Review: These Broken Stars

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive -- alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.  The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

My review

Authors: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Pages: 390
Publication Date: December 23 2014
Source: Library hardcover (it's so pretty!)

Well then.

I was excited for These Broken Stars for so long and I believe that my excitement peaked the first time I started reading the book. I don't remember the exact date, but inevitably, it was during a vacation from school. Every time I came back home, I would go splurge on books at the library, and indubitably, I would have been extremely excited to see one of the best Cover Wars feature covers in person. So I started reading These Broken Stars a while ago. However, I never finished it and it was returned to the library unread.

I picked it up again this summer, and continued where I let off months earlier. I struggled to establish an emotional connection and it might be because I had wrecked the mystique of a book. I read books extremely fast, and that's because I don't want them to drag out. I want to be fully engrossed in the story, and I took a long break between starting These Broken Stars and finishing it. By the time I reread the story, I wasn't all that invested.

I guess the story just wasn't for me. I think that's the best way to explain it. I didn't find it very interesting. Even the supposed major twist was not enough. These Broken Stars is a romance, and I've never been interested in romance as the main plot point. It was a well-developed romance that took its time, and there was a lot to like about it technically, except that at best, I like romance as a side dish. There was the other plotline of survival, but it is extremely clear based on these little interview-like segments with Tarver later on that the characters would survive. So really, where is the intrigue in a survival story without the potential for tragedy?

I guess the fact that the Icarus became shipwrecked should have fulfilled my tragedy metre, but it's not like I knew most of the 50 000 people on board. And to be very honest, it happened so early onto the story that the only sadness I could feel was through Tarver and Lilac's reflections.

Now, besides the fact that I could be in a reading slump, or I left this book alone too long, or whatever the reason for my lack of interest, I can admit that I did think Tarver was a good character. Tarver is extremely gentle and sweet. I think this is underrated, and I liked that he was considerate. He usually takes care of everyone around him, and that's kind of adorable. He was like a teddy bear, and I appreciated his empathy.

I was very conflicted about Lilac early on, but grew to grudgingly respect her. Lilac alternated between clever and fierce to astonishingly annoying in the beginning of the book. I think was annoyed me was her arrogance. I think this was intentional because Lilac is supposed to be arrogant. She has grown up with privilege and has never been in danger. She believes that her father and he name, Lilac LaRoux, can protect her from everything, and so she does not listen to Tarver. I hated that she was a little bit manipulative, especially because I felt like he was so sweet. But in saying this, I never thought her characterization was flawed because I would expect this from her. She can't be perfect, and she shouldn't have to be sweet. Characters need to make mistakes, and I guess watching her grow was an important part of the story.

Now, the real question: will I continue with this series? I think that very much depends on the reviews for the next book. I'm not into starcrossed lovers romance stories, and the major plot twist in this book didn't really intrigue me. I don't think I would continue These Broken Stars because, despite the writing which is quite nice if not long, the story was not to my tastes. Frankly, I'm not sure where the series will go because I feel like this could have easily been a standalone. An overall story arc has not been introduced, so if I start reading that the next book is amazing and exciting and fierce, I could continue. Who knows what can happen?

Update: I read this book so late that I never realized the sequel, This Shattered World is already out. And based on the synopsis, I don't think it's for me. Apparently, the entire Starbound trilogy revolves around starcrossed lover stories which erm, are not for me. I need more action not centred around romance. So, unless This Shattered World has a lot of action and plots outside of the romance, I don't think this series really works for me.

Still, I can always be convinced otherwise. Give it your best shot in the comments and maybe this'll get a Celaena Sardothien-like revival. :p



  1. Sorry to hear you didn't like These Broken Stars. I haven't read it yet even though I have a copy but I am a fan of starcrossed lovers so hopefully I'll enjoy it :) Nice review!

    Zareena @ The Slanted Bookshelf

    1. I do hope you enjoy it! It certainly sounds like you will, if you really like starcrossed lovers. I think I'm just an astonishingly moody reader. :p


  2. I couldn't really get into These Broken Stars, either, and it was a bit of a struggle for me to finish it. Nothing about Lilac and Tarver really stood out for me, and with them pretty much carrying the book, I just felt kind of meh throughout. I'm definitely passing on This Shattered World.

    1. Yeah, I felt similarly. Maybe the book was a little hyped up to me, and it didn't feel vibrant enough.



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