Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication date: December 10th 2013.
My rating: 3 stars
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.
These Broken Stars was another case of it’s me not you sort of book, which I’m really gutted about, as I’d gone into this book with extremely high hopes. The world created by Kaufman and Spooner is a majestic one, in a lot of ways it reminded me of the film Titanic; lots of passengers on board a spaceship (instead of a ship) on route to an incredible journey. Passengers on this ship were made of your upper class people and your normal soldiers. Again there’s an “invisible divide” between these people, but then a special pull emerges between our two characters Tarver and Lilac. Lilac is the daughter of well established businessman La Roux industries and Tarver is a recently commended soldier. In my eyes it was Jack and Rose all over again. But the disappointing thing was that Lilac wasn’t the sweet, considerate Rose that we knew, the earlier glimpses she gave into her true character in her first meeting with Tarver were quickly scuppered as she realised she had a reputation to hold. In my eyes I quickly came to the realisation that Tarver could do so much better than Lilac. I was mad at why she made the effort with Tarver in the first place, when the person underneath was condescending and had derision dripping off her.
Tarver was one of the sweetest guys and honestly if it wasn’t for him, I don’t think I would have enjoyed this book as much. When Lilac and him ended up stuck together, he took everything in his stride; he was considerate of Lilac even though all she did was chuck everything back in his face. I appreciated that he quickly learned to deal with Lilac’s outbursts with his dry and snarky sense of humour. Lilac did grow into her own character and I did appreciate the changes and sacrifices she was willing to make. You probably know that as any other person I enjoy a good romance, I knew which way things would go between Tarver and Lilac, but for once I actually wanted more focus on the other things going on around them; making sense of why they crashed, why it was taking so long to come and rescue them when Lilac La Roux was such an important person. I didn’t mind the sweet scenes between Tarver and Lilac, but maybe would have appreciated less focus on it *gasp*
There have been many praising reviews for These Broken Stars and I know several of my blogging friends have loved this book. For me what had started as a steady interesting read ended up being a hard slog and I don’t like my reads being like this. These Broken Stars has a truly beautiful world and a lot of potential to offer, I’m thinking that if I had started off on a different footing with one of the characters, then maybe I would have appreciated this book a bit more.
The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication date: December 31st 2013.
My rating: 3 stars
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who's always done what she's supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how. Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how. One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love
The Promise of Amazing really gave me high hopes that it would deliver something amazing. It had a pretty cute cover, but also the premise to this sounded fantastic! I was hoping it would be the perfect autumn/winter book that I could snuggle with whilst drinking my praline mocha. But alas this wasn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong there were several adorable moments between our characters Grayson and Wren which I appreciated. But I was kind of left wanting more.
For me the attraction between Grayson and Wren was insta love, normally I can overlook this aspect if I’m able to find some redeeming qualities in our characters. But with our characters truly acting like love sick puppies so very early on, it was hard to find their infatuation with each other truly believable. Wren was a decent character; I actually liked reading from her perspective, but you could say my feelings for her were luke-warm. She made it a hard time to root for her when she was always unsure about what she wanted; one minute she wanted Grayson, and the next she didn’t, then she was back to being in love with him, but then was having feelings for somebody else. These ‘other feelings’ that she was experiencing for someone else I actually found more believable than I did about her feelings towards Grayson. I actually wouldn’t have minded exploring this possible route (highlight to view spoiler)it seemed that Luke was a changed person too when around Wren, and despite everything that he did I at times did feel quite sorry for him.
Whereas with Grayson I was expecting so much, but he ended disappointing me in so many ways. I know he believed he had his back against the wall, but if he cared about Wren so much, wouldn’t it be best to be honest with her? His love for her was always apparent, but he was a bit clueless about how he went around showing it (highlight to view spoiler) giving her a stolen necklace and flirting with another girl and then lying about it afterwards to me he really didn’t deserve Wren. Another thing which let me down was this massive thing that Grayson couldn’t deal with and which made him into this character that I didn’t like. It was resolved way too quickly. (highlight to view spoiler) Luke changed his mind about Amsterdam way too quickly, considering it had been his dream for so long and his sole reason for being hell bent on destroying Grayson and Wren’s relationship . It had me thinking what was exactly the point?
The promise of Amazing unfortunately wasn’t for me, which I am extremely gutted about. I was hoping that the further I read there would eventually be something that would win me over. But I think I just eventually got more annoyed.