About the book:
Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, romance, young adult
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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Blogging
As I was reading this book, I felt, in a way, like I was holding up the universe.
Holding up the Universe was absolutely astonishing. I totally understand all the hype it’s been getting, and All the Bright Places has been moved higher up on my TBR list, now that I loved a book by the same author.
To sum up, this book follows the POVs of high school students Libby, who is overweight, and Jack, who is face-blind. Others haven’t really taken the time to get to know them in depth, even though they think they have. The two first cross paths at school, and then they bond through realizing that they are able to open up to each other quite easily, even despite their struggles.
I felt so bad for Libby while I was reading this story. She had been going through so much, and all people do is bully her, just because of her weight. It gave her anxiety, and she was barely able to leave home because of it. She was a very loyal and kind girl, though. I could tell how much she cared about others, but others just didn’t seem to care about how loyal she could be. I feel like she deserved way more, socially, than what she was getting.
Jack could get annoying at times, but in all honesty, I really loved his character as well. He, too, was going through a lot, and the worst thing was, he had kept it a secret, so no one knew about it and thus was unable to help him. His face blindness put a lot of limits on who he could trust and talk to since he obviously couldn’t recognize anyone, but regardless of the fact, he was still super nice!
I really liked the bond between Libby and Jack. Unlike some other bloggers, I don’t think it was forced at all. I think they were actually meant to be, because I could totally hear the ‘click‘ when they first met! Their ship really sails in my book, and I hope Jennifer Niven releases some more about them and their amazing relationship, like maybe a novella.
This book had so many morals, and I could list a whole bunch. I think the main one, though, is that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, like the students at school were doing to Libby and Jack. If you judge someone based on how they seem, then you don’t know the real deal. You don’t know what they’re going through at home. Even if they tell their friends mean jokes, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they themselves are mean. I think that what people should take from this story is that you shouldn’t judge someone until you’ve actually gotten to know them, and then you can form an opinion.
Overall, I loved the story, the characters, the morals, and basically EVERYTHING about this book. I’d recommend that anyone wanting a thought-provoking high school romance picks this book up now, because you will devour it!
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars