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These Broken Stars: A Starbound Novel Hardcover – December 10, 2013

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Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

*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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: Starbound (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (December 10, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423171020
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423171027
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (462 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #112,269 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Christina (Ensconced in Lit) on January 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
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.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Amy @ The Reading Realm on November 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
To be honest this is one of the most difficult reviews I've had to write, because I don't know how describe the awesomeness that I just read. THIS BOOK IS EXCEPTIONAL!!!

THE STORY:
These Broken Stars starts out so well and just gets better from there. The story is so clever and well written I was completely engaged from the first scene and couldn't put it down. There are twists and turns throughout that I certainly didn't see coming and I'm not ashamed to admit I ugly cried over one particular shocking twist!

Although this story does indeed start out similar to the Titanic movie, with the evacuation pods and the space liner, crashing, this story is more about survival and the mystery surrounding the plant they crash land on. At first Lilac and Tarver's aim is to find a place to wait for a rescue party, but as they start to realise they might never be found, they start to face new threats. Their journey is as much a battle of mental strength as it is physical. They are faced with many challenges that threaten their sanity and lives. To say any more about the story would ruin the enjoyment of this book - JUST READ IT!

THE CHARACTERS:
What I found very surprising was that for the majority of the book we only have the two main characters Lilac & Tarver. I've read other books like this and is hasn't worked - to have only two character carry the entire story is very difficult and it can often become stagnant, but that's not the case here. Both characters are so well developed and the dual POV keeps things moving.

Lilac, the celebrity socialite, is known across the galaxy as daughter of the wealthiest man and builder of the luxury space liner Icarus. But the happy carefree girl everybody sees is somewhat an act.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next on January 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I had high hopes for this book and I thoroughly enjoyed the beginning with the rich description of the ship that made it so easy to visualise the setting and drew me in immediately.

However it was all downhill from there. I felt the pacing dragged immensely and for almost 2/3's of the book, the characters seemed to simply walk across the planet. While the survival aspect of the plot was mildly interesting, the repetition grew tiresome.

While I immediately liked Tarver and actually would have preferred a full book of him interacting with his interrogators, Lilac was another story and YES I did appreciate her character arc and did eventually sympathise with her, however, I truly didn't understand the battle of wills between the two and felt their characters' actions didn't ring true with their ages.

Couple that with the lack of plot and Houston we have more of a problem than simply a downed ship. The supposed "OMG Twist" towards the end would have been more shocking if A. I liked the characters and could therefore have a reaction more than "meh" and B. if it didn't blatantly give the game away that as YA Sci-Fi it didn't have the "spine" to follow through with said "plot twist" which would have been far more admirable.

This had the potential to be great sci-fi but it came across as diluted and the type of sci-fi that I'd recommend to people who like the new Star Trek movies but make fun of the TV series i.e. just sci-fi enough to make them feel like they are outside their comfort zone. Needless to say it was wholly disappointing in *MY* opinion.
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