tl;dr - | ✭✭✭✭✭ | I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. I downloaded it as an audio book from my library, and I ended up becoming so engrossed and in love with this story, its ridiculous. So. Good.
Description - Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen happen to have a chance meeting upon the Icarus - a gigantic spaceliner and living habitat for some of the wealthiest people in the universe. But regardless of Lilac's interest in Tarver, she knows she must drive him away or her father will, so she treats him with contempt. Suddenly, the Icarus is crashing and Lilac and Tarver end up in an ejector pod together, somehow surviving and crash-landing on the strange planet below them. At first, they seem to be alone. Tarver's training as a soldier comes in handy keeping them alive and going in the right direction to try and send a signal out for help. But then Lilac starts hearing whispers, and she wonders if they are as alone as they seem to be. Can Lilac and Tarver get to safety and figure out what exactly is haunting them through the forest, whispering to Lilac? And can they do that without killing each other?
Boy oh boy. This book. I seriously wasn't sure about it when I first picked it up. People compared it to Titanic in space (I'm quite certain thats a Doctor Who episode) meets Romeo and Juliet set in a survival story. The cover also makes it seem like its going to be a super sic-fi spacey book. Please know this, it is more of a survival story on the planet that it is a book about living in space. I saw some reviews that were negative because they were expecting it to be a book set in space, but it ended up being set on a planet not all that different from an abandoned Earth. I couldn't remember what it was about when I started it, so I didn't have any expectations about the setting of the plot.
But yes. So the readers of this audiobook were fantastic. We had a guy narrating Tarver's chapters, and a girl reading Lilac's chapters, and the in-between interrogations were read by Tarver and another gentlemen. I liked Lilac's reader a little better than Tarver's, but they were both very good and had me completely pulled in and captivated. I can't tell you how terrible it is when the reader of an audiobook makes me dislike a book that I would have enjoyed had I read it instead.
Anyways. So, like I said. This story is more about the survival aspect than it is about the life abroad the Icarus. I enjoyed it. Tarver's experience in the military made him more than capable to keep them alive in the wild, and it was amusing seeing Lilac's frustration at being so awful at surviving the wild. She doesn't have any experience with it, and she wasn't instantly good at it. It was real, and it was wonderful. And I loved that she hated how helpless she was. Being the spoiled princess she comes off as at times, she could have easily sat back and took it as a vacation into the wild and let Tarver take care of everything. But she didn't want to rely on him, she didn't want to be helpless, and she didn't want him to think she was useless. She fought to prove her worth, and the longer they were on the planet and she observed what Tarver did to start fires or find adequate shelter, she definitely proved herself to be more than a pretty spoiled lady. Her character growth was enormous and such a treat to watch progress.
Tarver didn't seem to go through as much of a character development, but he was still fun to watch. His snark is so much fun. And he has an interesting back story too. The love story aspect of this grows at a good pace as well. There isn't any insta-love going on which is great. And when they finally got together -
And then there is an event that happens, it totally and completely shocked me. I couldn't believe they went where they did, and I couldn't believe what happened. I just. I was in a state of shock for pretty much the rest of the book, and then when the end happened I didn't know what they would do. I mean, they already blew my mind earlier in the story.... they could've easily gone the heartbreaking route again. But thats all I can say without giving away any massive spoilers.