From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Lilac LaRoux is the belle of the ball on board her father's large and luxurious spaceliner, Icarus. Beautiful Lilac is constantly denying suitors who seem only to be after two things, her fame and her father's fortune. War hero Tarver Merendsen doesn't know who she is when he invites her to view the stars with him. When the Icarus suffers severe damage, it begins a disastrous decent out of hyperspace toward the nearest planet, and Lilac and Tarver find themselves in the same life pod. They soon realize they are the lone survivors on an eerie, uninhabited planet. Will rescuers be able to find them? More importantly, do they even want to be found? This first installment in a new series is a sci-fi thriller with a touch of Titanic, a hint of Romeo and Juliet, and a pinch of Lost. Readers Cynthia Holloway and Johnathan McClain give life to this story, making the listening experience enjoyable and exciting. This would be a great addition to any audiobook collection especially among fans of sci-fi romances.—Betsy Davison, Cortland Free Library, NY
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
*Starred Review* As the passengers and crew of the Icarus cruise through hyperspace, spoiled and aloof rich-girl Lilac LaRoux drops a glove before war-hero Major Tarver Merendsen, only to rebuff him later. Yet during a horrifying accident, Lilac and Tarver escape the death-spiraling Icarus, eventually finding themselves stranded on a strange, terraformed, yet abandoned planet. Their prickly relationship continues because both realize they have no future together, even if they are rescued: Lilac is the daughter of the universe’s richest man, while Tarver is a lowly soldier. Together, they struggle to save their lives and maintain their sanity—despite disturbing whispers, strange appearances, and disappearances of things lost and treasured—and gradually, the dire circumstances break down the barriers between them. Though Kaufman and Spooner use the pair’s survival in an alien environment to propel the narrative, These Broken Stars is at its heart a love story. Voiced in alternate chapters, Lilac and Tarver are characters of depth, complexity, and strength, young people who alternately elicit the reader’s admiration, frustration, and sympathy. While the book is the first of a promised trilogy, it stands on its own as a testament to love, loyalty, courage, and the power of good over dystopian greed and perversity. Grades 8-12. --Frances Bradburn
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