The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*ARC Review* These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman and Megan Spooner March 10, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
10 December2013
Disney Hyperion
Young Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance
ARC borrowed from Mary, audiobook via library
Book one of the Starbound series



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.

My thoughts:

Though part of my reading was done by reading an ARC, it was a borrowed copy from the lovely Mary (Mary Had a Little Book Blog) and not directly from Disney Hyperion. I also did part of my reading listening to the spectacularly done audiobook.

I had wanted to read TBS since I first heard about it last summer when I started blogging, but as a newbie blogger, I didn’t stand a chance. I resigned myself to wait and snag a copy from the library. Lovely Mary to the rescue! She surprised me by shipping her copy to me (I have the best friends ever!) After finishing Under the Never Sky in a binge series read, I was at a loss on what to read next. Mary appealed to the Army wife, military loving part of me and suggested I fall in love with soldier Tarver. I’m glad she did.

I really enjoyed the dual first person point of view. It really fit for this novel. In a survival situation, it was nice to be able to see what was going on in both Lilac’s and Tarver’s minds. I used to be very against multiple points of view, but after reading several well done multi views, I’ve been persuaded to at least give them a chance. On paper, the voices are wonderful and seamless transitions. The audio? Even. Better. It was so great. ********I think I enjoyed the audiobook better than reading the physical book. That NEVER happens!*********

Now, while I enjoyed this novel, it didn’t blow me out of the water like I was hoping. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a fantastic read. I just wasn’t completely overwhelmed by the amazingness. Maybe if I’d listened to the whole thing it might’ve hit the mark. Maybe not. There were a few spots that were very predictable and that always docks points in my book.

Since it was a shipwreck on a seemlingly abandoned, unoccupied planet, it gave Aime and Megan PLENTY of leg room to develop Lilac and Tarver individually, as a survival pair, and as a couple. It also gave them plenty of room for world building. In the vast expanse of the universe, anything is possible. I was really impressed with the dynamic levels that were cultivated and expanded on characters and world building.

As with a favourite couple of mine – Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy, first impressions aren’t necessarily true. Tarver likes to come off as a simple soldier from a simple background who was thrust into greatness. Only part of that is the case. Lilac, as the only child of the richest man of the universe comes off as a spoiled little rich girl. Though she is pampered and very rich, Lilac is so much more than that.

Through their time on the not so abandoned planet, they learn that there is a deeper level to each person. First comes friendship, then comes love. I let out a huge sigh of relief that there was no insta-love in this situation. I may have bailed if that had been the case. I really enjoyed their relationship development and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the rest of the series. Now, the following books are companions, so it’s not guaranteed that they’ll be in them much, but if they are, it will be good to see them!

While this was an entertaining story, it wasn’t one that demanded to be read in one sitting. It’s very much a story that CAN be read in one sitting. Don’t think I’m knocking it any. It just wasn’t a heart racing, MUST READ THIS NOW type of flow. It was one that is able to be devoured but also savoured. It gives you a lot to think about. Not being a time demanding read was nice. With two young kids, it’s hard to read demanding books. This one worked nicely with the demands of mamahood and reviewer life. I recommend this to sci-fi and romance lovers. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. Again, the sequel is a companion, not a true story continuing sequel. Many thanks to Disney Hyperion for giving the ARC to Mary so she was able to share it with me!

About the authors

Amie Kaufman is the co-author of These Broken Stars, the first in the Starbound trilogy, and Illuminae, the first in a new series starting in 2015. She writes science fiction and fantasy for teens, and her favourite procrastination techniques involve chocolate, baking, sailing, excellent books and TV, plotting and executing overseas travel, and napping.


She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, their rescue dog, and her considerable library. She is represented by Tracey Adams of Adams Literary.


Meagan Spooner grew up reading and writing every spare moment of the day, while dreaming about life as an archaeologist, a marine biologist, an astronaut. She graduated from Hamilton College in New York with a degree in playwriting, and has spent several years since then living in Australia. She’s traveled with her family all over the world to places like Egypt, South Africa, the Arctic, Greece, Antarctica, and the Galapagos, and there’s a bit of every trip in every story she writes.

She currently lives and writes in Northern Virginia, but the siren call of travel is hard to resist, and there’s no telling how long she’ll stay there.



In her spare time she plays guitar, plays video games, plays with her cat, and reads.



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