Review: These Broken Stars

Overall, I liked These Broken Stars, but I’m afraid the hype monster got me on this one. I expected it to be truly epic, but… it fell a little short for me.


What I really enjoyed from this book…

– I loved the Icarus and I really wish we could have had more time there! It sounded so interesting, and I would have loved to learn more about the in’s and out’s of the ship, seen more parties and experienced the observation deck. It all sounded so neat! I liked what details we got of the ship.

– I also liked any details we got of this world, and the world itself is honestly what makes me most interested in reading the next book Spooner and Kaufman produce from this universe. I’m curious to know more about the war (which I think the next book is focusing on) and how we discovered all these other planets. (And are there aliens? It didn’t seem like there were.)

– The sci-fi aspect that comes up on the planet was intriguing and felt like something that could be on an episode of Star Trek (pretty much always a good thing!).

garak-jazzhandsWhat I did not enjoy as much…

– I never felt a deep connection with Lilac and Tarver. I thought Lilac was annoying at first, but as she came to accept her situation, I grew to like to her more. But even so, I liked both Lilac and Tarver both just enough to care enough to keep reading. I never felt truly emotionally invested in them.

– While I believed in Lilac and Tarver’s attraction and affections for one another, I did not believe in the depth of their supposed epic love. They went from not standing one another (but being attracted to each other) to admitting feelings, which made sense, but they were willing to completely abandon their families to stay together forever on the God-forsaken planet. Of course, I guess hormones are to blame for that.

urban-bones-poetic– As they started their trek across the planet and Lilac was being whiny, I thought, Oh no, it’s Under the Never Sky all over again… 

bashir-sleepyBut I liked the characters slightly more so I decided to stick with it. But that being said, I don’t think I’m a huge fan of survivalist stories. All this walking around a barren or foreboding place with so little to do or say doesn’t really suit me unless I LOVE the characters.

What I wish we could have seen… 

(These are vague inclinations about the ending here… I don’t think it’s too spoilery, but none of this will really make sense if you haven’t read the book yet)

– I wish the book had ended with Lilac and Tarver going to Tarver’s parents’ house. The ending as it was was interesting, but I think this would have been a nice final scene. I’m also upset we didn’t get to learn more about the planet, but I understand why the mystery is left as it is at the end.

– I wish we could have gotten more insight into Lilac’s medical test results.

– I wish there had been an explanation as to why people avoided Lilac at the beginning of the book. Did I miss something? Was it JUST because of who her dad was? No one knew what had happened with Simon except her and her dad. And why does she need Anna as a bodyguard? I never felt like these things were fully explained.


There were moments that I was engaged and interested, and moments where I was slightly annoyed. I liked Lilac and Tarver fine, enough to care for their well-being, but I don’t care too much about what happens to them beyond the story and I don’t care about their relationship too much. I wish there had been more of the science fiction elements and the ship, less of the boring trekking across the planet (though I understand the realistic nature of how long that could take), and that the relationship had developed more naturally.


Content Advisory: One off-screen sex scene and moderate language.

What were your thoughts on These Broken Stars? 

9 thoughts on “Review: These Broken Stars

  1. Good review! I think my thoughts were pretty similar to yours. I enjoyed the book, but I wasn’t as crazy about it as I thought I would be. And I totally didn’t really feel the connection between Lilac and Tarver either. I think it felt a little too inevitable that they would end up together.

  2. Well, I suppose a 3.5 isn’t bad.

    I haven’t read the book yet, so I can’t share any insights, and I’ll probably forget what you thought were spoilers. But I’m definitely going to read it only if I can borrow it from a friend because of so much hype. That’s why I scroll down to check if they’re giving it 5 stars before reading any reviews for it! Haha I’m so picky.

    • I understand! I was seeing mostly five star reviews so that’s what I was anticipating liking it more, but oh well. It’s definitely not a bad book at all, the premise was interesting and overall it was pretty well-written, but I just never felt much connection with the characters, and that’s the most important thing for me.

  3. I would have liked to see more on the Icarus, too, so I’m hoping that this (and the war) is covered more in the next book. Just like you, I thought of Under the Never Sky when they were trekking across the planet and Lilac was being whiny, lol! Thank goodness it got better, though. It seems I was more convinced by their relationship than you were, which makes me a little sad.

    Your first two wishes for more, I would loved to have gotten as well! I think the reason people avoided LIlac in the beginning was just as you said. It felt kind of like how people stay away from royalty because they’re powerful people with powerful relatives, etc.

  4. I absolutely loved this book, but I hadn’t read any review beforehand, so I didn’t really know what to expect. But I do completely agree with you about wanting a scene of Lilac & Tarver going to see his parents. I felt that since this is basically a standalone novel (with only companion novels to come) it would have been nice to see an epilogue, just to finish a few things up. It’s be interesting to see if anything gets mentioned about the mystery of the plant in the rest of the series.

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