Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"These Broken Stars" (a book review) -- "All that's left is us"

WARNING: This post contains spoilers.

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Released: December 10, 2013
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Pages: 384

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.

I think this book was amazing in every way possible. The characters, the plot, the beautiful cover and title (seriously, the cover is perfect), the writing, everything! I took me a little bit to get into, but once I got past those first 80-100 pages or so, I couldn't put it down.

I loved Lilac and Tarver, but I think that Lilac especially grew as a character throughout the book. She started out as a snobby, gossiping, rich girl who wouldn't even take her ridiculous high heels in the wild. And I loved that! It was such a refreshing change from the stereotypical Katniss Everdeen heroines we see in today's books. I loved seeing Lilac slowly change as the book went on, seeing her slowly transform from the girl in the green dress to a girl who wasn't afraid to walk around a crashed spaceship to save Tarver. The scene at the end when she confronts her father and basically goes ballistic on him about Simon in Tarver was just awesome. I was scared of her just then!

And Tarver! Oh my God, when Lilac died, he just about broke my heart. I cried the entire way through the following chapters before she "came back" (I'm not sure what term you'd use for what happened to her).

I also thought the passages in between when somebody's asking Tarver questions were really cool. It reminded me of the beginning of the chapters in Ender's Game. Except I thought these bits were easier to follow than those.

And Tarver had some of the best lines. For example, this one made me laugh out loud:

She considers the question, then nods, reaching up to tuck her hair back where it belongs. "Where will I sit?"
Sit? Why, on this comfortable chaise longue I've carried here for you in my pocket, Your Highness, so glad you asked.

These quotes were heartbreaking:

Her hand lifts to grab at me, finding my arm and clutching tight. "Tarver." Her whisper's a gurgle, the blood in her throat now. "I lied. I'm--I don't want to die." Her blue eyes are wide and terrified as she gazes past me.
I'm shaking as I ease down to stretch out beside her, pressing my forehead to her temple, whispering my words against her skin. "I'm here." I can barely make myself loud enough, but I think she hears me. "I promise, I'm right here, Lilac. I won't go anywhere. I won't leave."

The Frost in my chest creaks, something else trying to come through. "I remember being dead, Tarver." I swallow, and my breath comes out like a sob. "How do you live again, knowing what waits for you in the end?"

And this one was beautiful:

But for now, as we wait for the engines to kick in, all of that is far away. For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful of broken stars half lost in uncharted space. Then it's gone, the view swallowed by the hyperspace winds streaming past, blue-green auroras wiping the afterimages away.
Until all that's left is us.


Cait said...

I really loved this book. I found it pretty captivating from page 1 (although, I'm totally biased because I love the front cover soooo much). I was really happy with Lilac and Tarver. THEY'RE ADORABLE. *coughcough*

The Magic Violinist said...

@Cait The cover is one of the best covers I've seen in a very long time! :) So pretty. I wish I could buy that dress!

DC Kazi said...

Hello Magic Violinist! I've got a question, one writer to another: how in the world do you stay committed to a blog for so long? I always try and end up getting bored. Do you ever have times like that?

I like your writing, by the way :)

The Magic Violinist said...

@DC Kazi Ha ha, well I wasn't always committed. ;) When I was younger, I blogged off and on, sometimes neglecting it for months at a time. But as I've gotten older and followed more blogs, I've discovered how much fun it is! My advice to you is to post on whatever you're passionate about. What makes you happy? What are your hobbies? Don't worry about what the people reading your blog think. If you post what YOU love, you'll find readers who share your interests. Also, blog memes are a great way to post without actually having to come up with a blog post idea. ;)

Thank you! :) I just subscribed to your blog, by the way. Looking forward to getting to know you!