These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Saturday, September 19, 2015


3.5 out of 5 stars

They say never judge a book by its cover, but I've never quite taken the literal meaning to heart. Not until this book. When I first saw this book I thought "Wow, this is one of the most beautiful covers I've ever seen!" So I, (as would anyone) automatically assumed that if the cover was out of this world (see what I did there?), then the story must be mind-blowing. Alas, while I did think the story was pretty good, it wasn't exactly mind-blowing, which is kind of disappointing considering two great authors joined forces for this one. It could've been better.  One of the reasons I think this book wasn't all that good was because of the writing, it's weird. Some sentences are formed in ways that make you go back, reread the sentence and then easily some up with another way the sentence could be rewritten. It reminds me of something George Orwell said in his essay "Politics and the English Language" The second of his rules for the English language states: "Never use a long sentence when a short one will do". The authors used too many words in a sentence to describe a scene or happening when just a few words would have sufficed. In some instances, I thought that they would say so much and yet so little at the same time.

The beginning of this story is set in the vacuum of space,  more specifically on a ship called the Icarus. Lilac LaRoux is one of the two main characters (the only characters really). Her character is a little deceptive in the beginning, you think at first that she's a unique (rich) girl in a body of pretentious and superficial rich folks. Buts after the accident,  which was the result of their ship (the Icarus) being pulled out of hyperspace by an unknown force, when she and Tarver Merendsen's emergency escape pod crash-lands on an unknown planet, she "fakes" her bitchiness but half the time it's hard to tell whether she really is faking it or if that's really who she is. She claims she treats Tarver the way she does because she's afraid of what her father might do to him, but what can he really do? It's an Icarus-wide emergency. What can really happen between Lilac and Tarver as they try to survive? What can possibly happen that Lilac's father might think is worse than her death? Cooperation isn't exactly dangerous. It drives me crazy! Lilac's also very stubborn and prideful. I understand that she doesn't want to seem weak and helpless, but I feel as if it just reinforces the idea of her "faked" superiority seeming not so ingenuine. She didn't have to keep that damned dress on! Her character develops throughout the story. Unlike at the beginning when she depended so much on Tarver for survival, it seems that roles get reversed at about halfway through when Traver gets sick. Lilac takes on a determined, strong attitude that gets her through the three days that Tarver's unconscious.

Traver Merendsen is an okay kind of guy. Nothing really stands out about him. He's a Major that earned various medals and awards for his time in the field, she has a poet for a mother, a teacher for a father, and a deceased bother who died in the field. If there's something special about him, it's that he's emotionally sensitive.

This book is so unpredictable. Just when you think you know what's going to happen next, something else entirely springs out at you like an abrupt punch in the gut.

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