Author: Meagan Spooner & Amie Kaufman
Series: Starbound #1
Genres: young adult, sci-fi, romance
Length: 11 hrs 15 min
Narrator: Cynthia Halloway, Johnathan McClain, Sarge Anton
My rating: 4.5 stars
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.
This book wasn’t originally on my radar, and I was a little annoyed about all the hype (overhyped books rarely work out for me unless we’re talking Harry Potter), but I seem to have developed a fondness for sci-fi lately, courtesy of Beth Revis’s Across the universe trilogy, so I gave in and it payed off big time.
To be honest, this book is categorized as sci-fi, and it is, considering it takes place in outer space, but first and foremost it’s a story of survival. It could just as easily take place in a desert or on the North Pole.
Tarver and Lilac are both flawed but very likable characters from the beginning. Tarver is sarcastic and often unintentionally hilarious (the interrogation scenes cracked me up a lot), but he’s also loyal, caring and way too honorable for his own good. Lilac is very capable and pretty tough for someone who’s supposed to be a spoiled rich girl (see: her skills with wires and her general endurance after landing, which includes traipsing around in an evening dress and high heels) and I appreciated that the authors portrayed her like that from the very beginning. She doesn’t sit around waiting to be rescued like some helpless damsel in distress. I was cheering her on right to end (especially at the end)! But she’s not perfect and can be quite bitchy sometimes, in the best possible way if that makes any sense. Her banter with Tarver was so much fun, they both give as good as they get.
This book had several of my bonus points:
- NO LOVE TRIANGLE!!! Seriously, YA without an angsty love triangle! How often does that happen these days? I already ranted about the evil that is the love triangle in my Splintered review, and it will probably happen again in the future, so imagine my relief when I read the blurb and there was no sign of it. Sign me up immediately. This book would have sucked if Lilac had been stuck on a planet with 2
idiotsguys vying for her attention and acting like a couple of idiotsimmature teenagers. Huge bonus point as far as I’m concerned.
- Dual POV. I always love it when I get to see more than one person’s POV, whether it’s in first or third person, and it doesn’t get repetitive here. Also, the authors nailed the ‘ sarcastic teenage boy voice’ which is definitely not easy to do.
- NO INSTA LOVE!!! If there’s one thing I hate even more than love triangles, that’s insta love. Lilac and Tarver do share a mutual attraction from the beginning, but the relationship develops slowly and realistically and I very much appreciated that. It reminded me a little of Under the never sky which is never a bad thing. They both grow and change so much throughout the book while working together to survive and unravel the truth.
If I have a pet peeve (and I pretty much always do), that’s the occasional craziness of the plot. There were a few times I just had to suspend my disbelief and roll with, but I guess this is subjective. The ending wraps things up nicely romance-wise (no excruciating cliffhanger for once, yay!), but leaves us with plenty of questions. If I understand correctly, the 3 books in the series are companion novels, which means the next one will focus on a new couple, so I don’t know if Tarver and Lilac will even be in it, but can’t wait to find out! Bring on the sequel!
The audiobook version of this book is amazing, complete with sound effects, that at times make you feel like you’re actually floating in space, and the narration is flawless.