Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Posted January 17, 2017 by Christy || 3 Comments

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer NivenHolding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on October 4th 2016
Pages: 391
Format: Hardback

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.

Holding up the Universe is a book that went on my ‘must-have’ list after reading and loving Niven’s first book, All the Bright Places.  Niven’s writing just speaks to me and I couldn’t wait to read about Libby and Jack.

Libby Strout, once known as America’s fattest teen, has lost 300 pounds and is heading back to high school.  I absolutely loved how strong Libby was, I loved the fact that she didn’t care what anyone thought and she didn’t take shit from anyone.  She stood up for others and herself and as much as everyone bullied her, she never gave up and she didn’t let it waver her belief in herself.  Libby is the definition of a strong and inspiring character.

Jack Masselin has mastered the art of fitting in in high school, or at least that’s what he wants everyone to think so that they don’t look to hard and see what he’s hiding.  You see, Jack can’t recognize faces, which I can only imagine would be extremely difficult for someone.  I didn’t fall for him as much as I did Libby, probably because he comes across as a jerk most of the time, especially at the beginning.  However, in the end I warmed up to him, even though I didn’t agree with some of his decisions.

My favorite thing about this book was the fact that it was about being yourself and loving who you are.  Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, do your own thing and be proud.  That’s what I learned from Libby and that’s something that I want to take from this story and this character and apply to how I see myself and the type of person I want to be.

“Dear friend,

You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there.

Love, a fellow reader”

Holding up the Universe is a beautifully written book about acceptance and the importance of being yourself, it’s definitely a book that I’d recommend.

*I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review*

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3 responses to “Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

  1. I liked this one a lot though I wanted a bit more from it? I did totally love the characters though and I loved her writing!
    Glad you enjoyed this, Christy! 🙂

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