These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner“For a moment the image before us is frozen: our world, our lives, reduced to a handful broken stars half lost in uncharted space.”

Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen are only two of the thousands of passengers aboard the Icarus, a massive spaceship traveling millions of miles through hyperspace. Lilac is untouchable, the daughter of the richest man in the universe–a man who will do anything to ensure his daughter’s safety. Tarver is a war hero, and has worked his way up from a poor life to one where he is allowed to mingle with the rich. He normally would want nothing to do with a girl like Lilac, but when the Icarus is suddenly yanked out of hyperspace, he finds himself in an escape pod, alone with her. When the escape pod crash lands on an unfamiliar planet, Lilac and Tarver must travel for days in order to find help. They are forced to rely on each other, and when they discover the secret behind the whispers following them, they wonder if it may be better to stay on the planet rather than be rescued.

I have heard so many wonderful things about this book and I am so glad I finally gave it a chance. This is definitely one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. The story was very original–there aren’t many YA books that take place in space other than the Across the Universe trilogy, and Kaufman and Spooner did a great job of world building both on the Icarus and on the planet. The Icarus is a huge spaceliner that sort of reminded me how the Titanic was set up–the lower class was only allowed to stay on the lower decks and was basically locked down there while the upper class stayed on the upper levels of the ship and were privileged to all sorts of luxuries. Tarver had spent his whole life as part of the lower class but now that he is considered a war hero he is given upper class status. He has the odd experience of seeing how the other half lives, and finds it hard to fit himself in their world.

I loved both Lilac and Tarver, and I think the fact that the book alternated between their points of view helped the story. Lilac first comes off to Tarver as a spoiled rich girl who treats everyone as though they are beneath her, but when we get Lilac’s point of view it becomes evident that she is terrified of what her father will do to any man she shows interest in, which is what causes her to snub Tarver. Tarver is a true soldier and hero–even though he thinks of Lilac as a brat, he still does whatever he can to save her life and make sure that they are found by her father’s people, even though he knows he may be punished for being alone with her. They are both really strong characters in their own way–Lilac walks for miles in high heels without complaining as Tarver expected she would–and they end up bringing out the best in each other.

This books is a really beautifully written story about survival and trust, and will definitely keep you turning pages. I loved watching Lilac and Tarver’s relationship change and develop, and how they went from being wary of each other to completely trusting in one another. The sci-fi aspect was really well done also–when Lilac and Tarver are traveling across the planet, Lilac begins hearing whispers that follow them. When they finally discover what is causing the whispers, it is something they never could have imagined and completely changes their view on many things.

Overall, These Broken Stars was an incredible, original, and extremely well written story. This was one of the best books I’ve read in a long while, and I highly recommend it!

These Broken Stars was released on December 10, 2013 and is the first book in the Starbound series. The second book, This Shattered World, is a companion novel set to be released this year.

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Skylark by Meagan Spooner

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

“I don’t want to be kept, not by anyone.”

Lark Ainsley is a sixteen year old girl living in a city enclosed entirely by a dome made of energy. The dome is all that protects the city from the monsters living outside in the wilderness. In order to sustain the dome, however, the city needs to harvest magical energy from its children. When it is Lark’s turn to be harvested, it is discovered that she is a Renewable and is able to regenerate her energy each time it is harvested. When she realizes that the Architects of the city intend to keep putting her through the painful harvesting process indefinitely in order to constantly use her energy, she decides to escape the only home she has ever known. She escapes into the wilderness alone in search of the Iron Wood where she hopes to find others like her.

This book had such incredible world building! I loved reading about the post-apocalyptic world that Lark traveled through to find the Iron Wood. The ways that magical energy created domes was really interesting–some domes froze the entire area under it in a specific time and others preserved an entire forest inside.

I really liked Lark; she is brave and while she does have trust issues after finding out what the Architects wanted to do to her, she learns to trust again by the end of the book. She both literally and figuratively makes a long journey from start to finish. She meets a wild boy named Oren who helps her survive even though they are both reluctant to trust each other. He is terrified of the Iron Wood and tries to convince her not to go there but Lark is set on finding others like her. Their relationship really grew throughout the book and there was a serious twist near the end that I never saw coming!

Overall, Skylark was an exciting book full of incredible world building and so many unexpected twists! I am definitely excited for the sequel, and I hope to find out more about what happened to make the world of Skylark the way it is.

Skylark was released August 1, 2012 and is the first of a series. The sequel, Shadowlark, is due to be released in 2013.

To Be Reviewed

I have been super busy lately with holiday stuff (belated Happy Thanksgiving everyone!) and with READING so I haven’t been able to post as much as I’d like. I have a serious problem–I am unable to go into a library or bookstore without leaving with at least three books in hand. My to-be-read list grows on a daily basis, but here’s a list of some books I am currently reading/am about to read and will hopefully get a chance to review soon:

A Fractured Light by Jocelyn Davies

This is a sequel to A Beautiful Dark, a book about a girl who discovers there is more to her past than she realized when she meets two angels sent to protect her. A Fractured Light continues the story of Skye and the two angels, who are (of course) both in love with her, and Skye finds that she not only has to make a choice between the two of them but rather a much bigger choice of whether to ally herself with the Order or the Rebellion. I just finished this one the other day and while it had a bit of a slow start, it redeemed itself in the end.

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

This is the first book in The Steampunk Chronicles, which takes place in 19th century England and is about a girl named Finley who has a darker side that gives her special abilities such as being able to knock out a fully grown man with just her fist. This book was highly recommended to me and I must say I was absolutely hooked by the second page. I’m about halfway through this now and can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

 

 

 

 

The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

I actually received a copy of this ebook free from the author through a Read for Review on Goodreads. This is the first book in a dystopian series about people who moved underground after most life on Earth above ground was destroyed. It follows a girl named Adele, who was sent to prison because her parents were deemed traitors, and a boy named Tristan, who is the son of the President. They share a strange connection that confuses them both and leads Tristan to go searching for answers. I’m about halfway through this and so far it is very fast paced and exciting!

 

 

 

 

 

Skylark by Meagan Spooner

I’m about to start this one! Skylark is a steampunk-y dystopian about a city that harvests its children’s magical energy once they reach adolescence. Once Lark Ainsley reaches sixteen, it is discovered that she is able to regenerate her power so she has to flee the city to avoid being used for energy over and over. This one definitely sounds interesting and I have heard many good things about it!

 

 

 

 

 

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

I knowwww, everyone and their mother has read this and loved it so how could I possibly have not read it yet?!! It’s been on my TBR for a long time now and since the sequel is due out next year I am finally going to sit myself down and read it. I don’t know too much about this book other than the fact that everyone loves it and it is a dystopian love story, which means I will probably love it too! I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

 

 

 

 

 

Looking for Alaska by John Green

I received this as a birthday gift this year and can’t wait to read it! After reading A Fault in Our Stars, which was absolutely fabulous (if you haven’t read it, READ IT), I decided that I definitely had to read more John Green. This book is about a boy who goes to boarding school and meets a girl who changes his world. I just hope it doesn’t make me cry the waterfall of tears that I cried after reading A Fault in Our Stars.

 

 

 

 

 

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I wasn’t a big fan of the Shiver series, but I have heard REALLY good things about this book, which is also the first in a series. This is paranormal/supernatural story about a girl named Blue and four boys from a private school that cross her path and bring her into their strange world. I’m definitely intrigued!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angelfall by Susan Ee

I got this book super cheap at Barnes and Noble! It takes place after the apocalypse and is about a girl named Penryn who makes a deal with an enemy angel to help her rescue her sister, who was taken by warrior angels. I’ve heard good things about this and am interested to read a story about an apocalypse that was caused by angels.

 

 

 

 

 

So obviously I’ve got a lot of reading to do! I am super excited for all of these and will hopefully have some reviews up soon!