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Howdy YAL!

I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies. 

If Titanic and Romancing the Stone Had a Baby in Space...

These Broken Stars - Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

This book has gotten a lot of hype.


To be blunt about it, I sort of get blogger hives when I have to read a book that everyone else is gushing about because I don’t usually gush.


Just call me the grinch of reviewing.


To be serious though, I really do get nervous about reading these books because I feel like I should like them and if I don’t it’s almost…well, like going out on a blind date where your b.f.f. says Mr. Date is going to be perfect for you and you’re like no.

In other words, it makes for a very awkward moment.


The verdict here, well, I didn’t hate These Broken Stars, but at the same time I think all the hype might be a little too much.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad book.  Technically, it excels on multiple levels.  And I was engaged.   But it’s not, well, what I was expecting.


The book is essentially a survival story.  The gigantic spaceship (think the Titanic but in space)  crashes and our two leads end up on what appears to be an abandon planet and have to surprise, surprise, rely on each other to survive. And much like that old Michael Douglas movie where he destroys Kathleen Turner’s shoes and clothes, the same thing happens here.


If you’re not a fan of survival stories, you’re probably not going to like this one.  Also, if you like your books to focus on more than two characters this book probably isn’t for you either.  But if you can get past these two things the book is actually really well written and the characters are for the most part pretty likable.


I’ll start with the writing first.  Technically, this is probably one of the best books I’ve read with multiple writers.  Or at the very least it’s better than that cluster fuck known as Frozen.  Spooner and Kaufman worked well together.  I did not feel like the work was disjointed, but at the same time it was obvious that there were two different people writing the novel (there were two main leads and both of them sounded like different people).


The pacing also worked for the most part.  Although, this book has a slow start it after you finish reading it the pacing makes sense.  I understood why Kaufman and Spooner took their time and for what it was worth, the dragging of the plot worked.


The characters were also well formed.  I liked both Lilac and Tarver.  Neither of them fell into the YA stereotypes for the most part.  Tarver reminded me a bit like a younger Michael Westen, at least that’s what his voice reminded me of.  He didn’t have the usual emotional trauma to make him an asshole like every other male lead seems to have in a book today.  As for Lilac, while I wasn’t quite a fan of hers as I was of Tarver, she grew on me.  I think what liked is that she started out being this cold character, but Kaufman and Spooner ever so slowly revealed that there was a lot going behind that perfect facade without being too cliche. Even though it should’ve been cliche.

However, even though I am giving this book lots of praise, I did have some issues with it.  However, my faults don’t rely with the fact that the book was predictable.  Rather, it relied on the ending.


I really don’t want to go into particulars for spoiler purposes, but it just didn’t work for me.  I was still left with two many questions and it honestly reminded me of the ending of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull which I hated.  Plus, everything just ended more than a little abruptly.  Which I sort of get because the book is going to have a sequel, but the sequel isn’t going to feature Lilac and Tarver which makes the whole situation even more infuriating.


I guess what I’m getting at is I’d rather have them have ended it with that certain character’s fate remaining unchanged.  It sounds harsh and I sort of would’ve hated it, but I think it would’ve made more sense than the ending that it had.  It’s not that I didn’t like how the book ended, I wanted a happy ending…it just didn’t make sense.