Blogging as an International | Access to books and ARCs

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while now, and with the recent developments with Netgalley and Goodreads, I think it is the perfect time to talk about this. I won’t be going into depth about the developments on Netgalley and Goodreads because it has been talked about a lot already, and I don’t want to repeat the same things.

As you probably know, I’m not from the US. In fact, I’m from the Netherlands (you know that small country in Europe with clogs and cheese? except that there are barely any clogs to be found in the entire country). Since our native language is Dutch, there are already a couple of disadvantages to reading English books. But more about that later. This post is in no way supposed to come across as if I’m ungrateful for anything, or that I would be entitled to things other bloggers do get, or anything like that. I just wanted to talk about how for internationals, it can be a bit harder to get access to the same things others get easy access to.

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Review | Hold Back The Stars (More like hold back the tears)

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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.26804769

 Carys and Max have ninety minutes of air left.

Unless they can come up with a good idea, they’re going to die in about an hour and a half.

But it doesn’t need to end like this.

 Adrift in space, Carys and Max can’t help but look down at the world they left behind; a well-oiled, efficient machine that they can no longer call home. Perhaps they might have done things differently if they’d known what was going to happen…

 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 long to figure out that this was a contraction of Europe and Utopia.) This war resulted in an asteroid belt around the Earth, so everybody was earthbound. The technology they use is really cool and futuristic, but beside that, the thing that makes this world so awesome that it’s focused on the individual. They instated Rotation, which means that every three year you move (alone) to some other place on the Earth. No three years are the same, you meet new people, you get to see the world, learn new languages, but you are still able to visit your friends because the transport is super fast!

“It’s a better society, if everyone can give their all. So we all contribute towards the utopia as an individual, until such a time we can begin to think about settling down and starting a family.”

  • I loved that Carys was really smart. I always love smart characters, but usually the scientists are male. And seeing a bad-ass female scientist/astronaut/pilot always makes me happy.
  • This is no simple love story where two people fall in love and live happily ever after. It’s complex, it’s wonderful but it’s also awful at some times. In this society there is the Couples Rule, which basically means that you can’t have a family before you’re like 35 or something. The first part of your life should be focused on you, and you alone. But what if you fall in love against all your better knowing?
  • This book is funny. There were so many times I found myself laughing out loud. Especially Max is really funny, but Carys can be funny too!

“‘Carys?’ he asks, as they continue to watch the fireworks display over the People’s Republic of China.
‘Yes, Max?’
‘Nothing.’
‘Are you sure?’
‘Yes, Carys.’
‘I’m glad we had this conversation, Max,’ she says, deadpan.
‘Me, too,’ he replies.”

  • It’ll make you happy, it’ll make you sad, it’ll make you wonder, it’ll make you think. This book is filled with beautiful quotes:

“There will always be broken people, no matter how well society works”

There was one thing that I didn’t like, and I can’t really say what it is, because then I would spoil the book for you. But I can say that it left me feeling very confused and only after a few chapters I understood what was actually going on.

I am giving this book ★★★★ (4/5 stars) because it is wonderful. It is everything I didn’t know I was looking for in a book. I gave it one star less because of that vague thing I am not going to tell you about. It makes me wonder if I should read more sci-fi, because I barely do and I have read two real sci-fi books now and I loved them both. They were both funny and smart and so good! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to read something that is both romantic, thoughtful, interesting, and likes sci-fi. IT TAKES PLACE IN SPACE, like, go read that book!! Also this is Katie Khan’s debut, so I will definitely keep my eye out for next books.

 This book expected for publication on January 26th, 2017.