas would be introduced in an early chapter, then resolved relatively quickly, without many repercussions, thought, or even mentions in later chapters--kind of like a random laundry list of things that would make the story a little more intense...with no follow up. However, this absolutely does not detract from the story as a whole, and probably makes it more appealing to a younger audience; keeping track of too many branching plot lines gets tiring quickly.

Follow Up:
An enticing mix of genres, lovable characters that are perfectly relatable (your father may not be the richest man in the universe, but technicalities), and a driving plot propelled this book to the top of my “Favorites list” and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. On to the sequel!

komalestas's review

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adventurous mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.25

b0hemian_graham's review

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4.0

It's like a slightly less suckier version of Titanic copulated with the Tarkovsky adaptation of Solaris (to keep with the whole Film theme) and gave birth to a YA novel. I was getting bored and annoyed with the protagonists, as they were far too whiny, then bam, the whole thing turned into a YA version of Solaris which made it more interesting.

shareen17's review

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Rich girl meets poor boy then must overcome many obstacles when they're stranded together story. I liked it enough to finish the book, but not enough to recommend it to anyone I know.

j11shadow's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging emotional hopeful mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5

renuked's review against another edition

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5.0

Reread: Jan 14, 2016

First read: Dec 23, 2013

renuked's review

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5.0

As I read this, I actually needed to get up, pace around my room to release the tension from my shoulders, and then sit back down to read. The whole thing was absolutely grilling. There wasn't much action, but it was far from boring. It was an odyssey.

Oh my gods. I've been looking for a good science-fiction book since I read Across the Universe by Beth Revis. When I saw this, I realized I needed to read it. But I had no idea how crazy it would actually make me. I love Tarver and Lilac. Tarver was so brusque and hard but underneath he's a poet. He's got this untamed, wildness underneath him that only Lilac can balance out. And Lilac. She starts off as this spoiled, misunderstood girl, but she grows. And loses her blurry edges becoming sharper and so real.

I started off thinking this would be great, but just like Across the Universe. But it morphed into something unbelievable. I watched them survive for a little while, then I watched them fall in love. I watched them struggle. I watched them go insane. I watched them die. It was horrible the way this book made me cling to every word. It was slow, unhurried, but so, so tense. The gradual wrongness of the planet, the strange hallucinations, it broke me. I thought I would die of heart failure before the book was over.

There were so many questions. So many puzzles to be solved. So much anxiety and love and fear. I don't even know how I survived, much less Tarver and Lilac. But they were both so strong individually, and together they were stronger. And the writing, by the gods. I could see everything happening. The descriptions of the planet. The images conjured by the words. The tiny flowers, the glowing ship falling from the sky, the freckles on Lilac's face. Everything was like a slap to the face. I'm still breathing erratically trying to find words.

The interview was the only fault I could find, I think it would have been more suspenseful without the interview. But then again, more suspense might have killed me outright. Now, all I want is a more complete description of how the galaxy has progressed. I want to know more. I want to learn everything. I need to know Tarver and Lilac will be okay. I have no idea how the series is planning to progress, but I could care less. I love every inch of it and I can't wait.

devansbooklife's review

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4.0

4.5 Stars Bright Burning Stars
I love the worlds and stories Amie Kaufman creates. And this was no exception. I was immediately pulled in. I have never really read much that is centered on space travel but this book had me completely enthralled. I will stat that for those readers are very interested in book about space travel and space voyages this book may not be the best pick. The story begins on a spaceship, the Icarus, but the setting rapidly changes to reflect another world. The majority of this story revolves around it's two main characters, Lilac and Tarver, and the relationship that develops between them. It is written in alternating perspectives which I enjoyed because I felt connections to them both. I felt the chemistry and the build up as their relationship developed, which is one of the reasons I loved this book. It was a fast paced adventure that I devoured. I loved the creativity of the authors and the way their visions formed in my imagination. Especially since this is not a typical genre for me to indulge in. I cannot wait to read the following books of the series.

saschabookishowl's review

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5.0

*Read for the 2016 reading challenge: a romance set in the future*

4.5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this, it was so hard to put down. Unfortunately, I had a lot of (school)work to do, so I had to put it down a lot and read it sort of per chapter. I got a lot of 'Lost' vibes from this story. There are so many strange and mysterious things going on, just as in the Lost TV show. I've read some reviews of people who disliked one of the main characters, Lilac. Personally, I enjoyed reading from both character's points of view. Yes, Lilac can be a bit annoying in the beginning, but she just gets more and more interesting. The structure of the storytelling, of two alternating POV's, worked well. I'm not that big a fan of romance but I found the love story in this novel quite engaging. I'm not sure yet how I feel about the rest of the series, considering that this is a series of companion novels, centering around different main characters. If I'm allowed to make a comparison to the Lunar Chronicles, I do enjoy the set-up of that series. In the Lunar Chronicles, the main characters of a book also show up in the subsequent novels. I'm not sure if the Starbound trilogy has this same set-up, or whether there are just different characters in each book.