Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Series: Starbound #1
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 374 (ARC)
Source: From Publisher for Review
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.
~*~Lili's Reflections~*~

Please excuse me while I attempt to wrap my head around the epic perfection that is THESE BROKEN STARS.

The easiest way to describe this book is "Titantic in space." The wealthiest girl in the galaxy, Lilac LaRoux (whose name I absolutely adore) finds herself stranded on an unknown planet with poor-boy-turned-war-hero-but-still-poor Tarver Merendson after her father's most famous ship, the Icarus, was ripped out of hyperspace by an unknown force. The entire ending of this magnificent vessel was rather well done, if you ask me. My heart was beating fast and I was fearing for the thousands upon thousands of passengers that were at risk of losing their lives. While the very beginning was somewhat slow, Kaufman and Spooner successfully grabbed my attention with this one once the crashing sequence was initiated. The action was beautifully written, Lilac's character finally began to wow, and the plot did nothing but pick up as the book went on.

One thing that I think is worth noting is the writing style. I have a confession to make...I normally despise co-authored books. This is mainly because I think that it's very hard to write a co-authored book that flows in such a precise way that a normal book would flow because it's written by a single hand. Every author has a different writing style and it's rather hard to blend them. And, while these authors created two distinct characters with completely different voices, I didn't feel as if my mind was being ping-ponged between one style and another. It just flowed effortlessly, and it made the book all the more amazing in my eyes because both of these authors can only be summed up with a single Told from alternating perspectives, they really shine together while giving us glimpses into Tarver and Lilac's minds. While they both clashed significantly in the beginning, their character growth was absolutely astounding and their character arcs are definitely commendable.

Tarver comes from humble roots. He's got a small cottage that houses his mother, his father, himself, and his brother. He worked to get where he is today and earned every medal her received while serving in the military. Though of a poorer class, he is educated and focused. My heart squealed a little bit in the beginning when I found out he had a soft spot for reading in general and for writing poetry. On the other hand, Lilac is pretty much a spoiled heiress. In the very beginning of the novel, she's the kind of stereotypical rich kid that makes you hate the upper class. But shortly after you begin to discover some secrets about her and certain abilities that a spoiled rich kid simply would never possess. Lilac, in reality, has a rather complicated past that I loved to see slowly unravel. Watching her open up and reveal such deep thoughts was a blessing that was done beautifully, it really made me love her. I totally understood why she was the way she was after a few confessions.

Together these two make some of my favorite love interests ever. I ship them so hard that we've got to build a ship the size of Manhattan and then maybe we're a hundredth of the way to how much I love them. Though this story takes place over an admittedly short period of time--less than a month--their love was believable because they spent a very long time alone, distraught, having nobody else but each other. It's amazing what fighting for survival can do to your perspective of the universe. No insta-love here, kids.

And lastly, the plot. I don't even know what to say. It is absolutely stupendous. The pacing was superb and the plot twists were magnificent. My heart is still beating fast from a certain scene that almost threw me into a bawling fit into the middle of my floor's study lounge at one o'clock in the morning. I almost didn't have the willpower to hold it all in and save myself from the eternal embarrassment that would have come with bawling over a book in front of my floormates. But, really, I actually just turned my head and cried silently for a solid five minutes because one plot twist is so heartbreaking and terrible it's ten times worse than screaming at Rose to just move over on the door and make room for Jack. Kudos to Kaufman and Spooner for making me feel so much for these characters that I had to literally stitch my heart back together. Such a strong emotional connection can only be contributed to their amazing writing. But, yes, back to the point...plot twists galore!

Overall, buy this book now! The holiday season is quickly upon us and this is literally the perfect Christmas gift for any romance lover, sci-fi lover, retelling nut, Titantic fangirl, and lover of all things unique and well-written. This book is seriously meant for everyone, not reading it will be a big mistake.

5 stars


FTC Disclaimer: I did not receive any compensation of any kind in exchange for my honest review.  


  1. Great review, Lili! I also like the merged styles. Such an important detail for a co-authored book, and Amie & Meagan performed flawlessly. And yes to Tarver and Lulac being the best ship! Those crazy kids... They made us wait for it, though, and that was awesome.

  2. *whistles* It's fascinating to keep watching reviews of this roll out and me continue to be one of two people I know who didn't like it. Ah well.

    I'm glad you had such a pleasant read though. :)