Review: Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan


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.

Sometimes, you need a book that is different from your usual genre. A book outside your comfort zone. And that is what Hold Back The Stars was for me. I’ve stated multiple times that I watch plenty of sci-fi films and I love them. However, when it comes to reading, sci-fi it’s not a genre that I find particularly appealing, maybe because I prefer to watch the story take place on a screen. Still, every now and then, there are some titles that catch my attention and Hold Back The Stars was one of them. It came highly recommended, part Gravity, part One Day, two stories that I quite enjoyed back in the day. And this book ended up being quite a unique read for me.

This is a love story, plain and simple. It’s basically like the Gravity film, but with romance and a lot of flashbacks. I know it will sound weird because I usually love flashbacks, but in Hold Back The Stars, their present scenes were my favorite part. There were tension and great dialogue, and I couldn’t wait to know what happened next.

At times, I wish I could have read two different books, one focused on Carys and Max in space and another one dedicated to exploring Europia’s world. I find utopian/dystopian realities fascinating and the universe created by Katie Khan was incredibly attractive, but I felt like we were never given enough of it. I enjoyed both Carys and Max’s perspectives, as they were really likable characters and I wished the best for them. So yes, of course I wanted them to be together, but I didn’t fall in love with them or their relationship.

The ending is probably what made the whole story more meaningful for me. I had no idea of what was going on and I was confused but fascinated at the same time. I know some of you disagree because it’s a risky technique and it won’t be for everyone, but I love to be surprised and Hold Back The Stars managed just that.

Buy Here

Netgalley, Gallery Books 2017

17 thoughts on “Review: Hold Back The Stars by Katie Khan

  1. Donna | Chocolate'n'Waffles says:

    I’ve heard before that the Now narration was better and more interesting. That cover does nothing for me, and I think this is not one of the sci-fi that I’ll try, as sci-fi+romance is too much for me, haha! But the world does sound interesting! Great review!


  2. Book Club Mom says:

    I also don’t seek out sci-fi but when I do, I’m almost always glad I tried something different. Thanks for reviewing this one – sounds very original and would be a nice break from my usual reading! I might try to fit it into my summer reading challenge BINGO board!


  3. Renee (Itsbooktalk) says:

    AS I said great minds think alike and I think we have very similar feelings about this book:) I totally agree with what you said about wanting them to be together but not falling in love with them or their relationship, I felt exactly the same way!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    I am pretty curious about this one. I usually run at the mention of “love story” but it sounds like this might be delivered in a fashion I could appreciate! I do think it is a shame that there was not enough of what sounds like a fascinating world presented. I may have to attempt this one. Love the review!


  5. Diana says:

    This is not a genre that I have ever watched or read but I am curious about it so perhaps someday.Glad to see that you liked this one. Great review.


  6. Yvo says:

    It’s always great to find a title out of your comfort zone that is both enjoyable and manages to surprise! I’m not really into sci-fi either, so I might just give this one a go just to see what my experience would be. I love surprises! Great review. 🙂


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