Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

Hold Back the Stars

Author: Katie Khan
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: May 23, 2017
Pages: 320

Author Website|Book Depository|Goodreads

Goodreads SynopsisA startling and evocative novel, harkening to both One Day and Gravity, a man and a woman revisit memories of their love affair on a utopian Earth while they are trapped in the vast void of space with only ninety minutes of oxygen left.

After the catastrophic destruction of the Middle East and the United States, Europe has become a utopia and, every three years, the European population must rotate into different multicultural communities, living as individuals responsible for their own actions. While living in this paradise, Max meets Carys and immediately feels a spark of attraction. He quickly realizes, however, that Carys is someone he might want to stay with long-term, which is impossible in this new world.

As their relationship plays out, the connections between their time on Earth and their present dilemma in space become clear. When their air ticks dangerously low, one is offered the chance of salvation—but who will take it? An original and daring exploration of the impact of first love and how the choices we make can change the fate of everyone around us, this is an unforgettable read.

Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

REVIEW: Hold Back the Stars was a novel I wasn’t able to find a footing with right from the beginning, but once I moved through those first few pages, I started getting more and more drawn into the rest of this read.

There is much in this world and many of it is sad and filled with harsh realities, for Max and Cary that includes having only ninety minutes of oxygen left while stranded in space. Along with a world where half of the land has been destroyed and the other half is on constant rotation, never being able to stay colonized in one place for too long, not allowed to couple until well into their thirties.

The reader is able to see themselves with Max and Cary as they have to face their truth, that after those ninety minutes their lives may be cut short and their budding romance will go right along with it. We are taken into their memories of meeting, of Mindshare and the question that brought them together “Does anyone know where you can buy goose fat in Voivode 6?”. People trying to live a normal life, still moving along daily and dreaming of more that is not always possible.

As they go down this journey through memory lane, while waiting for possibly their inevitable end, Cary remembers how she felt at finding out about something that could change the rest of her life forever, Max having to deal with the repercussions of being with Cary and having to choose between a destroyed future or to keep being who is and his family expects of him.

In all of this the reader is brought back into the present to witness time running out for both of them and having to deal with safety coming near them, but the possibility of being dead before it even arrives. And the question of whether both can hold on just long enough to be saved or if possibly only one of them will come out of this still alive.

Time is everything in this read and the ending’s emotional moments are made even more painful and heartbreaking by all we have been shown throughout this novel. It is more of a love story than anything, but all the other elements make it that much better and more rounded.

***I received this copy from Gallery Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***


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