I initially had a lot of misgivings about this book but I bought it anyway because of the gorgeous cover which, after reading the story is very fitting. Confession time guys, I rated this book based on the summary alone and proudly proclaimed that this book would rate 3 rainbows at most. At MOST. I was actually expecting it to go even lower but I was wrong. I was dreadfully wrong and I love These Broken Stars all the more for shoving that those 3 rainbows back in my face.
Think Titanic but set in space. When the ship Lilac was traveling on - ironically named Icarus, nothing good comes from that name, seriously - crash lands on a seemingly terraformed planet leaving only her and the infuriatingly handsome Tarver alive, she's got no choice but to stick to his side in hopes of surviving. Their goal? To stay alive and hope that they get rescued. They didn't count on the voices that call to Lilac or the secrets that their journey across the terrains seem to uncover.
Lilac, whom I initially thought I would be annoyed at - because I don't get along well with prissy, spoiled characters - threw me for a loop. She's rich and spoiled and she's basically a prim and proper princess, which we all should expect because she's daughter of the richest man in the universe, but she wasn't annoying. She's smart and pretty like all YA heroines are wont to be but she's got some hidden facets to her personality that I absolutely adored. That scene where she got down on her knees in her gorgeous dress and high heels to tinker with the control panel of an escape pod made me think that well, this chick's pretty cool. She's not only a looker but she's got brains too. (Her ability to walk through a jungle in high heels garners plus point for her. I can't even walk on solid ground in high heels.)
Tarver is an award winning military man. He's handsome and capable and I'm pretty sure I'm in love with him too. He and Lilac are total opposites, which make their interactions highly entertaining. It was amusing to see his confusion, fascination and unbridled interest in Lilac. He's not meant to mingle with the elite upper class but does so and despite being capable of dealing with them expertly, he just doesn't quite fit in.
The ship's crash landing, surviving on an unknown planet; these are all situations that Tarver's been trained for and his strength and fierceness and capabilities are all admirable. But what I liked most was the character growth for the both of them. Lilac's growth was incredible and I found myself adoring her even more for the way she pushed herself to change. The romance was unbearably sweet and real. Tarver and Lilac bickered a lot but once they started to get to know each other that only served to rekindle the attraction they had for each other on the ship.
I'm not exactly a fan of survival stories but I loved These Broken Stars so much. Excellent characters and wonderful character growth and gorgeous prose? Yes please. While there are a few things questionable about the sci-fi aspect I find that I don't really mind and this book deserves 4 freaking rainbows.
Also, Starbound #2 (This Shattered World) comes out November 11 2014 which is a LONG, LONG TIME to wait. It's not a continuation of Lilac and Tarver's story - cue ugly cry - but it's totally fine because HAVE YOU READ THAT SUMMARY? It sound so interesting! I can't wait till November and the moment local bookstores stock it I am totes throwing my money at them and grabbing a copy. The fact that it has some Legend by Marie Lu vibes going on is kind of a plus. I just hope the ending doesn't make me bawl like Champion did. Please. No tears.