Thursday, 6 November 2014

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Too Many Expectations

First and foremost, this is a love story.  It is also a survival tale and it is sci-fi, but it is a love story before either of those things.  This is not what I was expecting going into the book, and perhaps that is why I didn’t like it as much as I was expecting.

The novel follows Lilac and Tarver, members from different societal classes, and their attempts to survive on a seemingly abandoned planet after their space ship is destroyed.  It is nicely written, and the character development is the strongest part of the book.

My main issue was how slow it was.  I was not fully captivated by the story until the last hundred or so pages - when most of the action happened, and a certain event (spoiler:[Lilac’s death]) occurred.  If I’d known before picking this up that the majority of the story is just Lilac and Tarver wandering around a planet, I don’t think I would have minded as much (or perhaps I wouldn’t have picked it up in the first place).  Sometimes I felt as though the book was never going to end - not a good feeling.

So much of the story was just the characters narrating about their thoughts and feelings, and whilst I don’t have too much tolerance for that at the best of times, it also became repetitive.  Before the last third of the novel, this included a lot of whining from both characters too, making it even worse.  They did have their good moments though (and some funny ones), and I appreciated the development that the characters went through and how the changes weren’t instantaneous - they happened steadily over the course of the novel.  Lilac and Tarver became less annoying and a lot less whiny (well, in relation to their situation), which suited me.  I experienced a bit of frustration at times, though.  I wanted to scream “JUST EXPLAIN!” on more than one occasion.

I enjoyed the mystery element to the novel.  There were snippets of an interrogation between Tarver and someone else before each chapter that tied in with the events, which added a feeling of suspense and was probably the sole reason I kept reading after page 100.  My interest was piqued every time I got to one of these snippets, and it was like a little refresher for my boredom; something to stimulate theory-building.  And I had tonnes of theories.  None of them ended up being anywhere near correct, but then again, I don’t think you could guess the ending.

Speaking Typing of the ending: it was very science-y and a little hard to understand what was going on, yet it was the fastest paced part of the book.  I wish there had been more explanation as to [what had happened in the past to these aliens-things] but I can understand that this wouldn't be an issue for some people.

I felt that the ending for the characters was suitable except I also wanted more information on this!  [What happens in the future to them?  Do they really get left alone by Lilac's father?  Is Lilac's threat even valid anymore since the planet was destroyed after all?]  I'm kind of hoping it will be explained further somehow in the next books - though I believe this is an uncommon opinion, and most people think that it was wrapped up nicely.

So, I guess I liked this book, just not as much as I was hoping to.  I would recommend it if you are a fan of the 'star-crossed lovers' theme, or if you like survival stories.  As long as you don't mind the slow pacing.

Have you read These Broken Stars?  Are you planning to?  Let me know your thoughts below!


  1. I was waiting your review since the moment I knew you were reading the book because I wanted to read it too, so yay! It was a lovely review and now I have lowered my expectations about the book and knowing is a love story I'm prepared. I don't normally have problems with slow-paced books when it's done in a right way. I'm not so sure about the whining though... it's something I can't truly stand but if you say there is character development then I'm relieved.
    I plan on reading it this month. Let's see if I can do it though =)

    1. Haha I finally finished it! Thank you Noelia :) I think you might enjoy it more than I did - especially if you've lowered your expectations. The whining is counteracted by the character development, so I think you should be safe.
      I'm interested to see what you think!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. (sorry about the delete, I made a typo in my comment that my computer read as HTML so it turned out all weird lol)
    Awesome review! I really like the way you explained your thoughts, it was hilarious :D
    Now knowing that this is a love story, I think (like Noelia) that I'll be more prepared going into These Broken Stars. One of my most trusted blogger friends Rachel (at A Perfection Called Books) really didn't like this book, so I was kind of on the fence, haha. But now I'm really curious to know what all those white portions on your review are xD
    I hope we can discuss after I finish this book! It'll be up high on my schedule (I hope)

    - Connie @ The YA Book Thief

    1. No worries about the delete! Thanks for your lovely comment :)
      Oh yeah I saw that Rachel gave it one star on Goodreads! I think if I had have read it during a time where a lot of people were raving about it, I probably would have disliked it more. Hehe I'm glad I made you curious, at least.
      I'd love to discuss it when you've read it :)

  4. I loved These Broken Stars but I started the book with low expectations, I didn't know what to read and then randomly picked a book from my tablet. Honestly I was thinking about lowering my rating from five to four because I tried to reread my favorite parts (that's something I do with five star rated books) but they weren't as wonderful as I remembered. I liked the characters, Tarver especially and their whining didn't annoy me all that much but I don't get how the hell was Lilac able to walk in a high-heeled sandal for days... unbelievable lol. I didn't have a problem with the slowness of the novel up until when things started to happen because now looking back it seems strange that first nothing happens and then everything all at once. Do you plan on reading This Shattered World? I hope we'll be able to find out more things about this world in that novel.
    Wonderful review! :))

    1. I think that was definitely something that effected my enjoyment - I had very high expectations. It's always sad when you go back to a book that you loved and find it wasn't as amazing as you first thought. The characters definitely grew on me as the story went on, and I can see why their whining wouldn't be annoying to some people. Ahaha there's no way I would be able to do what Lilac did! Even just trailing around that green dress all the time would have been a pain! I suppose that's how things work - there has to be a big finale, after all, - but it did bother me a bit. I do plan on reading This Shattered World, it's just probably not going to be my highest priority when it's released. I hope so too! There's so much potential for this world, and I'm glad the authors decided not to just stick with the one book when there is so much to be explored!
      Thank you, Veronika!


Related Posts
Back to Top