Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

27 November, 2013 Reviews 52 comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner
Series: Starbound #1
Published by Allen & Unwin on December 10th 2013
Pages: 384
Genres: Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Amazon Good BooksBook Depository

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.


A timeless love story, THESE BROKEN STARS sets into motion a sweeping science fiction series of companion novels. The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Everybody is talking about this book and not without good cause. This is a really hard book for me to review, not only because Meg and Amie are friends of mine, but also because I’m about to see them on Friday. Talk about awkward. And yet this review comes in full knowledge that they might throw things at me, or tear apart my manuscript, if I can ever convince them to crit it for me, out of revenge.

See how much I love you guys? I’m ready to make ALL the things awkward for your benefit!

The problem with These Broken Stars is that it’s so adorable, I think I’m going to die.

Like, for real, I’m 99% positive this book gave me diabetes…

I kind of have the biggest lady boner for Lilac and Tarver. They are, without a doubt, the strongest aspect of this novel. People looking for complex world building, fast-paced action or a complicated plot are probably going to be disappointed. However, those ready to bask in a character-centric tale of love, growing and sacrificing need to get this book right now. To be honest, I was utterly enchanted by these two futuristic lovebirds.  Enchanted all the way down to my brutish, thuggish, cold, dead heart.

The positive parts of this novel include the writing. It is, as I expected, simply stunning. But this was no big surprise, I have read Meagan Spooner’s previous works, and technical ability was never something that she lacks.  I’m in love with her style, and ability to bring vivid scenes to life.  She and Kaurfman are obviously very complimentary in this regard.

However, the biggest test for me was always going to be the pacing. My biggest weakness as a reader is that walking books kill me. Plot has to be happening, mysteries flying at you like metaphorical balls to your face, and the entertainment factor has to be just right, or I’m lost. I felt in this aspect, These Broken Stars walked a tight-rope that was valiantly saved by how charismatic and hilarious Tarver and Lilac’s interactions were.

For a pretty straight forward plot, they make it exciting and sweet, the character’s humour and witty dialogue creating a kind of magic that I didn’t want to stop. I kind of get the sense that the authors had a beginning and end in mind. As to everything that happens in the middle, to me it felt less tightly plotted, leaving the events seeming a little random. This may not be true, it was just my intuition as a reader. But sometimes as I was reading, I almost felt between the lines that one of them would be like, “Dude what are we doing next?” And then the other one would be like, “Add some kissing and stuff. Make something up.” And that there is this certain point in the novel where it feels like they both said to each other, “No, really, how’s this ending?” before they set about making it work.

*Disclaimer: This is all in my head, by the way, I have no idea how this book was actually written.

Ultimately this doesn’t really negate the good things in the novel. Lilac and Taver’s story is still incredibly emotionally compelling.  And the most important aspects of this novel, being a highly character-driven story, are nailed so perfectly that it’s easy to bypass the rest and just soak in the feels. Of which Tarver and Lilac will give you many.  Totally a Sploogefest.

And the entertainment I got from reading them together in this book is what drives my high rating more than anything else. I feel like I can forgive a lot of things, if I am ultimately entertained. And this story of hardened space marine meets bratty princess socialite utterly thrilled me.

I think if a novel can manage to be romantic, entertaining, tense, and occasionally creepy, then that means it has a lot going for it. At least in my books. Of which I have none – so trust nothing I say.


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Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
Kat Kennedy is a book reviewer and aspiring author in the Young Adult genre. She reviews critically but humorously and get super excited about great books. Find her on GoodReads.
Kat Kennedy

52 Responses to “Review: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner”

  1. Meg

    Sounds like a great read! Every now and then I get a serious hankerin’ for some futuristic YA, and this would beautifully fill that need. Also, the cover is gorgeous! Character-centric stories are totally up my alley . . . I’ll keep an eye out for it!
    Meg recently posted…Counting my blessingsMy Profile

  2. Ikao

    I do want that dress! The color is not my favorite, but it’s shinning perfectly. I would love to cosplay as Lilac if I don’t remember the fabrics will be pretty expensive

  3. Rashika

    I am actually curious as to what I’ll think of it. There seems to be a mixed reaction. Some people loved this book to pieces while others thought that it could have been better.
    Great review Kat! 🙂

    Also.. eh if I got that dress I wouldn’t be wearing it 😛 I’d be staring at it all day drooling over it. You just don’t wear a dress like that (outside your house) 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #18My Profile

  4. Mirriam

    I would wear that green dress with everything from boots to bare feet. My family would get sick of seeing it.
    (I wouldn’t)

  5. Adelynne

    Meh. Most likely not; it’s way too gigantic for me, and dresses aren’t really my style. 😀

  6. Jenny

    Of course I want the green dress! Especially if it means I get to go to space and have it billow out like that (but also SPACE!).

  7. Maryline VP

    Who wouldn’t want that dress? It’s absolutely gorgeous. Lovely giveaway too! (too bad the dress is not included 😉 ) x Happy reading, M.

  8. Sam @ Realm of Fiction

    I’m reading this at the moment and liking it a lot – more for the Lilac/Tarver entertainment value than anything! I agree that this probably isn’t the book for anyone looking for hardcore sci-fi, but I knew I to expect something quite romance-orientated going in, and it seems like that has helped. I’m curious about how it ends now. Great review!
    Sam @ Realm of Fiction recently posted…Mini-Reviews: Cracked by Eliza Crewe & Crash Into You by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  9. Charlotte

    This is a book that I really want to read. I requested it from NG months ago but got disapproved. >,< Right now, I am more determined than ever to get my hands on this book after this awesome review.

    I think I could stomach the slow pacing of this book if like you said, the interactions between Lilac and Tarver were quite entertaining. I'll take your word on this, Kat.

    And thanks. And why is everyone hyping about that dress? It sure is pretty but I think even the low gravity of space would not help Lilac stay afloat with a heavy dress like that.
    Charlotte recently posted…Book Review: Crash Into YouMy Profile

  10. Cait

    Yes to the green dress. But only if a Tarver comes with it. 😉 I ADORED this book. It totally has allll the feels. I was really surprised, though, that it was more of a survival story. The blurb doesn’t hint at that at all. Interesting. But, all the same, it’s adorable. Their arguments are adorable. The ending was sort of mind blowing.
    Also, your GIF usage? The. best. ever.

  11. Alexandra

    I would looove that dress. It looks so beautiful & silky! I really want to read this book! I have heard amazing things about it! 🙂

  12. Franny

    LOVE a good character-driven YA novel! I was initially skeptical about this one (not sure why), but now I’m sold. 🙂

  13. _Sandra-

    Dress is absolutely gorgeous!!! I would looove to have it! But I would settle for the book at the moment. 😉 Thanks for a giveaway! 🙂

  14. _Sandra_

    Dress is absolutely gorgeous!!! I would looove to have it! But, I would settle for the book at the moment. 😉 Thanks for a giveaway! 🙂

  15. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Really? I didn’t think it was all that fluffy. I liked the survival stuff at the beginning a whole lot. That’s when the book and I were friends. I SHOULD have been all over Lilac and Tarver. They bantered and everything, but I couldn’t really tell their voices apart, so it was like reading about someone falling love with with their reflection or something.

    *dodges empty gin bottle hurled by Kat*

    I do really like both Spooner and Kaufman’s writing. They just happen to write really similarly. I’m totally cool with walking books, though. It was a solid 3.5 all the way until ending, which yeah. Whuuuuuuuuuuuuut was that?
    Christina (A Reader of Fictions) recently posted…Review: The Geek’s Guide to DatingMy Profile

  16. Casey B.

    Sure! Couldn’t really wear it in public though without twenty people holding up the back:) Thanks!

  17. Stacy L

    After watching your video-reading of this book, it is official: I no longer want to read books unless you are reading/acting them out! It was so amazing: I especially love that the Doctor Who phone booth! And now I have to know how bobble-head Loki and my Little Pony princess (I mean Traver and Lilac) survive, so I cannot wait until the 10th for its release. And the whole time I read it, I will read it aloud with my best attempt at an Australian accent (which will probably be downright pathetic), all the while envisioning Loki and princess Pony! So awesome! 🙂

  18. Stacy L

    And, I got so excited, that I forgot to mention my response: no I don’t want that dress because I now only imagine Lilac with rainbow colored hair and pink plastic flanks!

  19. Nicola W

    Who doesn’t want the green dress? It’s amazing! Sadly it would only fit my left leg from how small it is, oops

  20. Jaime Lester

    I don’t know what to say other than I need to read this book right this very minute. I want to know these characters, and for once fluff is calling my name!

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