A bit conflicted about this one. I pretty much knew what I was getting into with it, but a lot of people had given it glowing reviews, so maybe my expectations were a little too high this time around. And don’t get me wrong, it was a good book. Competently written. Good characters with actual brains in their heads. A pretty interesting sci-fi mystery. A romance.
But something kept me back from fully immersing myself in the story. Something about it just didn’t *connect* with me.
First of all, think Titanic in space. Extremely rich high class girl, hard-working low class guy, both ridiculously good looking. They are on board the most expensive luxury spaceliner ever built, the Icarus. Lilac’s father owns the company that built it. He is the richest man in the galaxy. Of course it’s going down, and Lilac and Tarver are the only survivors. Stranded on a mysterious planet with no signs of rescue being on the way, the book traces their emotional and physical journey to survive. And yes, fall in love.
And like I said, all of this was done very competently. Both Tarver’s and Lilac’s emotional arcs were carefully built, the mystery of the planet and the realities of surviving a crash like this are realistically portrayed. All of it was surrounded by a creative framing device (excerpts of Tarver being interrogated post-rescue precede every chapter). And there were even several moments where the narrative genuinely surprised me.
Honestly, it was good, and it’s kind of bothering me why I didn’t end up sinking into it and loving it. I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t connect with the central romance. I think if you can do that, this book would eat your face until you finished it. But for whatever reason, I didn’t swoon, not even once, over Lilac and Tarver.
I will be reading the second two books in the series, though, because I like that Kaufman and Spooner are writing companion novels in their series, rather than stretching out one story over three books like most YA authors do. I also think I might have just been in a weird place while reading this, and there’s every chance I will really like the other two books. I did like this one, after all. I just like loving books, is all. Loving books is the best.