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Starbound #1

These Broken Stars

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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.

384 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 10, 2013

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About the author

Amie Kaufman

33 books12.6k followers
Amie Kaufman is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author of young adult fiction. Her multi-award winning work is slated for publication in over 30 countries, and is in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and daughter, their rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library. She is the host of the podcasts Amie Kaufman on Writing, and Pub Dates.

You can sign up for her newsletter to see what she's working on, hear when she releases a new book, and be automatically entered for giveaways: https://amiekaufman.substack.com/

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5 stars
22,465 (32%)
4 stars
25,230 (36%)
3 stars
14,310 (20%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 8,899 reviews
Profile Image for Jesse (JesseTheReader).
468 reviews168k followers
February 21, 2015
This book was SO GOOD. Not what I expected it to be at all! I'm excited to discuss this at the booksplosion live show. :)
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,962 reviews293k followers
December 30, 2013
I am crazy minority lady :(

Let me break down my thought process on this book from the very first time I noticed it on goodreads because somewhere along the way something went really really wrong. Just a quick scroll down the GR page and I can see all my friends' ratings of five or four stars... but the attraction is lost on me.

1) The description appears on goodreads. We are promised science fiction and space and "a tortuous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain". A setting in space, a story of survival and a couple of horny teenagers? Sounds like it could be a wild ride. I don't know about you but I love space stories and the vast arena of possibility which they open. I've enjoyed everything from Revis's Across the Universe series to Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey. Because anything could happen. There's an extra layer of possibility to the fantasy that makes you wonder if it could be true because there are so many unexplored corners where our science fiction tales could very well be fact.

2) The cover reveal. Uh oh. And there it is. Not that I don't like the cover, I love myself some glitter and pretty dresses as much as the next magpie, but you can probably guess why my hopes started to crumble. I remember the first hardback edition of Shatter Me. Do you?

I'm dystopian, I swear! I'm big, I'm bad and... shit, I think I broke a nail. I remember how I told myself it would be fine. I mean, the description was promising hardcore dystopian fiction! It wouldn't lie to me, would it? Weeellll... I wrote a review about that.

3) The reviews start rolling in. It seems as though I was very wrong to judge this book by its cover. Reviews from some of my most trusty friends appeared and they LOVED this book. Is it even possible? Could I be completely wrong? I mean, Beth Revis's Across the Universe was all pink and twinkly and romance-like and I enjoyed that book. I must read it to find out!

4) I think I read the wrong book. I think we all know those moments when we've heard so many great things about a book and we pick up said book only to discover that the magic hasn't touched us. But I was really disappointed with These Broken Stars and should have listened to my instincts when I saw the pretty cover.

Most of the actual space action in this book happens in the first couple of chapters. After the two main characters - Lilac and Tarver - crash land on a planet, it becomes a long-winded trek through a jungle-like setting. I was disappointed to say goodbye to the sky and stars so soon but would have easily forgiven the book if I'd enjoyed the survival part of the story which followed. But, honestly, I found it painfully slow and boring. And all orchestrated around the romance.

This book is predominantly a romance. Description aside, survival/space parts aside, this book is about getting Lilac and Tarver together. Which may be exactly what you want. If you like your romance heavy and your action on the side, then pick this up. But it's not really my thing. And I got a distinct sense that everything in this book was built around the romantic aspect. Each scene felt deliberate in a way that would put the characters in such a situation that Tarver would have to save Lilac or they would have to remove their clothing or sleep huddled together. The action never felt real, it felt like a series of flirtations between the two teens. Finding new clothes is an excuse for Tarver to admire Lilac's body. A chilly night is an excuse for Tarver to sleep with his erection pressed against her ass.

But I think the most disappointing thing of all is the sheer lack of world-building. The setting of this novel is enormous and holds huge and fabulous opportunity - we're in a whole new part of the universe! And yet, there is almost zero world-building. I feel like I know nothing about the society that Lilac and Tarver come from. I appreciate that this is going to be a trilogy but, hell, give me something!

I think it's fair to say that These Broken Stars wasn't the book for me. Maybe I'll learn to follow my initial instincts about those jazzy covers in future.
Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,573 reviews33.9k followers
August 11, 2016
4.5 stars Here's what you need to know:

-- This story is incredibly original, and unlike any other scifi book I've ever read before. Leaps and bounds above most YA science fiction for sure, and with an interesting mood/tone that you don't often find in this genre.

-- Much of the book is also a survival story, so if you like that sort of thing (as I do!), this one will probably interest you.

-- The writing is terrific. Don't let the "Titanic in space" idea fool you; while technically true (and a spectacular crash indeed), there's much more complexity to this story than that.

-- The two main characters are fantastic, both as individuals and together.

-- Serious swoon, guys. Serious swoon.

-- Recommended for fans of Andrea Host's Stray, possibly Sangu Mandanna's The Lost Girl, possibly Alison Goodman's Singing the Dogstar Blues, and definitely fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The authors shared the story of how that gorgeous title came to be. Fun fact: it was almost called MASSIVE CRASH. :D www.themidnightgarden.net/2013/02/tbs...

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this mini review.
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 10 books7,513 followers
April 15, 2018

Boom. Five stars.

You know why? Because I enjoyed the shit out of this book.

You want a detailed breakdown of what happens in it?

Look elsewhere.

You want me to tell you how fucking gloriously understated yet wholly satisfying this world building was?

Too bad.

You want to know why I started losing my mind 70% in?


This book is everything that makes me keep coming back to the YA category. Because sometimes, sometimes an author does it right. Kaufman and Spooner did it right. They did it sooooooo right. This book was a not only refreshingly original, but filled with all sorts of delicious mind-fuckery.


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Profile Image for jessica.
2,534 reviews32.5k followers
October 6, 2020
at first, this story was giving me major ‘titanic in space’ vibes. and then it became like ‘castaway in space.’ and im not mad about any of it.

i thought the story was fun. the sci-fi aspect isnt the strongest (if youre comparing it to other books in the genre), but the world is cool and the characters are worth reading about.

i will say though, at the end, i did ask myself ‘what was even the point of this?’ im hoping this will be answered in the next book because the story definitely feels unresolved on its own.

but overall, i definitely enjoyed this more than i thought i would!

3.5 stars
August 14, 2016
This is a wilderness waiting to swallow me; I’d barely make a dent trying to fight it. There are no rules for me to learn, no points to be scored, no bluffs to be called. This is a hell I’ve never imagined.
And I think I’m going to die here.
A lot of people have been calling this an intergalactic Titanic, and while there are certain similarities, particularly in the beginning of the book, the parallels to that doomed cruise liner ends there. I really liked this book. This is a beautifully written space opera, with elements of the paranormal. The plot is very much survival-based, and more than anything, it is the relationship between the survivors that makes this book stand out.

The writing is beautiful, the descriptions are exceptionally well done, without any elements of purple prose; it flowed exceedingly well, and had I not known that this was a collaboration between two authors, I never would have suspected that this book was co-authored. The romance was well built, and completely believable, although a little overwhelming at times given the environment and the situation. I wound up liking both of the characters, even if I didn't start off that way. Lilac and Tarver's relationship and its development was the best thing about this book. Warning: I wanted to punch Lilac in the face for the first 30% of the novel. She improves, I promise.

With that said, I do have reservations about the book that keeps it from being a great novel, including the slowness of the plot, the unconvincing character of Tarver (however much I love him, and I do love him), and the complete lack of world building.

The plot dragged on at times because an overwhelming part of the book is composed of the pair traipsing through an alien planet, trying to survive an unknown environment. The narrative flows well, but Tarver's character does not seem convincing to me as a male. He feels a lot like Ethan Wates, in the Beautiful Creatures series, for the femininity of his narration. He is a soldier, he is toughness mixed with compassion, but there are certain aspects about his narrative that does not make him feel entirely realistic as an 18-year old boy.

The Summary: Lilac LaRoux is the wealthiest heiress in the galaxy. She has spent her life surrounded by adoring fans, false friends, due to her status as the adored daughter of the galaxy's wealthiest man, a self-made engineer. He is a loving father who suffocates Lilac with his ovoerprotectiveness. Lilac knows that her father is only too willing to destroy any man who dares to come close to his precious only daughter.
Lilac Rose LaRoux. Untouchable. Toxic.
I should’ve been named Ivy, or Foxglove, or Belladonna.
Tarver Merendsen is 18, a war hero, more due to luck than anything. Heavily decorated for a brave act, he is now an honored guest on board the spaceship Icarus, but feels largely like a monkey being paraded around, until one beautiful red-headed girl catches his eyes. Lilac has no choice. She rejects him coldly. Humiliates him in front of a crowd. Lilac knows the consequences if her father finds out that this lower-class young man is interested in his princess.

Despite their distrust of one another, Lilac and Tarver are thrown together in an escape pod when something goes terribly wrong. Something has knocked the Icarus out of hyperspace. The ship is going to be destroyed.
A ripple of white-hot energy shoots through its metal frame. I taste copper, and then the universe goes black with a sound like a thunderclap in my ears. All the lights, the countdown, even the emergency lighting … gone. We’re left in utter blackness but for the stars outside the viewport.
Stars that are no longer stretched thin. The Icarus has been torn out of hyperspace.
The passengers must evacuate in the life pods. The Titanic had over 1100 people on board. The Icarus has over 50,000 passengers, and few survivors.

Their escape pod lands on an alien planet. The air seems safe to breathe, but the environment is nothing like what Lilac has known before. Lilac has grown up in a simulated natural environment, with perfect trees, perfect landscapes, she is unused to the reality of real, unsimulated terrain and its dangers, but she is tougher than she looks. Tarver, as a military man, is much more in command of the situation.

Lilac and Tarver have to work together. She is terrified, afraid, but brave, masking her insecurities with anger and hatred. He is still biting from the humiliation he received on board the ship, angry, frustrated at his attraction to her, despite her attitude. The two have a lot to work through if they are to remain alive long enough to be rescued.

But survival is not all they have to be concerned about. There is something strange going on on this alien planet. There are glimpses of things, shadows of people, disembodied voices. Is it the hallucinations of two minds in shock, or is it something more?

The Premise: One of my sole complaints in the book. Frankly, there is none. It's like being plunged into the middle of a season of Star Trek. Sure, it's entertaining, but man, give us some effing background, would ya? There is absolutely nothing about the past, about the present. There's not much mention of technology besides the hyperspace drive and escape pods and stars and a sci-fi-ish gun. There is nothing about the culture, the history. We don't know why this society is so strictly class-segregated. We know absolutely jack shit about this setting. It is a futuristic novel in name only.

The Characters: Loved them. I didn't expect this, because, as I mentioned, I spent about 30% of the book wanting to punch Lilac in the face, but Lilac turns out to be just the type of female character I like. Lilac is initially imperfect, even abonimable at points, but she matures from the experience; she has character, she is never one-dimensional. Lilac is a spoiled, pampered princess, but she is smart. However, what made me hate her at first was her attitude of "I must be strong: strong means bitchy." She is an absolute terror to poor Tarver in the beginning, as he struggles to get both of them to safety, and she persists on being obnoxious for a large chunk of the novel, in order to feel like she has control of the situation.
His opinion of me is already a lost cause—years later, when he looks back at this escapade, I’d rather he think bitch, than weakling.
Lila starts off being overly stubborn to the point of hurting herself. She is so determined to prove herself strong, right in everything she does that she will not admit to being wrong. Lilac would trample through a forest wearing high heels and a ball gown, for the sake of her pride. In her defense, and I like this about her, she does not complain. She ends up shredding her feet to shreds, and she does not shed a tear. Her pride will only go so far, and Lilac becomes a much more likeable character once she gets over herself. She is not afraid to admit she is wrong.
So yes, I was cruel afterward. I’m cruel because it’s the fastest way to get a man to lose interest, and trust me, I’ve learned how. My father taught me well. And maybe I’m cruel because it’s easy, and because it’s something...something I can be good at.
I really like Tarver's character, he is an absolute gentleman, and if I were to be stranded on a desert island, I'd want him as my partner. However, Tarver's narration does not feel accurate as an actual teenaged male to me. Yes, he is a soldier, but he is overwhelmingly, exceedingly romantic in his perception of Lilac from the very beginning, and as much as I like him, he is unconvincing as a man. He is too effeminate. For example, these are some of his observations about Lilac:

"Both her eyes are marked underneath with dark smears of blue and purple, and one is still marbled black and yellow as her magnificent black eye starts to fade. She’s pale, with new freckles from the sun overhead standing out like punctuation on a page.
But she’s captivating too, maybe more than she was before."

"There are dirty smudges mingling with the freckles all over her face, and that bruise on her cheek. Even in sleep, her mouth is pulled into a straight, determined line.
There are purple half circles underneath her eyes, and she’s sweaty, beat up, and utterly exhausted.
She’s never looked so beautiful."

Tarver's part of the narration is littered with his feelings, how much he finds Lilac beautiful, lovely, captivating. He constantly makes observations on her beauty, her hair, the marks on her face, the ways she enchants him. Tarver is an awesome guy, but he's just not a realistic one.

The Romance: I loved the way the romance between Lilac and Tarver was portrayed in this book. They start out as enemies, and their feelings grew beyond that, into trust, friendship, and something more. It was a really well-written love story. I love seeing from both their narratives, how their feelings and internal conflicts grew and changed, how they got past their reservations, how they gradually fell in love. Sweet is the best word to describe their romance.

Overall, a well-written and interesting novel that is quite different from most YA paranormals and sci-fi out there.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,464 reviews9,619 followers
April 16, 2017
I really enjoyed this book the second time around!


The first time I read this book was back in 2015 and I'm not sure why I gave it 2.5 stars. I had an old review that told me some of the reasons but they make no sense to me now!

I loved Tarver and Lilac and yes I wanted to smack them a few times. I always feel like that so it's nothing new.

Lilac is the daughter of one of the richest men if not the richest men and Tarver is a lowly Major that didn't come from a whole lot. They didn't really like each other at first either, but what are you going to do when your trapped in a pod with someone trying to escape the destruction of the ship you were on? The Icarus was being ripped from space and Lilac and Tarver need to get that pod out quickly.

They managed to get away with the help of some mechanics from Lilac, I know, who knew? Anyway, they crash land on this planet. This planet that seems really creepy after a bit. I mean when you start seeing things and hearing whispers, wouldn't you think it was haunted? I would think I was crazier than I am or almost dead and dreaming.

Lilac and Tarver have to go through some really bad things and near death experiences to make it off this planet. They learned to survive in weird and cool ways. They fell in love, yes love and it was great!

But, things on this planet really are not what they seem.

I thought it was freaking awesome, even though I got lost with some of the explanations, but other than that it was cool beans!

I hope the other books are just as good!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Kat Kennedy.
475 reviews16.2k followers
March 19, 2013
I can't review this yet. I quite liked it, yet don't know how to describe it.

I know I read it instead of doing Buzz Worthy News, which is a big no-no for me. But I just couldn't help myself. And whilst I won't give anything away, I finished it like I had a spell over me.

"It was nice, ya know? Just real nice..."

Review to come closer to release date.
Profile Image for L A i N E Y (will be back).
394 reviews677 followers
March 9, 2017
Normally, I do not like snarky boys, well to be precise, in real life, I don't like my boys with this much snark. But in the case of Tarver, I think it totally worked for him.

I really liked the romance between him & Lilac.

There was no 'insta-love' here. It wasn't quite really that.

I'd called this 'insta-attraction' but that was it. Hallelujah!

Profile Image for Christina (Ensconced in Lit).
984 reviews288 followers
January 11, 2014
I won a copy of this ARC from Disney Publishers, and I haven't gotten a chance to read it until now. What a mistake. This is by far my favorite YA read from 2013.

These Broken Stars, written by the duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, takes us to space aboard a massive luxury ship, similar to the Titanic. We immediately meet our two main characters-- Tarver, a solider, and Lilac, the daughter of the richest and most powerful man in the universe. Right away, something happens to the ship, and the two of them are stranded on a deserted planet left to forage and survive on their own without help. Slowly, something happens between them, beautiful and fragile. And in the end, Tarver and Lilac will have to make the difficult decision of giving up the wonderful peace they've found with each other to find their way back to civilization.

Any plot synopsis won't do this book justice. The way Lilac and Tarver interact is perfect. The prose is gorgeous. The world building is immense and believable. And I even went along with the science, because it's clear that these two authors have done their homework. Just fantastic. I can go on and on about the lush description, the pitch perfect characterization, and the most successfully done dual POV I have seen maybe ever in YA. I actually wonder if each voice was written by a different author, because the two voices are very unique, and I never wondered whose perspective I was in. Each scene is deliberate, ramping up the tension and the stakes, and ultimately, having us care about these two characters so much that one heart wrenching plot twist is entirely a shock to the system. I had to sit stunned for a day before I could continue, and then devoured the pages until the end to see what happened.

Overall, this book is a gem. I can't think of a single criticism, and my inner writer is salivating with jealousy. I can't say enough how people must read this book immediately. It's beautifully written, described, and characterized with perfect pacing. My favorite YA read of the past year, and I'll be waiting impatiently until I can get my hands on the next installment.
Profile Image for Molli Moran.
Author 7 books221 followers
December 28, 2013
** Look for my tour stop (hosted by The Midnight Garden) on the blog on 11/25/13 and a chance to enter an awesome THESE BROKEN STARS giveaway! **

5 stars simply isn't enough. Terrific world-building, heart-stopping action, poignant romance, and two of the best written characters I've ever come across.


THESE BROKEN STARS = TITANIC in space. Thus, Tarver = Jack Dawson, and Lilac = Rose.

Let's meet Lilac, aboard the Icarus:

This is Lilac at the beginning of THESE BROKEN STARS. A society girl who has problems, problems that authors Kaufman and Spooner actually manage to make resonate with me. (It should be noted I am not a rich person, nor do I typically feel for rich people in books. In this one? I did.) Despite finding Lilac infuriating, I eventually came to like her.

Now, meet Tarver:

I liked Tarver immediately. I LOVED Tarver immediately. I couldn't help but think of the scene in Titanic where Jack is set up invited to dinner by Cal, and ends up schooling everyone there. Tarver doesn't really belong in society, but he's sort of a quiet bad-ass, and I adored him.

Tarver + Lilac grabbed my attention. Tarver has no idea who Lilac is at first, but he's drawn to her. And *I* was drawn to *them.*

Even though at first it was less swoon-y and more like this:

But EVENTUALLY their prejudices toward one another melted away as they were forced to work together. They started to really see each other for who they were. Things happen - dangerous, mysterious things. Tarver and Lilac begin to change, to become better versions of themselves.

And even though there are so MANY themes to this novel: a crash-landing reveals Tarver and Lilac's hearts, there's a not-so-barren planet to cross, mysteries to investigate, and their very survival to fight for...

The romance got under my skin and made me swoon. Their clashes of will were so powerful. It was SO CLEAR these two were feeling something for one another, and yet just as evident that their stations in life, and their fighting for survival threatened to keep them apart. But I LOVED seeing their attitudes change, seeing them become allies, with the potential for more.

Oh, and then this happened, basically:

Want to know more about THESE BROKEN STARS? Want to know if Tarver and Lilac ever get together? What's going on on this planet? Why I feel like the authors may be fans of Doctor Who? If they make it to the crash site, or beyond? IF THERE IS KISSING?


You're welcome.

Full review will appear at Books and Whimsy in December. A slightly different/longer GIF review is here.

You can read my full review of THESE BROKEN STARS at Books and Whimsy!
Profile Image for "That's All" Ash.
158 reviews1,926 followers
April 2, 2014
Good job, Disney!

4-star book.

2-star ending.

Kind of like Miley Cyrus.

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It’s a futuristic sci/fi fantasy book. And the rudiment of the story is that the richest girl in the galaxy gets stranded on a planet with a military boy. So, we’ve all read this story before, right? It’s one that has been done over and over and over again. But the thing with These Broken Stars is that there’s actually a lot of originality in this book! It’s co-written by two brilliant ladies, Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. I thought the writing was fucking fabulous, and I thought the little dialogue sequences they wrote in between chapters was very creative and witty.

I loved the first 65% percent or so. There was a little romance, a little camaraderie, a little bit of a creepiness factor, and whole lot of survival! What really kept me turning the pages though, definitely would have to be that creepiness factor. See, Lilac (the rich heroine) and Tarver (the military boy) are the only living people on this planet. There are animals and trees and everything else but they never come across people.

But Lilac’s hearing whispers.
Items keep turning up, out of nowhere.
She’s seeing things that haven’t quite happened yet.
And she thinks she’s going mad, which Tarver silently agrees with.

Until he starts hallucinating, too.

They’re being followed, haunted, and hunted.

But by what…?

So the formula of this story was very entertaining. However, the ending completely killed off any potential that this book had of being considered a 4-star book.

Here’s why:

The ending just had waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much going on! Holy hot taffy on a cheese stick, man! It’s one thing to toss in a lot of action at the end of a book, but it’s a whole different thing when you try to beat your readers over the head with it. Know what I mean?

Me at 75%:

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I mean, what with the terraforming and the hyperspace theries and the hyperspace rifts and the energy lifeforms

And I’m like:

Look, I got a A- minus in Biology and a C+ in Physics when I couldn’t manage to cheat off the mathlete sitting in front of me. And in my head, the hyperspace rift looks a lot like a Snickers bar wrapper.

*Which I know can’t be accurate.*

So can we just slow it down? Pretty please?


I don’t know if YA writers go to a seminar on writing sex scenes, but why is it that almost every YA book writes a sex scene a lot like this:

Chapter 27:

They kissed. And then they woke up in post-coital bliss.

. . .Chapter 28.

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I mean, come ON!


Do I recommend this book?

Who do I recommend it to?
YA lovers and those who like socks.

One word to describe this book?

What book would I compare this to?
Cinder by Marissa Mayer (only without the good romance).

That’s all.

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Profile Image for Ariana.
938 reviews1,302 followers
August 15, 2020
This book reminds me why I love reading so much.

...How trilling it is to dive into a new story, a new world, new lives and new adventures that leave me breathless every time!

This was such an unusual & original story! I have nothing to measure it against. It was nothing like I thought it would be. The world building is awesome, the action is trilling, the characters are strong and determined, the turnarounds made me tear a bit and the ending left me full of hope.

THESE BROKEN STARS tells a story about survival, about love, about deadly secrets and hope that can make a heart beat again. I fell for this book from the beginning and, as the story progressed, I simply couldn’t stop reading.

To put it simple, we have our sweet couple (the rich girl and the famous -but poor- soldier) thrown into an unknown & mostly unwelcome world, surviving a deadly accident (that might or might not have left other survivors) and being forced to cooperate in order to keep alive, which turns out to be hard when they each of them is as stubborn as a mule.
... But to be honest, this story is anything but ‘simple’.

So, we find a bit about the society in which our characters live, with the ups and downs on both sides. We find about their fears and hopes. We find about the mysteries of this new planet. We watch our characters struggle to move on and find a way back home. And yes, slowly they start to also fall in love, and it’s a bitter-sweet story because there is a lot of pride in the middle and some secrets to fear of. Not to mention that there’s a world of a problem that could tear them apart.

Still, what I really loved in this book is watching these broken characters start healing through what they’re forced to survive together – they grow stronger, more defined with each page and they start to see this world and the freedom it offers with different eyes.

I am glad that the next book won’t be about the same couple (or so I heard) as they’ve been through too much, through hell and back and I want to keep hoping.

Well, I am no fool here, I know that this will not be the end of their story, someone that has built such an empire won’t so easily be set off track, not with the secrets Lilac and Tarver share, not with the truth about her. But I’d like to be left guessing, I love this feeling of closure & hope and I am gonna stick with it for as long as I can.

From the fabulous cover, the magical world and the beautiful characters to the terrible turnarounds and fantastic plot, this story is absolutely great. My kind of book. No... my kind of favourite book and I recommend it from the bottom of my heart!

Happy midnight reading!

* Read the full review at: ReadingAfterMidnight.com
** ARC received from the publisher for review. Thank you!

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Profile Image for Reynita ★ The Night Reader ★.
123 reviews939 followers
September 14, 2017
4.5 Stars

Actually, last year I read a few pages of this book but I did not understand because my English wasn't really good that time so I decided to read another book that I understood.
and then 13 days ago I started reading this book again because I didn't know what to read except this book.
I thought this book would be weird and boring because everytime I think the book will be great, then it will turn out to be boring. But I wronged this time, very very wronged.
I enjoyed this book so much!! I liked it!!

I'm going to tell you guys why I gave this book 4 stars!!

The Story

I liked the story!!! this book is so original!! the story is so good!! I'm really speechless right now, don't know what to say but all I can say is this book is so good and the story is very very different from other fantasy books that I've read.


The Characters

Lilac LaRoux : she is 16 years old girl with blue eyes, beutiful red hair and fair skin .
she is the only daughter of the richest man in the universe. Her mother passed away when she was a kid and everyman always after her or his dad money and evergirl always only want status.
in my opinion she looked like a weak girl at the first time and she always argued with Tarver.
But after I read a few chapters, she turned out to be a strong girl.

Tarver Merendsen : he is a war hero and he's so brave and I really love him so much and he is a gentleman, he always helped and respected Lilac no matter how much he hated her.
Tarver is a perfect guy.

The Romance

Wow!! I really love slow burning love and enemies to lovers and THERE'S NO LOVE TRIANGLES!! the romance in this book is really sweet and make me cry.
Tarver and Lilac are a cute couple and I really enjoyed this book so much.!!(ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧

why didn't I give this book 5 stars if I loved this book so much??

I gave this book 4.5 stars because I'm not completely understand with this book about "the rift" but I still liked this book.
it's really hard to read the 2nd book because I just want Tarver, I don't want flynn!! I don't want Jubilee! I just want Tarver and Lilac!
But I'll try to read it because I'm really curious about how this series ends.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves reading slow burning love with no love triangles!!
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,364 followers
November 14, 2013
Guys! This is not a story about a girl flying in space in a dress! That's only in the first chapter. I swear!

Actually, most of this book is a survival story. After a crash land on an anonymous planet, Tarver and Lilac have to find a way to get along and stay alive amongst the wild animals and Lilac's questionable state of mind. It's not a fast paced read, but rather a slow trek on this mysterious planet full of whispers, visions, ghosts, and other bizarre happenings. This is what keeps it completely enthralling. You get that constant need to read just one more chapter to try and get some answers as to what exactly is happening in this weird place. Is Lilac going insane, or are the voices real?

Told in dual point-of-views, we get the story from polar opposite perspectives. Tarver is on his turf. He was trained to survive in situations like these. He's an award winning leader and expert in motivating people, pushing them to do what is needed to survive. I really enjoyed his strength, his drive, and especially his patience with Lila who, on a completely different standpoint has never been close to being in a situation like this where a ball gown is impractical and things are…. dirty. The character growth that Lila goes through during this ordeal is impressive, and frankly I was so thankful for it. I could have slapped her at the beginning, but she really changes completely until I came to fully adore her. As expected, there's a romance that sprouts between these two. It's sweet and genuine, bringing out an emotional side to the story that becomes fairly monumental when certain unexpected turn of events are strung out at us. I really really wish I could talk about these! *forcefully keeps her mouth shut*

In addition to the dual POV we also get interview sessions between each chapter. These are very brief but full of hidden meaning. I both loved and hated them, however. I disliked them because it tells us from the start that they were rescued and are now being questioned about what happened on the planet. This makes the anxiety in regards to them surviving a little less so. On the other hand, they deepen the mystery just a smudge more when we see Tarver being so strongly interrogated. You just know what they saw on that planet - what we're about to find out - is worth this much scrutiny. In regards to the plot, I can't say much obviously, but it becomes fairly mind-boggling as far as the sci-fi aspect. Some of it I'm still putting together, but overall I was quite impressed with the originality and imaginative nature of it all. Still, this sci-fi conspiracy side of the book was not my favorite - for personal taste more than anything. The main reason I loved it is due to the character oriented, suspense-filled survival story that encompasses 90% of it. Therefore, I'm not sure what I will make of the series as a whole (edit: apparently the others are companions so I'm excited!), but as far as this first installment I couldn't get enough!

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for review.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads
Profile Image for Vanessa J..
347 reviews598 followers
August 4, 2015
DNF at 51%

God, I can't do this to myself. I kept telling myself I must have been reading the wrong book, because EVERYONE loved this, but... I just can't see why.

Many reviewers have described this as Titanic in space, and that is a great description. Thing is, this is a love story. That's all. The first time Tarver sees Lilac, he thinks she's the most beautiful girl there, and it only gets more cheesy and cliched the more I read. Ugh.

When I got to the 50% mark I stopped and asked myself: Why am I continuing with this anyway? My brain's answer was silence, and that's when I realised I should stop torturing myself with a book that was giving me headaches.

You see, we are promised an epic journey through space, and that's why I started it. If you didn't know, getting lost in space (or the fact of getting out of Earth) is one of my biggest fears. Think about it: You're getting lost in something that may be infinite. God, no, it's horrible. I wanted to see how this book would manage that situation, but that's not what we got. A summary of what happened up until where I abandoned this was:

Tarver: *sees Lilac* OMG, isn't she so pretty?
Lilac: *sees Tarver* I will let him flirt with me for a while.

*spaceship crashes*

T: Oh, no, my lovebird is in danger! I must risk my life to save her!

*L & T land safely on a weird planet*

T: Well, we made it. Now, are your shoes okay?
L: *looks the high heels she's wearing* Yes.
T: Don't you want to get rid off them? I mean, we are on a desert planet and we know absolutely nothing about it. We might have to run at some point.
L: Nah.

*there's danger and they have to run*

L: Shit, you were right. You can take off my shoes and bandage my feet.

*T does that*

T: Isn't this place cold?
L: Yeah.
T: We must give each other heat. Let me wrap my arms around you.
L: Okay.

That's pretty much everything. Really, where is the survival story? Where is the thrill and terror of being alone is space? But above all, where is the epic sci-fi story I was promised?!?! I don't know and I don't care enough to keep reading.
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.3k followers
January 14, 2016
Reread 1/13/16: I don't think re-reading this after Illuminae was a good idea because no other sci-fi book will ever live up for me now. Either way though this was still mega entertaining and I can't wait to finally carry on with the series !

Original review 1/6/15: This book. Oh my god. Drowning in a puddle of my feels for all of eternity
Profile Image for Kiki.
193 reviews8,459 followers
January 26, 2016
Well, this was bloody brilliant. But what did I just read? Tension and telepathy and spaceships, and then romance that I actually gave a shit about (I know, right?) and then a giant twist - a twist so twisty that it's almost physically painful. A twist so twisty, you'll pull a muscle in your back.


What are you, These Broken Stars?

[Proper review to come.]
Profile Image for Aj the Ravenous Reader.
1,030 reviews1,045 followers
December 20, 2019
What started out a space opera ended up in a story of survival out in the wilderness of a strange, abandoned planet and once again, it surprises me how much I enjoyed the book from start to end. In some instances, the reading experience reminded me a little of that when I read Illuminae especially in the last quarter of the story when the plot reveals the ultimate twist explainable by scientific stuff like hyperspace, other dimensions and temporary energy-matter conversion. I won’t pretend to understand all of it but I grasped enough to appreciate the general idea.

What I enjoyed most about These Broken Stars though aside from the simple but beautiful and fluid writing is the progressive character development of our hero and heroine, Tarver and Lilac.. How they do their best to survive in a strange planet that whispers to them and gives them visions is very admirable and I find them both growing on me each day they struggle hanging on dear life. Of course, I’ve been rooting for their romance since the start of the book but how theirs developed is even better and more adorable than I expected.
Profile Image for ambsreads.
656 reviews1,395 followers
June 7, 2017
DNF @ 20%

BUDDY READING with my wife, Caitlin.

I tried. Boy, did I try. I struggled through 20% of pointless interactions and pointless information to give up. This book just isn't for me and I'm sad because I really did want to like this.

In one of her updates Caitlin said this was basically the Titanic in space - I hate the Titanic. I hate the movie with a burning fiery passion of "wtf why did I just waste like two hours of my life??"

The characters are one dimensional for me. I hate Lilac (I hate her name as well) and Tarver (is that his name? don't care). They're so annoying. The attempt at banter and snark is slightly painful to read. As are the descriptions and the slightly pervert moment Tarver has while Lilac is passed out.

The insta-attraction still hurts me, as does Lilac's ridiculously immature reactions. It has so much potential, the execution is just poor for me.

DNF @ 1%

Now, I know what you're thinking:

Amber, you've only read one percent?!

So stay with me kids, because I have the perfect reason for not continuing on. Insta-attraction. Oh, and cliches as hell.


I use this because it wasn't love, but the descriptions used for the girl I presume to be the female lead where of such an insta-love way I was rolling around on my bed cringing.

Shouldn't you at least give the book a chance?

No. I'm not wasting my time with crappy books anymore. They're not worth the energy and reading slumps that follow. I am, however, really upset I didn't enjoy this.
Profile Image for Anniebananie.
536 reviews399 followers
December 23, 2018
3, 5 Sterne

Es fällt mir ziemlich schwer das Buch objektiv zu bewerten, da es mich einerseits total gefesselt hat, ich es aber andererseits gar nicht mal so gut und stellenweise sogar recht langweilig fand. Die erste Hälfte hat mir total gefallen, denn selbst wenn ehrlich gesagt nicht allzu viel geschieht, mochte ich die Idee und auch die Beschreibung des Raumschiffs und des Planeten. Allerdings wurden mir einfach zu viele Sachen zu wenig beleuchtet und erklärt, z.B. schon ganz zu Beginn: warum befinden sich Lilac und Tarver eigentlich auf der Icarus? Mit dem Thema was in der zweiten Hälfte des Themas aufploppt haben sich die Autorinnen selbst irgendwie keinen Gefallen getan. Die ganze Sache warf viel zu viele potenzielle Konflikte auf und wieder wurde nicht viel erklärt und ebengenannte Konflikte wurden auch eher unbefriedigend gelöst.
Das hört sich jetzt alles recht negativ an und das ist auch mein Problem mit diesem Buch: so im Nachhinein fallen mir irgendwie nur Kritikpunkte ein, aber beim Lesen hat es mir doch irgendwie gut gefallen... Ich bin mal gespannt ob mich Band 2 vielleicht mehr überzeugen kann.
Profile Image for Mara.
160 reviews223 followers
February 9, 2017
This book though. These Broken Stars was most definitely my most anticipated release of 2013, with that cover luring me in like sirens do sailors at sea ever since its release announcement. I mean, that cover is probably the most beautiful thing I had seen all year. It has the perfect space odyssey/mythology ratio that just did it for me even way before I knew what the whole story was about. I was so, so happy when These Broken Stars became everything I had hoped for. I finished it in three hours without a single break because, yup, it was that good.

These Broken Stars has been helmed as ‘Titanic in space’ so often I couldn’t pass a chance to mention it. It’s a perfect tagline, really, for a story about two star-crossed lovers who travel through space on one of the most advanced ships ever built. Here’s the thing, though, where These Broken Stars manages to make a name of it’s very own – we leave behind the Titanic disaster element of the story fairly early on, morphing into a haunting survival story that reveals evermore injustices of this sci-fi dystopian universe. After the Icarus crashes on an unknown planet, the two leads are faced with an unexplored terrain, an eerie presence that radiates through the lands, and whether or not they have the will and reason to make it out of this tragedy alive.

The book’s opening chapters are incredibly spot-on. We meet both main characters, Lilac LaRoux – daughter to the richest man in the galaxy – and Tarver Merendsen – the youngest war hero of said galaxy – right in the beginning. We immediately know they’re going to be in each other’s lives for far longer than initially set up as, and yet you keep wondering that maybe their stories aren’t going to intertwine for long at all. And that is what makes the crash and their subsequent journey together so much more compelling, because as much as we have learned about them as individuals, they have both so far acted out choices that would have had them not cross paths ever again. Most of the time, early meetings throw me off because I’d rather have a little bit of mystery within the plot, but both Lilac’s and Tarver’s inner monologues work their magic so convincingly, I didn’t mind once. There are doubts about their standpoints all the way through the story, and I think it takes a lot of skill to create characters that are both likable one instance and then dislikeable the next as they temporarily fall back into old patterns. It’s the easiest way to just go ahead and form perfect heroes and heroines out of words who do nothing wrong or who have a character development as fast as light travels, but Kaufman and Spooner have done a wonderful job to create real people instead of plot twist agents. Lilac and Tarver are both stubborn and condescending at times, and yet they are loyal, steadfast and compassionate, too. They both start off the journey with different morals and goals, yet manage to find a common ground throughout their track across the planet’s grass planes and rocky hills, and there’s just something about the connection they form that resonated deeply with me. They really just work so well together. The backdrop of the galaxy being but a small map due to the invention of hyperspace travel further made for such a unique mash with what Lilac and Tarver have to face at the end of the road, and that originality had me tear through the pages as fast as I could. The final 30% or so of the book had me gasping over every new chapter, there are so many bizarre things happening that made for a grandiose finale.

The book’s structure is something that I feel needs a special mention, because every chapter has a 1-page-preface of sorts that consists of dialogue only from an interview being conducted with Tarver that took place at the end of the book. It created a heart-stopping suspense as well as some funny moments. I honestly can’t wait for the second book to arrive, even though that one will be about two new characters, but I’m 100% convinced it will be just as epic as this one. There’s a lot to tell about Kaufman and Spooner’s universe, and I can’t wait to see it unfold!
Profile Image for Natalie Monroe.
592 reviews3,539 followers
September 7, 2015
3.5 stars

“But who names a starship the Icarus? What kind of man possess that much hubris, that he dares it to fall?”

I went into These Broken Stars expecting a Titanic retelling. We all remember what happens at the end; Kate is a dumbass and runs after Jack, then they both get stranded and Jack freezes to death. Also, he never wins an Oscar.

But I digress. My point is, a Titanic retelling has to have at least two things: a sink sinks, and someone dies.

And guess what? No one dies. It's cowardly and ruined the entire book for me.

Everything else I loved. The writing's strong and descriptive without getting too purple. I would compare it to Marie Lu's style.

The characters remind me of Day and June from Legend, too. Lilac LaRoux is the daughter of the most powerful man in the galaxy, the creator and owner of LaRoux Industries. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth and has never had to work a single day in her life.

"There are jokes about how the LaRoux princess never goes anywhere without her entourage of giggling companions--that half of them could kill a man at a hundred yards is not exactly public knowledge. The President's family doesn't have protection like mine."

Then there's Tarver. The war hero from humble beginnings.

"These folks love a good rags-to-riches tale, even if my riches are no more than the medals pinned to my chest."

After the Icarus is blasted out of hyperspace, they crash-land on a foreign planet with no way of communicating with the outside world. They're forced to work together to survive, though initially it's mostly Tarver that does the working. Lilac's journey looks something like this:

I know I'm making her sound like Paris Hilton, but she's really not. She can hold her own. She's a kickass mechanic and learns to adapt after a rough start.

Tarver sounds like an actual teenage boy, which is rare in YA, so good job there. I'm struggling for what else to say about him, but keep coming up short. He's nice, he's competent, but I wouldn't put him on my Book Boyfriend List, let's leave it at that.

A good, solid book overall. I just wish the authors had more guts.
Profile Image for Beth.
Author 48 books6,390 followers
September 24, 2013
Absolutely brilliant. This is the sci fi I've been waiting for! Action, romance, twists and turns--this book has it all!
Profile Image for Kainat 《HUFFLEPUFF & PROUD》.
293 reviews720 followers
Want to read
November 5, 2016
Whatever Amie Kaufman writes, i read. No questions asked. In case some of you don't know, she is also the author of Illuminae and Gemina. SHE IS AMAZING!
Profile Image for Mandy K.
464 reviews31 followers
June 3, 2015
Full Review

Part Titanic in space, part I Shouldn't Be Alive and part Doctor Who/The Twilight Zone, this is a sci-fi/fantasy/survivor story/romance all in one and I loved it! We start out on the glamourous Icarus, and have just enough time to get a taste for the gigantic luxury spaceliner when she is yanked from hyberspace and sucked into an unknown planets gravity. Our main characters Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merenderson end up in a crew escape pod and just barely survive the crash down to the planet. Although the planet is terraformed, its quickly apart that something isn't right here. The flora and fauna are more wild and uncontained than they should be, and there doesn't seem to be any civilization on the planet.

I love a good survival story, and that comes in handy because a big chunk of this book is Lilac and Tarver trekking across the land, trying to survive and get rescued. But we also have mystery woven through out. Where are all the people? Why does Traver not recognize the plants and animals here? Why would anyone spend all this money to terraform a planet, and then seemingly abandon it?

And then the whispers start and theres even more questions. What are the whispers? Are they real? What do they want?
Profile Image for emi.
446 reviews1,080 followers
April 29, 2021
More like a 3.7. It was going so good, but went downhill a little past halfway into it.

Haha, 2015 Emi is such a liar. Ignore everything she said above. She was fresh out of reading Harry Potter and so obviously her views of literature were scewed.

Luckily, we have 2018 Emi here and she is happy to tell you that These Broken Stars is amazing and cheesy and everything she loves in a book. And that ending is weird AF but A+++.

She just really loves this series, okay?

2020 Emi here just dropping by to say that this book is even better than I remembered it being. 10/10. would recommend.
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