These Broken Stars
by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 hardcover, ISBN-10 1423171020, December 2013
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.
Listen up: This book is going to be HUGE.
I don’t know that it will be Twilight or Hunger Games huge, but it certainly has the potential. Star-crossed lovers? Strange new worlds? Survival situation? Mysterious alien beings? Evil corporation that needs to be leveled? Check, check, check, check, oh, and check.
No instalove or stalking here! This story is just what a good romance story looks like: Two strong personalities thrown together by chance, sparks and snarks fly, slowly they come to know and depend upon each other, and true love ensues with a side of making out, but will outside forces (a.k.a her truly evil and overprotective father) and their own preconceived notions conspire to keep these two apart? Oh, and I should also mention that neither of the leads are useless. Tarver’s got the survival skills and Lilac is a socialite, it’s true, but Lilac also has a brain and an impressive knowledge of circuitry and technology in general because her evil father owns a corporation that has its hands in all things tech, from communications arrays to terraforming to spacecraft to morally vacuous experimentation.
BUT it’s not just a romance! It’s also a scifi mystery about two stranded space travelers trying to find out who or what is on the planet with them, and what these beings might want from them. I won’t ruin the ending, but I will say that it’s heartbreaking and happy at the same time, and that it will make for some interesting book club discussion. Just be aware that sex is implied.
Recommend to: Teens. Boys will probably like this despite the romance, if they can get over the voluminous emerald ballgown on the cover.
To buy or not to buy: You need it.