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Hold Back the Stars

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3.52  ·  Rating details ·  2,234 ratings  ·  504 reviews
Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left. None of this was supposed to happen.

Adrift in space with nothing to hold on to but each other, Carys and Max can't help but look back at the world they left behind. A world whose rules they couldn't submit to, a place where they never really belonged; a home they're determined to get back to because they've come too far to los
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 26th 2017 by Doubleday
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Lara When they first meet, Max is 27, but I haven't finished the book yet so I don't know how much time between that moment and the present is.

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3.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,234 ratings  ·  504 reviews


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Maya
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

What the heck did I just read?!!! This story is so complex and strange and just plays tricks on my mind. And what's up with the ending, or should I say endings? I'm just so confused right now. This is definitely a read that will mess you up and make you wonder about your own life and the concept of love and sacrifice. The plot is so unique. It all takes place in space but the main characters skip back and forth between their real situation and memory
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Emer (A Little Haze)
Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.
They are alone together. Drifting in space.

Ninety minutes to stay alive.
Ninety minutes to figure out how to rescue the themselves.
Ninety minutes to reflect on the decisions that brought them to this point.
Ninety minutes to decide if love is indeed all you need.



This book is set in a future version of our world where the USA and the Middle East have been decimated and Europe has become a utopian society called Europia. Citizens of Europia don't co
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Britta Böhler
Annoying gender-stereotypes aren't any less annoying (or stereotypical) if they happen in space.
Renee (itsbooktalk)
This is a 3 to 3.5 star read for me, I really had a hard time deciding

How about that cover? I was immediately drawn to it as well as the title and then when I read the blurb and saw it's being compared to One Day, one of my very favorite reads, I knew I'd have to hit the request button on Netgalley. I thought this would be a good "out of my comfort zone pick," and in some ways it was.

The beginning of the story pulled me in right away when we are thrust into space with Carys and Max after they've
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Sarah DiMento
Carys and Max are stranded in space with minutes ticking away on their oxygen as they float further and further from their ship. But rather than finding a solution, they waste too many precious minutes on flashbacks and reflections of their tumultuous history... which was irritating and inappropriate. Hello? You have 90 minutes left and you're thinking about how you first met, had that breakup, ect? Maybe you should be trying to find a way to live?! I wanted the characters to be proactive and fi ...more
Diana
Oct 22, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: discarded-shelf
I am sorry but no. I thought this book was gonna be more science fiction and less romance, and man... was I disappointed...
The structure of the book moves between their present moment (dying floating on space, with no way to return to their ship and with oxigen shortage) and the story of how they met each other and how their story together moved from here to the moment they are in at present.
I just couldn' care for the characters, and the only part that really atracted me to the lecture was the
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Jenny (Reading Envy)
Two people are abandoned outside a spacecraft with 90 minutes of oxygen and they spend it reminiscing about their relationship. Huh. I got halfway through this novel and then decided I didn't need to finish. The worldbuilding (future, USA ruined by nuclear war, Europa and individualism reign) would have been more effective if the characters felt like they were also in the future or were any different than us, but the dialogue and actions feel very YA (but they are in their 20s.) Is this new adul ...more
Joanna Park
Wow what a beautiful book! Beautiful, haunting and really unusual.

Stranded in space with only 90 minutes of air left and no help in sight, Cerys & Max have a chance to reflect on their relationship and the events that have led them here. In a world where love is forbidden, Cerys & Max broke the rules when they fell in love. Facing fierce opposition from friends and family the pair decide they can't live without each other and decide to fight for their right to love. But can they really
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TL
I received this this via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review. All my opinions are my own:).
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Not a bad read but just okay for me.. couldn't get into the romance portion at all.. was more interested in the Voivode and everything that had led up to it.. and the whole trapped in space with 90 minutes of air left.

Potential there, but a dud for me. Aah well
Crini
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: g-scifi, read-2016
I was a little nervous when starting this because romances really aren't my thing but OMG this is SO good. I read almost the whole thing in one sitting today. Loved the characters, was shipping them hard and JUST NEEDED TO KNOW IF THEY SURVIVE. That last part was genius and heart-wrenchingly beautiful.
Danielle
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Katie Khan tried too hard with hold back the stars. She tried to make it original and beautiful and meaningful, but because she tried SO damn HARD I just felt like it all fell flat. I didn't care about the characters. The asteroid field rubbish is scientifically implausible. The ending was confusing, but simultaneously predictable.

And then the romance... the book is based around it, but it just didn't feel real. This is meant to be an adult book, but it felt more YA than a lot of YA books! Well
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Lyndi
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A 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. W
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Liz Barnsley
Gah! I hate love stories. Except this one. I loved this one.

I was hooked into the idea of reading this because its something slightly out of my comfort zone (the whole romance thing) and I like to try things I might normally pass by, but also had the whole lost in space running out of air vibe which seemed like it might be quite thrilling. Which it was. But mostly it was beautiful.

So Carys and Max they fall in love. Except in the world they live in you are not allowed to do that really. The worl
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Jana
Jan 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book wasn't my cup of tea. It was extremely heavy on the romance, which to me felt very cheesy and cheesy romance just isn't my thing. Considering they were facing the possibility of death the entire time, I just thought they were way too focused on their romance and the actual problem was pushed into the background. Overall this book didn't have much to offer in a unique sort of way, it felt like a
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Lia
I immediately fell in love with this book the moment I saw that cover. It is so pretty! (I need this on my shelf). But this book is not only beautiful from the outside but also from the inside.
Things I loved about Holding Back the Stars by Katie Khan
- When I read about the world the story took place in, I was so excited because it sounded so cool! The story takes place in the future, there has been a disastrous nuclear war and a new country has been formed, namely Europia. (It took me way too lo
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Aoife
I received a free digital copy from the author/publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


Hold Back the Stars is a dystopian/sci-fi romance about Max and Carys - two travellers in their mid-twenties who fall in love in a world where coupling is frowned upon until a later age. The story shifts back and forth from the couple’s first meeting to a point where they are stuck in space together with no hope of survival and only 90 minutes to live.

If I had to describe this story, it would u
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Lizzie (Littlehux) Huxley-Jones
In January, you must all go to your bookshops to get Hold Back the Stars by Katie Khan.

My copy from Katie arrived one evening night and I just finished it in 24 hours, tear stained and overjoyed and in awe. Set in the future in utopian Europa, Carys and Max meet - she an astronaut in training, he an aspiring chef running his family's food store business. But the book starts much later, as they fall through space with only 90 minutes of oxygen remaining. Told in flashbacks and real time, Hold Ba
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Tez
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
NOTE: I first published this on Speculative Chic.

I've never been interested in book clubs, where everyone reads the same thing at the same time like assigned homework. But in the case of Katie Khan's Hold Back the Stars, I definitely would recommend it to book groups. Having read it, I want to discuss spoilery things and ask questions!

This literary sci-fi tells the tale of Carys and Max, the supposed utopia they're from, and why they're stranded in space with only ninety minutes left of oxygen a
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Annie
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 ...more
Ann Hunnestad
Jan 18, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I recieved this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
DNF.
I tried, I really did. I so badly wanted to like this book, but I barely made it through the first 50 pages without cringing. The writing style put me off, I felt no connection to the characters what so ever. This was a big dissapointment. One day, I might pick it up and try to read it again. That won't be anytime soon though.
Meags
4 Stars

Hold Back The Stars is completely unlike anything I've ever read before. I read a review pimping it out as "the new One Day" which drew my full attention, seeing as how far gone I was over that book many years ago. I barely register the comparison now that I've read this, but I still found myself fascinated and enthralled nonetheless.

Set in a Utopian future, the story follows the forbidden love between characters Max and Carys.

The story kicks off with a bang, opening with a harrowing sc
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Emma
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*This review contains spoilers*

This novel is the story of Carys and Max's relationship. The whole thing was very tender and sweet, the two of them were perfect for each other. The story is set in space but don't let this stop you even if you're not the biggest space fan. I mean, yes of course there's some talk about space, but it's not really the main focus of the book. The main focus are the two main characters and their love for each other.
There are definitely some plot twists that I did not
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Glen
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

A European style romance about a couple of astronauts who get in a terrible accident. Stranded in space with only enough air for 90 minutes, it s possible for one of them to live. What do they do?

Pretty good. Like Gravity the movie probably should have been.
Melanie Garrett
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was transfixed by this from beginning to end. As a love story, it works beautifully. Carys and Max's paths cross in a world made up of what's left from our not-too-distant future. The initial attraction they feel for each other is never going to work out in this new world order - or is it?

Of the many clever things about 'Hold Back The Stars' is how many levels it works on. It's a great love story and since all the world loves a lover, you will quickly find yourself falling for Carys and Max as
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Patricia Crowther
“Don’t be destroyed by feelings for a person you can’t move forward with.”

Considering I was going to DNF this at about 30%, the fact that I finished it and it came out with a rating at all is an achievement in itself. But an extremely rare 2 stars from me unfortunately.

I’m just completely confused and very disappointed, it wasn’t really what I expected. I get the feeling there was a bigger message somewhere in there but there just wasn’t any depth for me to fully grasp what that really could be
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Sophie
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Netgalley copy in exchange for an honest review.

Carys and Max are in a very tragic situations. They’re floating in space, lost.

And they only have 90 minutes left of air.

Need I say more?

***

Random thought #1: I. freaking. love. the. concept.

Random thought #2: That cover is a thing of beauty.

That book is a such a beautiful one. I love when good SF teaches you about your own world, and this book does just that.

I loved the story; it was raw, strong and gripping. The clock is ticking for the character
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The Blonde Bookworm
Hold Back the Stars opens with our two main characters floating through space with only ninety minutes of oxygen remaining. A few pages in and I was totally hooked. The story flashes back and forth between the past and present day and the reader is able to learn more about the characters, their history, and how they ended up floating through space.

The story line was fast paced, but I found myself getting a little bored with the romance. I was expecting a little more science fiction, but the lov
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Jenniely
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, audiobook
Oh my gosh this book broke me. I still don’t think I’ve quite recovered! I listened to an audiobook of this novel so this review will also discuss the narration! I won’t be posting any spoilers, and for that reason it’s going to be a bit of a short review! So much of it was a shock to me I want you to have the same experience.

So I went into Hold Back the Stars not really knowing anything about the plot. I was immediately drawn in by their dire situation, falling through space, tumbling away from
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Lisa Lueddecke
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've never held a book so tightly in my life. The minute-by-minute play-out of their time falling through space was executed so flawlessly I almost couldn't breathe. The characters honestly felt like real people to me, and I miss reading about them already!

The short: wonderful writing, pacey and unputdownable, with characters that leave you longing to return to the book.

Watch out for those plot twists because you won't see them coming.
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Katie Khan is a writer from London whose first novel, Hold Back the Stars, was published to great acclaim, translated into twenty-two languages, and is being adapted into a feature film starring John Boyega and Letitia Wright.

The Light Between Us is her second novel.

Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @katie_khan.
“First love can break you. But it can also save you.” 8 likes
“The thing about first love, Cari, is that it breaks you. It changes everything about who you are for the next person.” 5 likes
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