Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven

4 you are wanted stars!


Okay I have to say I was really hesitant to start this book because of all the negative reviews all over the internet.  I am so glad I was proved wrong by all of those reviews.  I’m unsure if the people who posted negative reviews actually read the book?  If they did I’m not sure they were reading it the same way I did.  I would find this book rather empowering for any teenager.  I would actually highly suggest it..

This book flips between two characters the very outgoing and empowering Libby, and the popular and characteristic guy named Jack.  I know what you are thinking oh no, it’s a teenage love story.  Yes there is dating in this book but it is so much more than that.

Libby had to be cut out of her house when she was 13 to be taken to the hospital.  She was so large she had to be cut out of her house! You would think that is traumatic enough, but no Libby decides to take control of her life from then out.  She does what the doctors ask, and slowly but steadily gets back on her feet.  She has been home schooled until this year she decides to do her senior year at High School.  She knows she may be bullied and she knows that people will remember her, but she has to be strong enough to overcome that. What I loved most about Libby is her no holds barred attitude.  If someone insulted her she had a witty comeback.  I realize that the comeback was just covering up the hurt, however the fact that she was willing to go to bat for anyone else in the school was sweet.  She refused to let anyone else be bullied.  That we need more of that now…. when you see something bad happening to someone else why not step in and say stop. Her live and let live attitude is one many people should learn.

Jack on the other hand while giving off the happy go lucky vibe is definitely living a lie. He can’t tell one person’s face from another.  He has to pick out certain traits on people so that he can recognize them, even his own family members. While this does lead to some mix-ups he just plays it cool and everyone thinks he is awesome.  That is until one fateful day that he meets Libby in school… everything spirals out of control after that.  While Libby’s character did grow and realize she wasn’t an island that she needed friends and needed to rely on them.  Jack didn’t want to branch out and grow, he didn’t want to give up the popular life at first. When Jack finally breaks out of the box, he realizes he’s not alone.  I love how along the way he also realizes what jack asses his friends, and himself were to other people.

Coming to terms with any illness be it physical or mental is never easy.  However I just love how Jennifer Niven put it in a High School, the absolute worst place to break out of the “normal” zone.  I would have never been as bold as Libby for sure, I would’ve been the girl hiding in the corner hoping no one would even notice I existed.  This book while holding onto some stereotypes really breaks out of the box on other ones. I just loved how Jennifer Niven put out there that it is okay to be different, not everyone is cut from the same cloth.

Thank you to Jennifer Niven, Knopf Books, and Blogging for Books for my copy in lieu of my honest review.

Goodreads link here.

book blurb…

Hardcover, 391 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published April 4th 2016)
Original Title Holding Up the Universe
ISBN 0385755929 (ISBN13: 9780385755924)

Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.

11 thoughts on “Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven

  1. I know what you mean by good books getting bad reviews. I fell into the trap of buying a book because it had so many good reviews … but was totally unreadable (happened to me twice. I’m such a sucker). I’ve learned not to trust 3 or 4 line reviews on Amazon any more 😛

    Liked by 1 person

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