Monday, June 16, 2014

We Can Do Anything, Together

Published:  December 10th, 2013
These Broken Stars (Starbound #1)
By: Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Disney Hyperion
ISBN-13:  9781423171027

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 torturous journey across the eerie, deserted terrain seek to 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.


     What exactly can you say about a book that's full of so much good stuff?  And how much can I reveal without spoiling the actual details of the plot and the ending?  I guess we're about to find out!  This is a book about a boy, Tarver, and a girl, Lilac, who are from different social stratospheres - but they collide together and change one another's lives irrevocably when they do.  Lilac is a society darling, daughter of the richest man in the world and Tarver is a decorated war hero, never taken seriously due to his young age.  They meet on one of her father's luxury spaceships the Icarus, conversing and connecting with each other, before she blows him off to protect him from her father.  Then the unthinkable happens, and the ship crashes down on a planet neither of them is familiar with.  The unlikely pair is forced to overcome all their differences to survive in a strange/dangerous environment, while discovering the mystery behind the planet's seeming consciousness and why colonization of that planet was deserted.  Can Lilac and Tarver come to a solution and a rescue before it's too late?
     It's such a gradual change for both of these characters, moving from the stereotypical and boxed in personalities they have when the book starts, to unlocking their full potential.  I've seen comparisons to the Titanic's history (and I assume the infamous movie) in terms of plot, and I can see some similarites.  But once the Icarus crashes (that name has some mythological irony for sure), the majority of the book is spent on the unknown planet, with Tarver and Lilac struggling to work together.  She's dealing with the restrictions of her class in society, and the stranglehold of her father's love and power, while Tarver is dealing with the guilt of surivivng his older brother, and the honors of being a hero (which he doesn't feel he deserves).  Also, Tarver's parents are both teachers so he is WAY out of Lilac's "league."  Lilac begins to experience voices and visions, while she and Tarver are fighting to find a way off, back to civilization.  This and the interactions she and Tarver have with the terrestrial environment leads up to a startling climax that is the perfect meld of science fiction and romance.  The interludes with Tarver being interrogated by men employed by Lilac's father definitely contributed to the shock of how things fit into the puzzle!  And geez, that cliffhanger!  Can't wait to read the next one and I highly recommend it for anyone wanting something innovative, surprising and overall gripping to read.
VERDICT:  4/5 Star
**I received this book from Disney Hyperion, on NetGalley.  No favors or money were exchanged for this review.  This book was published December 10th, 2013.**

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