These Broken Stars – Buddy Read Discussion


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.


Last month I had the pleasure of buddy reading These Broken Stars with the gorgeous Jen from Nen and Jen – this book sounded like it was exactly my cup of tea. Star-crossed love? A hunky war hero? The promise of angst?


You may have noticed I referred to my potential enjoyment of the book in past tense. I wanted to love this book so badly and while it wasn’t terrible, it definitely wasn’t remotely as exciting as I was hoping.


Let’s start with the positives though, here are the things Jen and I enjoyed:

  • Tarver was an actual gem. He tolerated Lilac stubbornly limping through a foreign planet in a ball gown and high heels with grace. I also loved how unapologetically confident he was – I was expecting a really shy, ‘I am not worthy of your time’ character so I think Jen and I were both pleasantly surprised by how upfront he was with his feelings and how he was never ashamed of his lower class background
  • Lilac also went through some decent character development – she started off purposely acting the part of the spoiled, rich brat but she turns out to be a lot smarter than she initially lets on (and she eventually forgoes the ridiculous dress she’s wearing on the cover, thank goodness)
  • For fans of Illuminae, you’ll appreciate the transcripts at the beginning of each chapter – seemingly from an interrogation Tarver is subjected to in the future. It definitely helps build the suspense (unfortunately it’s pretty much the only thing building suspense in this book)


Now for the tea…


  • The crash that’s mentioned in the synopsis happens very early in the book, so I was expecting maximum action. But…but then almost nothing happens for about 200 pages. It’s just scene after scene of Tarver and Lilac trekking across this barren planet with a few ‘fighting for survival’ moments that were too brief to be truly satisfying
  • And the dialogue between the two main characters was drier than the Sahara desert. Seriously. I’ve had more stimulating conversations with my cat. I didn’t feel the chemistry between Tarver and Lilac at all – and it didn’t seem like they were either, because they were still referring to each other by their formal names – i.e. ‘Major Merendsen’ and ‘Miss LaRoux’ halfway through the book, and not even ironically, either
  • I usually love a book with multiple POVs but I felt that sometimes, the switching happened too fast and didn’t really contribute anything to the plot development so that we’d end up having a few pages of Lilac whining about the taste of ration bars and then switch to Tarver again. One of my biggest pet peeves are filler scenes – a few here and there are fine but when large chunks of the book are full of content that serve no purpose…


  • All of the action was squished into the last 70-100 pages of the book and the resolution happened way too quickly for my liking. Jen and I both agreed that there were political elements that should have been explored further and were brushed off, and the conflict between Lilac and her father was so easily handled after the BIGGEST buildup that it was almost laughable.



I know These Broken Stars and the Starbound trilogy are VERY popular, so if you’ve read this book or have heard anything about it, I’d be really interested to hear your opinions!

Once again, thank you to the lovely Jen for buddy reading this book with me – I had the best time (and it was also one of the most chill buddy reads I’ve ever done, so thank you!)

With Love,


27 thoughts on “These Broken Stars – Buddy Read Discussion

  1. Why do authors think walking through the desert is compelling?? It’s NOT. I tried to read this a few years ago and I didn’t get too far. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on much! Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RIGHT?! To be fair, the desert was only *one* of the terrains they trekked through, there was also a forest & snow 😂 But alas, the change of scenery wasn’t enough to beef up the plot 😂

      Oh you definitely didn’t miss out on anything!!

      Thanks for reading, Lauren! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “the dialogue between the two main characters was drier than the Sahara desert.” DAMN, Nish! 🤣🤣 You are merciless! 🤣🤣 BUT I TOTALLY GET YOUU! And about that multiple POV!? It’s really interesting when done right but sadly not many writers can pull it off as well as G R R Martin now, can they?

    I am so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one as much as you’d hoped and it’s such a shame too because THAT COVER IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS! 😍😍😍❤️❤️


    Liked by 1 person

    1. RIGGGGHT?! if you’re gonna do multiple POVs, please do it properly! I’ve read books where I’ve skipped entire chapters cos one POV was more interesting than the others 😛

      I KNOW RIGHT, THE COVER IS SO STUNNING! And the rest of the trilogy is like that as well – all the covers are GORGEOUS! Unfortunately I have no desire to continue…😂



      Liked by 1 person

      1. SAAAAMEEEEE!! 🤣🤣🤣 I do that too because some characters’ voice and thought process just resonates with me more!

        ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I LOOVE YOUR BLOG, hon! No chance I am going to let your posts go by without commenting on them! (I may be a bit late sometimes but rest assured I WILL BE THERE!! 😘😘❤️)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve summed this up perfectly Ngoc!! I’m glad we had such a chilled buddy read and pretty much agreed on the book’s strengths and weaknesses. That ending though… after such a long dry spell in the middle of the book you’d think they would have given us a bit more to end with! Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss it was so much fun!! I’m also so glad we finally knocked this book off our TBRs 😛 I know right! I felt kinda cheated by the ending tbh 😂 Thanks again for buddy reading this with me!


      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry you didn’t love These broken Stars. I can see why though – it is a very character driven, slow burn survival story. I low key loved it but I knew exactly what I signed up for. I have to admit though, I love reading your savagely salty reviews! GIRL YOU SHOW NO MERCY! 😂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha yeah I guess cos everything happened so fast at the beginning I expected it to keep that pace for the rest of the book 😂 I usually LOVE character driven stories but I think I just didn’t really connect with either of the 2 main characters so therein lies the problem 😭

      HAHAHA I exist to entertain you 😛 (and I *can* write nice reviews, I promise! 😂)

      💛 Your saltmate

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Nice reviews??? You sure about that, Ngoc??? 😂 😉

        That’s so true about the start though! I was 100% on-board [get it???] with the whole Titanic-in-space-thing and I was mildly disappointed when it was all over so soon. Give me the disaster movie vibes! Give me the panic and anxiety! Seriously, I could read a whole book about trying to survive a plummeting space ship.

        ❤ Your saltmate

        Liked by 1 person

      2. HAHAHA hey! I’ll have you know I wrote a STELLAR review for Strange the Dreamer & it didn’t do nearly as well as my salty reviews 😂 I’m just giving the people what they want 🤷🏻‍♀️

        HAHAHA I see what you did there!! Yeah, I actually would’ve loved to have more scenes in the ship. I think if I’d gotten to know the characters better, I would’ve cared about them more after the crash happened 😅 YESSSSS ALL THE PANIC & ANGST & ANXIETY!!! That’s what I was hoping for!!

        Thanks again for your A+++ comment hahaha, you always make me laugh! 😂

        💛 Your saltmate

        Liked by 1 person

      3. True that! But, answer me this – why is it that our STELLAR reviews never do as good as our rambly/salty ones??? Like WHAT??? Freaking story of my life. 😂

        But seriously – who do we gotta pay to get this panic-y, angst-y book??? Actually, can somebody just give me a Titanic book already??? Please??? I love me some Jack and Rose!

        ❤ Your saltmate


  5. Great post, Ngoc! What had the power to change your life lately? I must say that reading changed my life, especially self help books…


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