Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

28686840Everyone 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.


Thinking about this book all I can think of is 2 things

One : Flawed Characters
Two: Perfect message

Libby is the worlds fattest teen, although she’s lost the weight and is healthy now it doesn’t change the fact that she was all over the internet labeled as America’s fattest teen.

This book does state how much she weighs and she’s not that big to be honest but she still see’s herself that way, she still looks at others and has doubts about what they’re thinking, she’s a tough girl, she loves to dance, she stands up for others and herself. but she is also self depreciating and masks her self-consciousness with a morbid sense of humor about her weight.

There are moments she could have handled better BUT that’s what makes her a flawed character, what makes her a relatable teen, what made me really like her.

I loved her, her spirit, the moments where she said fuck it all and was her and only her, when she realised she is happy how she is, she is proud, and no one could take that away. Just Yes to all.

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Jack has Prosopagnosia because of this he’s always hiding, maybe not in a way that Libby did but he puts up walls, be funny, be full of swagger, don’t let anyone see that you can’t recognize them. I love Jack, he was fundamentally flawed, peer pressured into bullying but has a good heart.
Jack is kind, loving, and confused. I loved his lists, his point of view, and what he thought of Libby the whole time. tumblr_mf20oaa5WP1qirf51.gif

I feel Jennifer Niven writes beautiful teenage characters and although some of the romance seemed a bit mushy and I felt Jack could have been more forth coming with his family the story was enjoyable and gave me a wow feeling.

I feel like I should go put a purple bikini on and stand in the street singing Your Beautiful to strangers because people are beautiful, not surface beauty but inside beauty and that is what counts. tumblr_nhfc3ggxWx1ru4tifo1_500.gif

“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”

4/5 stars

Have you read this or are you planning to? What where your thoughts? I personally really enjoyed the story but it didn’t blow me away too much. 

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33 thoughts on “Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

    1. If you loved All The Bright Places I think you’ll definitely love Holding Up The Universe, the writing is just as fantastic as ATBP and the story is a lot lighter so you hopefully you won’t be to emotional over it!

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  1. Great review! I already have this book on my to-read list, it will be the first book by Jennifer Niven I’ve picked up but it sounds amazing. I’ve heard nothing but great things about her work, and about this book as well, so I can’t wait to get started on it! I hope I enjoy it as much as you have. 😀

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        1. I hope you like her! I can see where people would have some problems with her but flawed characters are my thing, I feel like that’s what makes them feel all that more real and work great in contemporaries 😀

          I hope you love it!

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    1. It’s a great read but now that it’s been a few weeks its seeming like one of those books you enjoy but are a bit forgettable, if that makes any sense 😄 I still recommend it and really liked it though so I’m happy I was able to read it 😀

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    1. I can definitely see how people wouldn’t like it, it is very character based, I think if you like the characters you’ll like the book theres no real other plot drives. I hope you enjoy it if you do pick it up 🙂 Have you read her other book ATBP?

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