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.
©2013 Amie Kaufman (P)2013 Listening Library
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.
Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.
From the start I was instantly drawn into this story. Told in duel points of view, it was such a mesmerizing listen. The narrators did an excellent job of bringing this well written and unique story to life. It made me feel transported to another place and time and I became utterly lost within the words.
These Broken Stars is a story of survival and love, set in a sci-fi world, with intriguing mysteries to solve, that will have you listening late into the night. There are so many twists and turns and “I didn’t see that coming” moments. It will have you guessing almost to the very end.
This was such an unexpected gem of a book. 5 HUGE stars!!
When I began listening to the story, I was nearly turned off by the 'Titanic' like storyline. However, I stuck with it and boy, am I glad I did. I loved the sci-fi parts of the book, but I think I fell in love with the story as Tarver and Lilac fell in love, and grew both individually and together. This was an amazing listen, and I was happy to sacrifice sleep to continue listening. If you like stories about love, with sci-fi mixed in, you will love this.
I also really enjoyed the performance. They truly brought the story to life for me.
These Broken Stars is categorized as a teen novel, but it is also a good read for adults. The main teen elements are that the main characters never have sex and swear words are referenced, but not said.
The plot and characters are solid and the premise is interesting. This is a typical journey of self discovery, but uses interesting elements that make for a refreshing read.
It is obvious that this science fiction novel is one of the few written by women. The authors have the hard core military "major" express feelings in a way that male writers do not.
Elements that didn't work:
-- Making the 18-year-old male protagonist be a major after two years in the military. The authors say he earned this through field promotions, but that would mean going from recruit to O-4 rank in two years. That would mean overseeing about a thousand soldiers at 18 years old. That's the kind of thing that doesn't happen, unless it is an honorary rank for royalty.
-- Having the two characters never have sex, despite falling in love while shipwrecked and alone. There's lots of sleeping cuddled together and making out, but it never goes further. The authors omit any element explaining this, instead it is just something required for a "teen" novel.
Overall, this is a good read and worth a credit.
Wow! I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this book, looking forward to it each day to listen to on my commute. This is an original and clever story with a nice balance between science fiction, romance and social commentary. The characters were interesting and the narrators did a great job giving personality to both Lilac and Tarver. I don't want to give any spoilers but I did feel like I was on a roller coaster ride toward the end and felt the outcome was creative. Being a science fiction nut, I could have handled a whole lot more of the planet and it's creepy inhabitants rather than all the mushy love parts (ha ha) but I think there was a good balance and the story moved right along. I highly recommend the book, it's well written and sophisticated for the YA crowd.
The different narrator voices made the difference here. The interview portions of the book where completely unexpected and made me feel like I was watching a movie in my head. It was done well and didn't create any confusion. Made it clear in the beginning that parts of the book where jumping time periods.
Won't bother doing homework on this question but did want to say that this novel was a survival/mystery novel with bits of romance. And I love a survival novel with romance. And I love sci-fi as well so perfect fit for me.
The male lead. Sounded like young Kevin Bacon. His narration of the female character's voice wasn't superb but not bad enough to make me cringe. Both main characters' narrations were very well done. Attitudes were clearly expressed. Characterizations quite clear from narrators' voice.
The ending. Cried like a baby. Not the very end but the culmination of the plot- bawled like a baby and went through many tissues even though I knew the ending would satisfy
The female main character was a little annoying here and there. Also, I believed I found a review stating that the characters actually communicated unlike some novels- this was not the case till the end. But, they were young and stupid- just like the rest of us but it was a smidge annoying here and there when a simple explanation would have solved a lot of nonsense and there would have been no negative consequence for the character to give it- such as pride issues. There could have been more great conversations between these two characters added to the novel if some of the communication nonsense had been toned down a bit. Just my opinion.
It seems like I read somewhere that this is going to be a series- not sure about that. But I found the ending to be complete and I was absolutely okay with it- no cliffhanger for me. I'll still check for a sequel and if I find one, I'll let others review it first before reading because I have found sometimes that the first in a series and where it stands at the end, is where it should have stopped. But should a sequel be well received, I'll definitely pick it up and probably through audiobooks as it was quite engaging in how it was produced and directed. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.
Finally a YA book that lives up to all the hype. The pretty cover doesn't hurt either. . . but, seriously, I have been terribly disappointed in the YA titles that continue to be hyped to the pointed of silliness and yet are shockingly bad (Divergent, I am looking at you). While Twilight was silly at least it had a plot that was fairly clear to follow and made sense. Many of the books I have recently read are either:
1) poorly edited
2) poorly executed -- do YA authors understand human nature at all?
3) poorly written
4) and most probably, all of the above
These Broken Stars breaks the cycle of bad YA titles because it has a entertaining yet surprising complex plot, a well thought out premise that makes sense and it is well paced. The audio book is especially well done due to the alternative voices for Tarver and Lilac and the added voice of Tarver's interrogator. The authors bring everything to a satisfactory close with an open mystery that will serve as the connecting thread between the other books in the projected trilogy. I liked that. While this story ends with no cliff hangers for the main characters, the mystery continues. And while no cliffhangers may seem to be a possible damaging factor here for the series, it isn't. The book is written to hold your attention to the very conclusion and leaves you wanting to read the next book ASAP. I could hardly pull my headphones off during the last 10 chapters or so. Both Tarver and Lilac are sympathetic characters that not only grow through their ordeal of survival, but don't become so annoying during their "growth" that you want to bash them both over the head with a blunt instrument (i.e whiny, insecure heroines or heroes that stay pretty much whiny and insecure through out their "growth"). They follow the rules of human nature and learn how to use their strengths to work together and survive. There, of course, is a curious and often disturbing reality that they learn about on the planet they have crashed on that makes their journey of survival much more than just surviving and being rescued. It all works together and makes sense. So I would highly recommend this book, especially as an audio book. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.
Tarver! I love tough guys with the soul of a poet :)
All of them, especially after they reach the wreck.
Even though I got These Broken Stars at BEA last year and I saw many promising reviews, it took me all this while to actually read it. Finally, I got it in audiobook and I just LOVE it! I’m kicking myself in the behind for not reading it before now.
I haven’t read anything by Amie Kaufman before, but I read Meagan Spooner’s Skylar , which I really enjoyed. In a nutshell, These Broken Stars is a combination of ‘Titanic’ in space and it also reminded me of Veronica Rossi’s Under the Never Sky (because of the main characters.) If you read the synopsis, you know that I’m not giving anything away. Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, she’s the picture of the perfectly spoiled brat and in a sense, she is; but there is more to her that meets the eye.
Tarver Mederdsen is a ‘war hero’ and has gained the rank of major. He has made a name for himself and is being ‘rewarded’ by being invited to the Icarus to intermingle with the rich people. It is here that he meets the untouchable Ms. LaRoux and ends up saving her life. They end up in the same escape pod and crash land together. It is in this unknown planet that they learn to tolerate each other, and later fall in love. At the beginning, they don’t even like each other, but they slowly realize that there is more to each other and to the stereotypes they want to fit each other in. Lilac and Tarver complement each other really well and I love them as a couple. In case that you can’t tell, the characterization is outstanding, and it really had to be since we spend much of our time with only these two characters. The story is told from both Lilac and Tarver’s point of views, in the first person. Between each chapter, there is an interview with, presumably, an investigator (?) and Tarver, after they‘re rescued. Thus, we know from the beginning that they will eventually rescued.
There aren’t many other characters, but we do get to meet Lilac’s father briefly and he is a piece of work! I’m happy, albeit a bit freaked out with the ending :)
You would imagine that the plot is really simple, but it you would be wrong. Thrown in for good measure is a sci-fi / paranormal twist that makes the story different to anything I’ve read before. The world building is really good and easy to understand, even when it gets a little technical. The pace was a bit slow at the beginning, and even though I wasn’t bored, I kept wishing it could go faster. I think that besides the characters, the crowning glory of this book is the writing. The writing is easy to read, beautiful and lyrical.
Overall, These Broken Stars is a great space romance-sci-fi story. It has great characters, an unforgettable romance, and incredible writing. I’m looking forward to the rest of the books in the series and I hope we can see how Lilic and Traver are doing then.
About the narration – I enjoyed this one. Chapters are narrated by either Jonathan McClain (I’m assuming this is Tarver), and Cynthhia Holloway as Lilac. Also, as stated above, the person interviewing Tarver after the rescue is another narrator too. Overall, the pace is good, it was easy to understand them and I particular loved Tarver’s interpretation.
The narrator was good, the writing was good, and I also liked those in between pieces of the interview throughout the story.
Yeah but I don't want to give any spoilers.
It's not one of my favorites, such as the 5th wave, the cinder series, and the hunger games, but it's definitely a good book, with likable characters and an interesting story. I will certainly be reading the next one in the series, whenever it comes out.
I do. The voice of Tarver was wonderful and kept you engaged in the story. The cut scenes between chapter we very witty and clever.
I am a huge Tarver fan. He was such a strong character with sarcastic side bars that made you laugh and sympathize with.
Yes, I felt like at the climax with the death of a major character I would have stopped reading the book but with the audiobook I kept going and happy I did.
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