Book Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Posted July 12, 2013 by Kara in book review, Lyn / 22 Comments

Book Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan SpoonerThese Broken Stars Series: Starbound #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on December 10th, 2013
Genres: science fiction, young adult
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

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.

These Broken Stars had a great formula: nice characters, suspenseful and possible romance, and a sci-fi subplot.   I was very excited when a certain co-blogger let me hold onto it for her for a while as she caught up on her BEA reading.  After I put this one down, however, I felt a little torn about my feelings for the book.  It was good, but it was a little off, like cheesecake left out of the fridge for a few hours.

So what was to like?

  • Some people like to compare this story to Titanic, and I would have to agree, to a certain point. The story centering around two people of the opposite sex as the survivors of a horrific space ship crash. The book then bleeds into a Dr. Who-ish storyline.
  • No Insta-love.  The characters actually GOT TO KNOW ONE ANOTHER.  I might have a heart attack brought on by shock.
  • Compassionate storyline about morals.  This would come with some heavy spoilers, but I like that the authors used their novel to touch on some humanity points.
  • Characters were not simple cardboard cut-outs – the depth of the chartacters was a nice change of pace.
  • The suspense was high for the entire novel – it kept a reader guessing the entire time.

So what was the problem?
  • The storyline depended on the overly dramatic element instead of turning the focus onto a very thrilling plot surrounding the mysteries of the novel.
  • Although the characters were anything but generic, I didn’t care for them overall. The contant mood swings and the sour attitude of both parties left a feeling of detachment.
  • The sci-fi portion was dragged a bit thin, and fell second to the romance portion. It was a bit like a soap opera set on a Star Trek script. The best way I can sum it up is like this: The plot was a bit like creating a banana and hot dog smoothie – two awesome flavors that do not taste great when blended together.

This isn’t a terrible book, and more than likely, it will go over well with the majority of the YA readers out there. It is science and pulp fiction grafted together. I did like it, but I was wanting more from the book, and more of the sci-fi feeling.


22 responses to “Book Review of These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

  1. Jaz

    Hrmmm I think I will like this then!

    The thing I was most worried about reading the blurb was that it sounded a LOT like insta-love. But if there’s none of that, then a book will usually hit the 3/5 mark for me at least!

    I like my share of romance so I think I’ll be alright with this not having too much sci-fi… Although the fact that this is set on an otherworld, yet has more romantic elements than sci-fi astounds me.

    Thanks for those awesome points, this gives me hope Lyn (:

  2. Amy

    I am really looking forward to this one. I’m glad to hear that there is no insta-love. That is a big bonus!! Also, high suspense is a major win! The moody characters might bother me a bit, but overall this seems like a book I will enjoy. It’s quite far down on my review pile at the moment though since it’s a December release. Great review! Love the format.

  3. No insta-love! So strange that books without it surprises us huh. That only points out what the problem is of many YA books lately. It’s a shame that the plot is overshadowed by dramatic events: I don’t like that most of the times. Haha, I like your comparison with the hot dog and banana smoothie.


  4. I recently posted about this book, and when I looked at the publisher marketing tips on Edelweiss, it says that the book has “accessible, girl-friendly sci-fi,” which led me to believe that the sci-fi is very limited. (Though don’t get me started on the “girl-friendly” part). Nice to know that the characters got to know each other before the romance took off, that they were also developed, and that the suspense was constant–although the points you’ve mentioned that didn’t work are also very troublesome. And a banana and hot dog smoothie sounds disgusting :O.

    • I actually says that??!! SCI-FI IS GIRL FRIENDLY FOR FREAKING HELL’S SAKE! *rips out hair*

      I have not tried said smoothie, but the thought makes me feel a bit icky.

      Are you planning on reading this one?

  5. Jo

    I like how you broke down the good points, and the bad points. Admittedly, I like more sci-fi in my sci-fi books, and a lot less romance, so I think I’ll pass on this one.

  6. The lack of instalove is promising! Just from reading the jacket copy, I was expecting to be put off by the romance aspect of the story. I was kind of expecting to hear about the soap opera style plot, though. It’s not exactly the kind of science fiction I like to read, but maybe it could be good if I’m in the right mood or something.

  7. Great review, I like how you broke it down. I am dying to read this book so the positives you found do make me hopeful that I will still enjoy it! 🙂

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