There’s a story behind this book, but don’t worry. It has a happy ending.
When I read it, I loved it. It was clever and interesting. I liked the world and I liked the characters. And then I got to The Thing. And I didn’t know what I thought anymore. I thought it was handled very well for what it was, very authentic emotions and didn’t gloss over anything or pretend it wasn’t what it was. But I was still left extremely unsettled. Part of that was due to how well The Thing was handled – I was supposed to be unsettled. But part of it was also due to a question I didn’t know. So, I was left unsure what I thought of the book after all.
A year later, This Shattered World came out and These Broken Stars was released in paperback. It’s got a gorgeous cover and I did like a lot of it, so I put the paperback on my Christmas list, still not sure if I’d reread it or not. And I wasn’t terribly excited for the second book.
Then I found out Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman were doing an event at a library in my area. And I kind of wanted to go but that lingering unsettled question didn’t have me thrilled about it. I decided if I got the paperback for Christmas, I’d go to the event.
And my mom bought it for me (thanks, Mom!). So, I went. They asked as things were getting started who’d read the first book and not everyone had so we weren’t allowed to ask questions about The Thing. So, I had to come up with a different question. They told some fun stories and it was a good time. I asked at what point they knew it was going to be a trilogy and they answered (with the whole story of how it unraveled) after the first draft of the first book but before it was published. They also said we could ask questions about The Thing when they were signing since not everyone would over hear.
When it was my turn, I finally got to ask the question that had been bothering me since The Thing happened.
And they had the best answer. “Yes,” Meagan Spooner said. “That’s exactly the right question. Wait for Their Fractured Light.” Suddenly, I loved These Broken Stars again. Because even though I didn’t have my answer in that book, it was an issue and it was a question and I felt so much better knowing it was going to be part of the larger story.
These Broken Stars is the only paperback in my signed book collection. Sometimes I think of getting the hardback because the cover is so shiny and pretty and the colors are more vibrant than the paperback. But this paperback means something. It was a gift from my Mom and it is this story of narrative doubts and restoration and it is this experience with these stories and these authors and… yeah, it’s a paperback story.