Thursday, 19 February 2015

2 Mini Reviews: These Broken Stars & Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

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.

I read both these books last summer so it's been a while but they've always stood out in my memory as amazing so I thought it's time I review them as I still need to finish the book I'm reading right now!
Cover: Isn't it absolutely gorgeous?

Stars + Two star-crossed lovers trying to hold on to each other + a beautiful silky dress with a seemingly endless train = 

Luckily, the beauty of the story matches the beauty of the cover!

Characters:  Such richly built characters!
  Lilac LaRoux: Tarver goes from rags to riches in terms of status (but not wealth) before the beginning of the book but with Lilac I would also say she goes from rags to riches in terms of strength of character;) 
This is our introduction to Lilac through Tarver's eyes:
What I liked most about her: 

  • She begins as a character with so much potential-  she just wants to escape her life because she wants to love who she wants, talk to who she wants and have some privacy (similar to the problems of a celebrity;)).
  • All these small moments of connecting with her finally create this feeling of understanding the true Lilac
  • She redefines herself: initially she reduced herself to heir to the LaRoux empire or the media's darling but later she is finally free to define herself by her own abilities, feelings and inner strength.
There's just one tiny problem...: Sometimes she annoyed me because she basically scowls and complains for half the book (but we see her motivation in her perspective and she remains a sympathetic character through it all!) and I didn't understand why she had to constantly make herself dislike Tarver so much!

Tarver Merendsen:  

We start of with his perspective (there are alternating perspectives which is carried out flawlessly! We even get little glimpses into the future through an interview that starts off every chapter) and he drew me into the story with his deliciously snarky words and quietly beautiful opinions.

What I liked most about him: 
  • He's a book lover! Yay!
  • He's so sarcastic! I swear his words drip with sarcasm sometimes and I catch myself with a little smirk on my face while reading them:)
  • He's truly humble. He attributes his success to external factors rather than to his own hard work.
  • He's a fighter- but he fights from the heart and with compassion, bravery, resourcefulness and intelligence as his sword.
There's so much that we learn about Tarver! He has so many cracks on his heart that I loved him even more for how brave he was throughout the whole thing. I love him!

Lyrics of Enchanted by Taylor Swift
This part reminds me so much of when Lilac and Tarver first meet
If you like hate to love romances then this is one for you because at first there is so much awkward and forced animosity between them which eventually grows into something a lot more lovely and sweet.
Their characters complemented each other really well because they were strong as individuals but brought out the best in each other and were able to deal with a lot of issues/problems, that had always plagued them, together.
I do wish that we saw their love grow from shy but passionate love into intense and "I would die for you" love a bit more slowly but that's a small complaint:)

Plot: This book is perfect way to get into sci-fi YA! I never felt lost or like a fish out of water while journeying through its twists and turns because the descriptions painted a clear and vivid world (some of the most mesmerising and flowing descriptions of setting I've ever read). The survival aspect of this book was interlaced with emotional growth of the characters and let us see how truly scared they were (because who wouldn't be scared if they're isolated on an unknown land and their home just crashed and burned?) and so I enjoyed it! It didn't just stick to the usual path of purely methodical survival because they were interacting with a whole new world.
There are two major twists and I personally adored both of them because I did not see either coming! One of them really spotlights character development while the other is one that should make a sci-fi lover proud because it explains everything through this fantastical world and its creatures.
Writing: One word: Spellbinding!

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
This book made me feel so much! It's not just a light and purely fluffy read and yet it's so sweet and cuddly!
Me after reading this:

This is the kind of book you just want to hug after reading it because it's sugary sweet but packs an emotional punch!
Amy is a character who you can't help but root for the whole way through:) She is dealing with a lot because her dad recently passed away and she feels guilty. She feels heartbroken. She feels lost.

All she wants to do is recapture who she used to be before the car accident ruined her life- but she can't. To make it worse, she feels alone. Her mom never seems to be there and her twin brother (younger by 3 minutes) is off in rehab after his father's death lead to him abusing drugs out of sorrow.

Her mom decided that they would all move to Connecticut to get away from all the memories that haunted them. She went on this road trip to reach Connecticut for a fresh start but instead found one during her road trip with Roger- because of Roger.
I love Roger! He's a guy with a golden heart. He's so wonderful it's like he's made of rainbows;)
Pretty on the outside and inside!
Their relationship is so real! The slow journey from awkward strangers with shy smiles to friends who can play Twenty Questions and write haikus together and take spontaneous detours to see bears in Yosemite and eat cheesesteak and wear giant socks 'borrowed' from Walmart to run and slide on the gleaming floors of an empty Walmart and eat way too much fast food (so much fun randomness they get up to!) to two people who realize that a simple hug from the other means more than the world sometimes. And the moment they finally realize how right they are for each other had me cheering, swooning and smiling;)

Normally when two characters meet for the first time in books there are barely any awkward silences; in fact, they are more than witty from the first "hello," but not in this lovely book. Every relationship in this book was crafted with a delicate and skilled hand! We meet a whole variety of characters from Bronwyn: the weirdly wise and friendly fashionista, Leonard: the sweet video-game addict with a cool 'Call Me Kevin' t-shirt to Hadley: the girl Roger can't let go of.

Both Amy and Roger have quests of their own. I don't want to go too into detail but just know the way they're there for each other is magic (real magic which we can all find:)). There's this scene which just made me stop for a second and appreciate what an impact someone can have on your life!

Another thing that I loved about this book was that we get to go on the road trip with them too because there are scrapbook pages, restaurant receipts, playlists and little sketches scattered like delightful treats all over this book!

So my reviews weren't as mini as I thought they would be...;)

Both books, of course, get a...

Thanks for reading!


  1. I haven't read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour yet, but I LOVED These Broken Stars as you did Maya! SO GOOD! Yes, Lilac was tricky there in the beginning with a lot of spoiled rich girl coming through, but she won me over eventually and her and Tarver together made me extremely happy. Can't wait to see what you think of This Shattered World!

    1. Completely agree:) - I LOVED These Broken Stars! Lilac needed the character development and I'm so happy she became such an admirable character who won our hearts;) Them together was even better:D They should have a ship name (Liler? Tarac?:P)!
      I can't wait to read This Shattered World! I didn't know it would be different characters but I understand their decision to do that (the world has the potential to tell countless stories):)
      I hope you enjoy Amy and Roger's Epic Detour if you pick it up:D
      Thanks so much for stopping by Jenny!!

  2. Yessss I really liked both of these books too! Especially These Broken Stars. TARVER <333 I didn't like Lilac to begin with but she totally grew onto me throughout the read.

    Lovely reviews, Maya <33

    1. Yay!- They are such amazing books!:D OMG Tarver!;) He's so easy to fall in love with<3 At first Lilac frustrated me too but I'm so glad she grows as a character:) I wish I could read these books for the first time again!
      Awww thanks so much Melanie and thank you for the follow!!<33

  3. Great reviews, I absolutely LOVED These Broken Stars and your breakdown reminded me so much of why I loved Lilac and Tarver! I loved the way their romance developed and I agree, it would definitely be a great beginning sci-fi romance. I read Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson and really loved it, I like the way she develops relationships and friendships, so it sounds like I'll enjoy the second book as well!

    1. Thank you! These Broken Stars was definitely beyond wonderful:) I love them too- they work so well as couple! I didn't actually think I'd like this genre so much but this book proved me wrong;) I still have to read Since You've Been Gone but now I'm really excited to read it:D I think I'll like it since the way she develops relationships sounds similar! I hope you love Amy and Roger's Epic Detour:)
      Thanks so much for stopping by Jeann!

  4. Okay so you have a Michael Fassbender gif in your post, that is all I really needed to see! ;) I'm really glad that you ended up enjoying Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, I read it so long ago that every time I come across a review now I feel like doing a re-read. Lovely reviews! :)

    1. Haha! Michael Fassbender<3 I need to read Jane Eyre and then see the movie with him as Mr Rochester in it;) Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is the perfect book to reread because it's thought-provoking and fun at the same time:)
      Thanks so much Jasprit! And thanks for stopping by!:)

  5. I've been meaning to read These Broken Stars for a very long time because I have heard great things about it. I actually started reading it over a year ago but for some reason I put it down and never finished it. Judging from your review, I'm definitely going to have to give it another go!

    Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is one that I've heard tons of great things about. I actually heard that it has tons of music in it, which makes me want to pick it up even more because it sounds like that will just add even more to the reading experience. Great reviews, I'm going to have to read both of these! I'm a new follower. :)
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

    1. I kept hearing wonderful things about These Broken Stars too and then finally picked it up! Sometimes we don't like books the first time round;) Awww well I hope you love it Krystianna!:D
      Amy & Roger's Epic Detour has so many music playlists! We really get to know more about the characters through the music they pick and there are also little doodles on the playlists which are adorable;) I think you'll really enjoy that aspect of it:)
      THANK you so much for the follow! Love your blog:D

  6. I liked These Broken Stars, though there was that one thing that happened that really surprised me. I'm still processing....
    Amy and Roger -- I read this a while ago and I really enjoyed it. I love the cover you have up -- not sure if that is a non-US cover or a paperback cover or just a new cover but I really like it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. I think I'm definitely still processing some of the surprises These Broken Stars had in store too;) I could never have predicted them!
      I wish I could read Amy & Roger's for the first time again:) I loved this cover much more than the other one - I think it is a non-US cover and the back of the book is also adorable because it looks like a postcard/letter!
      Thanks for stopping by here too!:)

  7. Omg lovely reviews Maya!! I too loved Amy and Roger's Epic Detour... Amy was such a strong character and I loved reading about her road trip with Roger and their romance. :)

    1. Awww thanks Riya!!<3 Amy and Roger's Detour was such a memorable and lovely read! Amy was definitely a strong, loveable and admirable character:) And Roger...*swoon*;) (Can I have a Roger please?:P) I love romances like theirs- slow, real, moving and sweeter than sweet!
      Thanks for stopping by Riya!:D

  8. Hi Mayaaa, you have such a lovely blog! :3

    I want to read both these books! *-* Amy and Roger's epic detour will soon be published in my country and I already have the book, so that's a perfect excuse to start it.
    These broken stars.. well, I would read it anyway but even if I didn't want to.. I'd buy it for that GORGEOUS cover!!! *drools*

    Come and stop by my blog if you want! Byeeeeee <3

    Frannie @ In Clouds of Pages

    1. Hi Frannie! Awwww thanks!<3
      I hope you adore Amy and Roger's Epic Detour because it's just so cute and moving and *sigh* so perfect!:) Any excuse to start it is perfect!:P
      Exactly!!- the cover of These Broken Stars is BEAUTIFUL! Haha! I think even if I ended up hating the book, I'd still buy it for the gorgeous cover;)
      I can't wait to see what you end up thinking of these two books:)
      I stopped by your blog and it's amazing!:D
      Thanks for coming by Frannie!:D