Lytherus Book Club: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Part 1

Lytherus book club header March

We’re well into March, so it’s time to dig into the first part of our first book for the month, These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner! I am love love LOVING this book, and I am excited to jump into the review and my thoughts.REMEMBER, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS in my review, as I’m assuming you’ve read this along with us.

But first, here’s the official blurb of the book:

THESE-BROKEN-STARS-amie-kaufman-meagan-spoonerIt’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.

Today we’re going through the first 21 chapters, which actually ended up being a perfect stopping point.

First off, this book is scifi. That’s something I don’t read as often as fantasy-based books, but I had heard such amazing things about this series that I wanted to see what it was about. I’m really glad I did, because this book is blowing my mind.

From the start I was drawn in. The book is told between the points of view of the two main characters, Lilac, the teen girl who is heir to the largest company in the universe, and whose father pretty much rules it all, and Tarver, who is a war hero at only 18, from a working-class family (his dad is a teacher- yikes!). These two run in circles about as opposite as it can get, but at the start of the book they have a little meet-cute that shows the natural attraction between them. The first few chapters are focused on this, him reflecting on her and asking her out (he doesn’t know who she is, which is a rarity), and her liking him but needing to discourage him, because her father wouldn’t approve. So that’s where they are when all hell breaks loose.

The ship they’re flying on, the Icarus–built by Lilac’s father and the crown jewel in his space fleet–is pulled out of hyperspace. The best way to summarize this part of the book is it feels like the crash of Titanic, but in space. It was tense, captivating, nerve-wracking, and well-written. Of course, Lilac and Tarver end up on the same rescue pod, and thanks to Lilac’s surprising knowledge about the pod they are launched from the dying ship.

They crash-land on a nearby planet, which is where the majority of the book takes place. From this point to where we’re stopping for now, the main plot is them journeying from their pod to the crash site of the ship, which is quite a walk away. Lots of arguments, lots of discussion. And lots of sexual tension. It’s pretty great. They are so perfect for each other, but they both need to get over themselves to see it, and it’s fab watching them get there. They both slowly learn to be with each other, and the trust is hard-erned. I can’t wait to see what happens in the second half, but I’m guessing the inevitable hook-up is coming (this is not a complaint!).

There are some weird things happening that we need to make note of:

  • The plant life reveals that this planet was chosen to become a colony and the process of making it livable was begun, but for some reason it was interrupted.
  • There are some crazy, non- creatures that neither of them know about (mainly a giant scary cat-thing that almost eats Lilac).
  • The chapters are interspersed by snippits of an interrigation of Tarver of what happened. He down-plays a lot of what actually happens, like her visions, his feelings, etc.
  • Lilac starts seeing visions. Strange things really are happening to her. She’s visited by the ghosts of people who died in a crashed pod they come across. She hears voices. She’s woken from a dead sleep with the knowledge that they needed to leave the cave they were sleeping in or they’d die (they barely make it out before a cave-in). Of course Tarver is seriously worried about her, thinks she’s hit her head or is losing her mind or PTSD or something.

The end of chapter 21 has Tarver seeing a vision of his childhood home, a vision that Lilac sees too. He’s experiencing something like her, and now he’ll finally believe her (I hope!)

Stay tuned for the next post where we dig into the second part of These Broken Stars. I’ll post the summary in a few days. In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the first half of the book. What was your favorite part? Do you have any questions for the authors? Post them below in the comments and I’ll be sure to bring them up in the interview!



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