These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Release Date: December 10, 2013
Series or Standalone: Starbound #1
Rating: 3 Stars
These Broken Stars seems to be a book that people either really loved or really hated. My feelings on this book fell somewhere in the middle. I enjoyed parts of the book, but other parts really lagged for me. This is one book I’m glad I got out of the library to read.
The premise of this book was more promising than its execution. I loved the idea of the spaceship crash that throws together two very different people in an unfamiliar environment. However, the plot dragged throughout the whole middle, and a book that really only has two characters faces its fare amount of challenges in holding the readers attention.
The beginning and end of this book are the parts I really enjoyed. The story had such potential in the beginning. I loved Lilac and Tarver’s interactions while onboard the Icarus. They both had strong characteristics and good backstories. The crash of the Icarus was heartbreakingly beautiful — in many ways it reminded me of the sinking of the Titanic. I had high hopes with seeing how Tarver and Lilac dealt with being ship wrecked, hoping that it would making them stronger characters.
However, the whole middle dragged. I did not like how the characters acted. Lilac became very weak and whiny. Even when forced to fend for herself, she still felt like she need Tarvers there to prop her up and support her. Her character during the middle of the book at times really annoyed me. Tarvers was the stronger of the two characters and the one I had a stronger connection with. I wanted to see what happened to his character more than Lilac. There were many times during the middle of the book that I wanted to put the book down because NOTHING was happening. The ending slightly redeemed the middle and was not what I expected.
The romance between Tarver and Lilac fizzled. In the beginning, I could see the spark and the potential. But, as the story went on, it felt like the romance was their because it had to be there. They were the only two people on the planet, so of course that’s what had to happen. I wish that the same spark from the beginning was able to carry through the whole book.
I did really like that their were snippets of Tarver’s interrogation from present day before chapters and eventually the storyline of the plot and interrogation overlapped. It was a nice structural device that was really interested to read. I think I liked the interrogation transcript more than the actual plot sometimes.
Despite this book being written by two people, the two authors voices blend very well. It’s really hard to tell who is writing what parts. There were some really beautifully written scenes, including the ship crash, that I really enjoyed reading. I’m always intrigued by books written by two authors to see how well the two authors blend, and Spooner and Kaufman do an excellent job of that.
Overall, These Broken Stars just didn’t cut it for me. I enjoyed parts of it, but a dragging plot really pulls the story down. I’m interested in the companion sequel This Shattered World because we will get new characters facing a new set of challenge. I still have some doubts about it, but I do plan on checking it out when it's released.