These Broken Stars

by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Cover Beauty Score: 9 out of 10
Goodreads Score: 3 out of 5

Plot Blurb: This story follows the two protagonists - Tarver and Lilac - as they are stranded on an alien planet after their spaceship (think of a cruise liner in space) is torn from its hyperspace progression. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the galaxy, a man who also happened to own the spaceship that crash landed his daughter, while Tarver is a lowly war hero. Their paths cross only as a result of Tarver's recent shoot to fame, and it's nearly hate at first sight. Needless to say, being the last two humans alive on a planet and trying to survive and find a way to be rescued is only one of their issues.

My Reaction: I was so excited for this book. I really was! That cover is freaking gorgeous, despite the fact that I usually veer away from books with people on their covers (I think it detracts from my imagination of the characters). The premise seemed genius, and the reviews that existed were stellar!

And although I'm sure you're waiting for a scathing review, it really wasn't horrible. The writing was very well done, and that really is saying something. I think I'm a super picky judge when it comes to prose critiques, and these ladies did a fabulous job. There were moments in this book that were so eerie and creepy that tears came to my eyes... and that is excellent writing! I have never been really 'scared' by things happening in a book, and this was superbly creepy.

So as I sit here writing this review, I'm digesting my reaction and trying to figure out what didn't work for me. I really respect that these characters were very well thought out and they were certainly complex. But did they have a sufficient amount of chemistry? I don't think they really did, for me. I think the element where Lilac was only trying to protect Tarver by making him hate her struck a sour chord somewhere... it would have been much more satisfying had they truly hated each other at the beginning. We could have seen Lilac really change throughout her trials and tribulations. She certainly came to terms with her own strength, but her true element never changed. She was honorable in the beginning and she ended honorable.

Tarver, on the other hand, did make a big change. He went from being selfish (in the sense that he only thought of his own family and his wants and needs), to being willing to give up the things he holds dearest to be with Lilac.

And the whole aspect that she was a copy was too weird for me. I kept hoping beyond hope that she would have merged with her old self and brought that story line to a close, but it never happened. It just left things too unsettled for my tastes. How could he love something that was only a copy? I don't think that human nature would allow us to forget that. Props for making me think about some serious topics and digest that story line... but not what I was expecting at all, and certainly not what I wanted for the characters.

Ultimately, I picked up this book hoping for some awesome space adventures (which only about 15% of the book actually takes place in space - the rest is a basic survival deal) and funny bantering between a spoiled princess and a hardened soldier. That was most certainly not what I received.

This book left me feeling like I had just watched Prometheus... weirded out by the concept of thinking about what makes us human, a little sick from the constant suspense, and disappointed at the lack of humor. Read at your own risk!

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