These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
Lilac LaRoux, daughter of the richest man in the universe, and Tarver Merendsen, a lowly soldier, would not ordinarily socialize. But, after their luxury spaceliner crashes on an unknown planet, Lilac and Tarver must work together to survive. Told in alternating narration, the readers are allowed to see how Lilac and Tarver must adapt to their situation. Both are complex yet relatable characters. These Broken Stars is a beautifully written sci-fi love story.
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
After a virus causes a worldwide collapse, some of the survivors form a traveling symphony and theater troupe. Moving between small settlements in middle-America, these musicians and actors make their living bringing some semblance of culture to a dystopian world because as their motto states “Survival is Insufficient.” Weaving the pre and post-virus stories of several different characters together, Ms. Mandel creates an unnerving and fraught world. Usually, Dori and I have similar thoughts on the books we read, but Station Eleven was an anomaly. It left Dori a little uneasy and frustrated but she admitted it was compelling. She found the plot and world lacking in details and also wanted a clearer philosophy tying the book together whereas I found the open-ended tone to be refreshing. I liked the character development and how the seemingly different characters’ stories connected. Both of us did agree that Ms. Mandel’s writing had a darkly lyrical quality which made for some beautiful prose. I recommend Station Eleven for its haunting yet hopeful look a post-apocalyptic culture.