Review: Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Posted October 5, 2016 by Charlotte in Reviews / 0 Comments

Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Review: Holding up the Universe by Jennifer NivenHolding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Published by Penguin on October 6, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Young Adult
Pages: 392
Format: E-Arc, Paperback
Source: Netgalley, Own Copy
Buy on Amazon

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 see who she really is. Since her mum'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. 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 art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a 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 own 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, Libby and Jack are both angry, 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.

Having adored All the Bright Places I was super excited to read Holding up the Universe. And boy I was not disappointed. This is another beautifully stunning book that shows that it is ok to be yourself and accept your differences. Don’t pretend just because you think it is easier.

Similarly to All the Bright Places it is told alternatively from the perspectives of Jack and Libby.Both are so similar in their insecurities, yet both deal with it different. Jack pretends to be over-confident and have a bit of a swagger. While Libby refuses to be afraid and gives funny one-liners to anyone who dares to bring her down.

The idea of vulnerability is wonderfully and subtly explored in this book. The story allows the characters to drop their public faces and take chances their wouldn’t before take. This allows them to grow and become more accepting of themselves.

Holding up the Universe is a beautifully written, poignant book with heart-warming moments. And showing that it was is on the inside that is the most important thing.

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