These Broken Stars — Book Review


The Deets

author: Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

released: December 10, 2013

format: e-book, hardcover, audiobook

pages: 384 pages

publisher: Disney-Hyperion

read: July 26-27, 2013

acquired: Netgalley

book pages:  •  •  Author’s Website    •  Author’s Website

book type: YA, NA, science fiction, fantasy, aliens, survivalist

The Down-low

It’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.

Then, against all odds, Lilac and Tarver find a strange blessing in the tragedy that has thrown them into each other’s arms. Without the hope of a future together in their own world, they begin to wonder—would they be better off staying here forever?

Everything changes when they uncover the truth behind the chilling whispers that haunt their every step. Lilac and Tarver may find a way off this planet. But they won’t be the same people who landed on it.

The first in a sweeping science fiction trilogy, These Broken Stars is a timeless love story about hope and survival in the face of unthinkable odds. (From

Why You Should Buy It

This Titantic meets Shades of Earth is a combination of all things to love in YA.  A blend of old world and future, it will leave readers spellbound.  The book is smart, mysterious, and will make a sci-fi fan out of anyone who happens across it.   If you’re looking for the next big thing, pick up These Broken Stars — you won’t regret it.

My Thoughts

*I received this e-book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley.*

Let’s all just take a moment to stare at the gorgeousness that is that cover. Seriously!  The first time I saw it, I had no idea what the book was about, but I knew I had to read it.  So of course finding out it is basically my favorite kind of book was just icing on the cake.  The beautiful stars, the way that PERFECT green dress just billows out into space, and two people reaching desperately for one another.  ❤

I’ve also got to take a moment to thank Disney-Hyperion for so graciously providing the ARC.  This is probably the most excited I’ve been about receiving a book on Netgalley.  I may or may not have done an embarrassing happy dance in public.  (And by may or may not I mean I definitely did.)  Of course, the entire time I was reading, I kept having to go back and just stare at the beautiful cover. Le sigh.

So, as you may have heard this book is like Titanic in space.  And we all know what happens to the unsinkable ship.  Except in this case, the unsinkable ship is a ship pulled out of hyperspace.  Thanks to some quick thinking of Tarver and Lilac’s ingenuity, the two are able to make it to a pod and crash land on a nearby planet.  They come to find they are the lucky ones on board this ship of 50,000.

Lilac and Tarver are from two different worlds.  She is the daughter of the richest man in the world, a man who doesn’t want any guys near his daughter.  So of course, after a chance meeting where they are definitely sparks, Lilac must pretend she couldn’t care less about Tarver’s attention.  They get into a few skirmishes that of course leaves them at odds and provides tension for most of the book.  I swear, if people communicated, 75% of the books I read wouldn’t exist.  But we humans just love to not communicate our true feelings and we LOVE to assume what other people think and feel.

I felt like this book picked up where Beth Revis’ Shades of Earth ended.  Here we have this uninhabited planet that is fully able to sustain life.  With of course weird creatures and things that go bump in the night.  I have to admit there were times I was seriously creeped out and had to hide under the covers.  We know there is something there, but we have no idea what and Kaufman and Spooner do a fabulous job of giving the reader just enough to be intrigued and frightened at the same time.

For me this book was just perfection.  It was everything I love in a book: space, new worlds, a bit of mystery, beautiful descriptions, and a really great love story.   The world Kaufman and Spooner builds is absolutely incredible, and so realistic I could see everything as Lilac and Tarver were living it (and I’m NOT a visual person at all!)  And the twist, the big reveal, was really just brilliant.  It is so smart, so subtle that you don’t see the plot set out in front of you until you are right up on the events.

The book made me smile, laugh, cry, and REALLY cry.  I broke down for awhile.  It took up all my attention and I really just didn’t want it to end.  At one point, I woke up from a dead sleep, because I just had to know what happened next.  Few books have sucked me into the story the way this one did.

There are books that we all love to talk about to everyone we meet.  For me, one of those books is These Broken Stars.  I am recommending it to anyone and everyone and I know it is going to be a major hit – which is why I’m so thrilled and honored to be in on the ground floor.  I said it when I finished reading and I truly mean it: This book is my absolute favorite of the year and is now in my top ten favorites of all time.  So, I’m serious when I say, you’ve GOT to get this book!




Book Blitz & GIVEAWAY — Visted by Janine Caldwell


Visited Amazon GR SW

Visited by Janine Caldwell 
Publication date: May 25th 2013
Genre: YA coming-of-age fantasy


Seventeen-year-old Joanna Murphy has lost faith in her life. Vying for her mom’s attention, she’s resentful of her stepdad’s intrusion to their family. Her best friend, Tommy, has no clue she’s in love with him as he dates girl after girl without noticing how it tortures her. The final kicker, though, is God’s sick joke to make her freakishly tall when everyone knows boys prefer petite girls.

Then in a bizarre accident Joanna meets James, a breathtaking teen who appears to her after an unusual falling star sighting. Suddenly, her dream for an alien encounter becomes all too real. But when she finds her life has been made unrecognizable, she’s forced into an explosive study of the original design for her life that just may have her regretting every wish she ever made.

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About the Author

Jan 08-Mars08 023 (1)Janine Caldwell was born in Concord, CA and raised in the small San Francisco Bay Area town of Clayton. Four days after her high school graduation, Janine attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and graduated with a degree in English.

Janine now lives in Anthem, AZ with her husband and two sons. As a lifelong literature fanatic, she knew it was only a matter of time before she would become obsessed with writing her own work. With relatives like the Brothers Grimm and Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), she figured fantasy writing had to be in her DNA.

Books published by Janine include Visited, a YA coming-of-age fantasy, Rematch and Double Fault—the first two books of The Vortex Series. The final book in this YA fantasy romance, Deuce, will be released fall 2013.

Connect with Janine

Inside the Author’s Head

Are your characters based on anyone you know?

There are elements of friends of mine, famous musicians (Brandon Boyd and Dave Grohl for example), students I’ve known over the years in my time as a youth group leader, and a little of myself in all the characters. In the end, though, each character becomes their own person by the time I’m done writing the story.

Do you have a favorite place you love to write?

I’m the most productive in my office at home, butt in chair, and complete quiet in the house.

Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they?

My best advice is to continue reading as much as possible, and not just the genre they write in, but in all genres. Don’t let too long a stretch of time unfold without doing some sort of writing while you’re plotting your masterpiece in your head.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I have to admit, I just don’t remember. Is that terrible? Besides being a track star, I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Glad to have finally figured it out. Remember, late bloomer here.

What are your favorite books and which authors inspire you?

Oh, so many to list! J.K. Rowling is a goddess. Her genius still gets to me. What she and Stephenie Meyer accomplished is absolutely stunning. Both their series will forever remain in my top favorites. Other YA books I love are The Hunger Games series (of course!), Divergent series, Matched series, Uglies series, Under the Never Sky series, The Selection series, and The Giver series. Classically speaking I have to go with J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Charlette Bronte’s Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, Charles Dickens’s The Tale of Two Cities, and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.


I gape up at him, the fear beginning to course through my veins. “Who are you?”

“A friend.” He answers in an even enough tone, but at the same time, his face begins to glow the color of amber, making him look warm and unusually vibrant. I’ve never known any being able to radiate such a glow. Any being from Earth, that is.

“A friend?” I manage to whisper back before swallowing a gulp. “Are-are you human?” I’m half kidding, but after years of watching realistic science fiction movies and reading a library of fantasy novels, I think I mean the question more than I want to admit. However, he doesn’t answer me. He averts his eyes, blinking rapidly like he’s unsure of the situation.

Again, I’m at a loss of what to think. I thought I asked a pretty straightforward question and he can’t even answer that. By his omission, I have to assume he’s trying to tell me he isn’t human!

Is this really happening? And, more importantly, if he’s not human, then what is he?

My brain pores through a dozen images at once, my chest heaving from the excitement. I flash to movies, T.V. shows, graphic novels, and to my own imagination as I consider what life form James could be. While I try to convince myself I’m jumping to conclusions, that of course this is all a misunderstanding or perhaps an elaborate hoax, something else itches in the back of my mind. That something whispers: Haven’t you always considered the existence of other worlds? Discussed the possibility a hundred times with Tommy?

The answer to both questions is an emphatic yes. I decide right then, despite all reason, I know what James is.

“I think I know what you are,” I remark feebly.

He turns to me with a spark of expectation in his eyes, still glowing, still warm.

“You came to Earth with that star last night, didn’t you?”

Blood rushes to his cheeks, giving him an even brighter supernatural glow, and then I know I have my answer.

“That’s it, isn’t it?” I sit upright, gripping the sheet into my fists. “You’re from another planet. That’s how you have the power to heal.”

He pales for a second, but amazingly, he doesn’t deny it. He flickers his lashes upward like he’s searching the ceiling for his reply. After a moment, he shakes his head of soft curls that brush his neck before redirecting his intense expression back on me. He licks his lips and smiles pensively, but I feel the same need as before to shy away; whether it’s from shock or from a loss of focus I don’t know, but holding his gaze is next to impossible.

My mind is all aflutter trying to come to grips with what I’m being confronted to believe.

“Incredible. I was right all along,” I murmur, commenting to myself. “Aliens do exist.”


Now comes the fun part!  Today’s giveaway is for a copy of Visted, thanks to the author and Xpresso Book Tours.  Please be sure to complete each item on the list BEFORE you click it, as they will be checked prior to giving out the prizes.  Good luck!

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This contest will be open June 22 through July 8 (12 a.m. eastern time).  There is no purchase necessary and the contest is void where prohibited.  Open to & US/Int!  

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