Hold Back the Stars: A Novel by [Khan, Katie]

For this book, I am posting the synopsis first. I think it will help expain this story better than I can. My review is right after…spoiler alert: I loved it! This one won’t be released until May 23 but I highly recommend it so pre-order it!!!

Purchase on Amazon…only $9.99 on Kindle!


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. 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.

On to my review…

A beautiful, tragic love story set amongst the stars.

What a wonderful book! I fell in love with it within minutes of reading about the relationship of Carys and Max. With an interesting premise, you don’t always find that characters are well developed and luckily this book did not fit this traditional mold. I felt like the story was gripping and exciting and the author still found time to make her characters relatable and full of humor. This also isn’t your typical sci-fi, utopian thriller. Really I felt like the sci-fi element took a back seat which will help boost readership by folks who wouldn’t typically pick up a book about space flight and futuristic societies. Even my saying that this book has these elements may turn readers off initially, but let me stress that this book really is a love story that happens to take place in the years ahead and part of it does take place in space. But the futuristic society hardly differs from current times with the exception that they live in a society where many problems have been eradicated. The space element occurs only in that the two main characters are piloting a space craft in order to solve a problem which is threatening the Earth. This isn’t a strange book where we have flying cars in a world where we don’t have jobs and live normal lives. There are no aliens and certainly people still live as we do.
The ups and downs Carys and Max face are challenges many couples face. There are certain restrictions placed on their relationship in that this society has determined that the proper age for marriage is 35, so when Carys and Max fall in love when they are 25ish they cannot legally marry. They can be together, but must wait according to the laws. They face other challenges, but the love they share is stronger than most. I urge my readers to pick this up!