These Broken Stars is a well written YA science fiction novel that does circumvent a lot of the cliches in the genre. What begins as a "Titanic" type disaster turns into a survival story with the characters slowly bonding over the course of their ordeal.
Lilac LaRue is the daughter of one of the wealthiest men in the galaxy. Tarver Merendsen, son of a teacher and a poet, comes from humble origins. When Lilac's father's flagship unexpectedly fails, both are forced to use each of their unique talents to survive the disaster - and then find help on the oddly empty terraformed planet they've been stranded upon. But things are not as they should be and both are going to be forced to find inner strengths in order to solve the mystery of the planet and the disaster.
Lilac is a strong character and brings as much to the plate as her male counterpart. What I feared would start out as a 'big misunderstanding' (which would be yet another endless bickering between the two) ended up having a good root cause and quickly overcome by the very real dangers they face together. There are very few deux ex machina to make their journey easier and the mystery at the end justified the middle survival story.
I especially liked that throughout, they each have to save each other and both are more than they seem on the outside.
The Audible version has both a male and female narrator and both did a very good job with the characters.
This is the second 'slow burn' YA title I've read/listen to this month. But unlike Matched by Allie Condy, this heroine's langour isn't boring nor does it create a flat character. That's because protagonist Nikki has spent 100 years away from her 17 year old life, trapped in a purgatory. She has to regain emotions lost during that time - and she does over the course of the book. The character development is palpable.
I enjoyed Everneath - there were plenty of mysteries and the 6 month Persephone myth added impetus to the story. As with many YA stories of late, the hero was a bit too good to be true. Although author Brodi Ashton attempted to give him some foibles, they weren't really believable and we didn't get much in the way of his characterization as a result. The same could be said of her best friend, who is almost a cardboard cut out throughout.
But that said, the story flowed smoothly and I enjoyed the ride. I will be purchasing the next title as well.
The audible performance was very good and added to, rather than detracted from, the story.