Tuesday, December 3, 2013
ARC Review: These Broken Stars
YA Science-Fiction Romance
Scheduled to release December 10
Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I picked up this book, not having much knowledge about its contents but having seen a lot of hype around it. Most of my blogging friends have been very impressed with the story and this left me optimistic about my experience reading it.
For the most part, that was an accurate assessment. The beginning chapter gave me such a strong Titanic vibe in the best way possible as I have quite the weak spot for rich girl/poor boy fighting against circumstances. Tarver Merendsen has made good, rising from an average background to become a major at the young age of 18. He has endured brutal trainings and postings to make it this far. Lilac LaRoux is the spoiled beloved daughter and only living relation of the richest man in the universe. The two have nothing in common but must learn to work together when they are stranded with only each other for resource.
I guess I've been in a romantic mood lately because the relationship between the two characters is what really resonated for me. Tarver and Lilac have an immediate attraction but it seems destined not to be. Lilac nurses the knowledge that her father sent her first love off to be killed and has resolved not to let anyone get close again. She purposefully pushes Tarver with her acid tongue. Meanwhile he felt something with her but soon assesses her as just a spoiled princess until their time together shows hidden depths for both and allows their love to flourish. Basically I just relaxed in the feels from this couple especially when their relationship gets intense though I can't provide more detail without spoilers.
A surprise for me was how much I enjoyed their trek. I don't think I tend to like books where they fight for survival but either I do or this is an exception. Tarver is the trained soldier so for the most part he handles their survival but Lilac is stubborn, a fast learner, and a mechanical genius so together their skills are complementary and bring out each other's best.
Something I love is that this is the first in a series of companion novels with the characters united against a common enemy. I believe that enemy is introduced in this book and given his relationship to our characters here, it gives me hope that they will pop up in future installments.
In the end, I'm not quite as enthusiastic about this book as others because it seemed to lack that extra spark for me. I thought the writing moved apace and was easy to follow. I especially appreciated the dual narration, one of my favorite techniques, with Tarver and Lilac each having a distinct voice. But there wasn't enough danger early on (beyond a giant cat attacking Lilac) and then the ending didn't feel very concrete and final. Though it's not the end of the series, it is the end of focusing on Lilac and Tarver (to my understanding) and I wanted a bigger bang.
Cover: Love it-pretty dress and fairly accurate though I imagined Lilac's dress slightly less voluminous plus the stars are so gorgeous.
Beauty and the Bookshelf
In Bed With Books
Jen Ryland/YA Romantics
Love is not a triangle
The Flyleaf Review
The Midnight Garden