Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Mini reviews: These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner and The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
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. 



22 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you didn't like TBS, I completely loved that one. I guess it's not for everyone, though. I haven't read The Promise of Amazing but I don't think I'm going to, mostly because it doesn't seem like I'll be able to like the characters. In fact, your review reminds me a little of The Infinite Moment of Us, which fell short for me.
    Hope your next reads aren't disappointing! And I love the honesty in your reviews :)

    Richa @ City of Books

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    1. I actually didn't end up liking The Infinite Moment of Us either Richa, and I remember having real high hopes for that book too! And thank you! :)

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  2. Aww, it's a shame you didn't enjoy These Broken Stars. I was so sucked into the story that I was able to forgive some of the other flaws, so I'm sorry it didn't work out that way for you, Jasprit. The Promise of Everything is a book I doubt I'll enjoy as it's contemporary and insta-love. I hope your next reads are far more satisfying, dear, but lovely mini-reviews!

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  3. I'm actually glad to see a few fair to middling reviews for THESE BROKEN STARS because I've seen pretty much nothing but positive ones. It's good to see a bit of balance, if only to temper my excitement going in. I haven't read THE PROMISE OF EVERYTHING yet though, and despite a 3-star review, I'm really excited to read it :)

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    1. I really hopes The Promise of Amazing works out for you more than it did for me, it really is cute in parts, so hopefully that will work for you! :)

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  4. I definitely understand -- it's so frustrating when everyone else loved the book and it just doesn't work for you (The Dream Thieves was my most recent). While I highly enjoyed These Broken Stars, I can understand why Lilac didn't work so well for you. And why weren't they staging an all-out search for her Most Importantness? I wondered that, too.

    Haven't yet read the second one and probably won't, especially with the threat of insta-love and a lukewarm MC.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear this about both books. I have read These Broken Stars and I understand your feelings but that romance was so well developed that I enjoyed this book and maybe overlooked some problems. For the Promise of Amazing I think I had different expectations so I probably won't read it. Great reviews, Jasprit :)

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  6. I haven't found many, or any, positive reviews of TPoA and that's sad bc it does sound good.
    I love the comparison of TBS to Titanic!
    Lovely reviews, Jasprit!

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  7. Oh, I'm sorry to hear you didn't love TBS that much, Jasprit--I've heard a few other people say they were thrown by how slow the pace was, so I can definitely see how that might affect enjoyment.

    Kate just reviewed TPOA and disliked it even more than you did, it seems. A shame.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  8. Awwww I'm sorry These Broken Stars didn't work quite as well for you Jasprit, I know you mentioned that yesterday in your comment. I'm glad you loved Tarver at least, he was a highlight for me as well, I didn't have to warm to him as I did to Lilac, I just loved him from the beginning:)

    I think I'm going to pass on The Promise of Amazing. Nothing bothers me more than when characters don't communicate and drama results, so the fact that Grayson isn't honest with Wren would be problematic for me. I do love the name Grayson though:)

    Thanks for the mini reviews!!!!

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    1. Grayson definitely is an awesome name Jenny! :)

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  9. Aw. I love your reviews. <3 Yay for three stars to These Broken Stars :D Hih, I rated it that too. Just didn't love it :\ Sigh. I downloaded The Promise of Amazing ages ago via Edelweiss. Don't really know anything about it. But now, reading your spoilers, I am NOT excited about it :( Sad sad face. Sound like an awful book. Well, at least awful for me :\ Sigh. But I'm glad you kind of enjoyed it, still :) Thank you for sharing your amazing reviews. <3

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  10. Awesome reviews hun!!! I think I'm gonna give TBS a chance, it sounds promising, although it's too bad Lilac hadn't been a better character from the start!

    As for The Promise of Amazing, idk if I'm gonna give that one a shot, have heard too many mixed reviews on it, and while I don't mind insta-love, I still want it to seem somewhat believable! Great reviews hun! (:

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  11. Hmmm.. me and slow paced novels don't get along. Lovely to see a difference of opinion on These Broken Stars though! I've heard nothing but gushing but it's nice to have a different perspective. Not sure if this book is for me (I personally thought it was going to be a case of cover fraud because that cover is amazing) but I might have to check it out someday just to see. Thank you for the honest review!

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  12. Aw, I'm sorry These Broken Stars didn't work out as well as you'd hoped, Jasprit! I totally know what you mean though - if it takes me a long time to warm up to the characters, then it's tough going. And welcome to my unpopular opinion that a YA book can be better with LESS focus on romance (though I tend to think like that all the time haha. It sounds like there were a few good aspects that you enjoyed, at least.
    The Promise of Amazing sounds interesting, but I'm not sure it's my type of book.
    I do hope your reads since these two have been more enjoyable, Jasprit!

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    1. Ha this is happening with me a lot lately! which is really strange, but certain romantic books just don't work for me anymore :( And thank you, I have a had some better reads since these two.

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  13. Sorry these books didn't work for you! But I'm glad you liked Tarver at least. MMMMmmm. I DNF'd THE PROMISE OF AMAZING early on, and all reviews are telling me I made a good decision in the end. I can usually overlook insta-love if it their relationship makes sense later on, but their instant attraction was so strange.

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  14. I loved These Broken Stars, sure Lilac was annoying but I grew to like her. I loved the creativity of it and I was totally not expecting that. I am not going to read my ARC of The Promise of Amazing. I have not read when great review of it. Everyone is underwhelemed so I am not going to waste my time.

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  15. Man, I'm sorry these didn't work out for you! I really liked TBS, but I can see why you didn't enjoy it as much. And I DEFINITELY can see why you didn't like TPoA because man, I would probably DNF it. Great reviews :) Hope you get to read better books!

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  16. Such a shame that These Broken Stars wasn't for you Jasprit! I'm really looking forward to reading that one soon. The Promise of Amazing sounds really cute but I've only seen a lot of okay reviews for it which is disappointing. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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  17. And this is exactly why I didn't continue with These Broken Stars. I knew it was going to be a meh book for me and I really wasn't in the mood to read one of those. From the first page I had a strong disliking towards Lilac and even Tarver's amazing personality couldn't save Lilac's harshness. Plus, I wasn't a fan of the sci-fi world. I feel like it's also the same reason I didn't enjoy Across The Universe. Eh. As for The Promise of Amazing, I don't even want to read that book anymore I can handle insta love but I hate when the character's, especially couples, aren't honest with each other. Why?
    Well, I hope your next book isn't a 3 star. Thanks for sharing :)

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  18. fab review, jasprit. i got a real feel of the books and you wrote about them son well (not easy to do for books that you feel a bit mediocre about)

    i thought i would love these broken stars for sure (after so many awesome reviews -- at least i thought i would enjoy it in a guilty pleasure kind of way) but i didnt end up finishing it. it felt to wooden and formulaic for me.

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