Before anything else, I would like to send my thanks to Penguin Random House for this opportunity, and a shoutout to JM of Book Freak Revelations for being accommodating all throughout the process. Visit his blog and send him some love! ❤
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Publication Date: October 4th 2016 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 400 pages
My Rating: ★★★★✩
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 in new and bad-ass ways, 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.
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.
People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they’re just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don’t realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they’re shitty because they’re afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them.
There are so many good things I want to say about Holding Up The Universe but I have absolutely no idea where to start.
When this book’s blurb first came out, people were outraged because it seems to tell a story of a boy who is unable to recognize faces and a girl who was once called America’s Fattest Teen, and that gives the impression that no one will ever love a fat girl but a man who has prosopagnosia. But what people don’t know is that this story is far from being offensive. And it is exactly what I needed it to be.
The book is told in two perspectives, Libby’s and Jack’s, which I though was really important, and it was also very easy to identify them from one another. You know what this book has made me into? More empathetic. And that’s what I love the most about it! It tells you a story of two incredibly relatable characters. Are you not confident with your body? Read this book. Have you been bullied? Read this book. Have you been home-schooled? Are you new to your school? Are you pretending to be happy? Are you pretending to be someone else entirely because that seems to be an easier option? Read this book.
Honestly, there are so many good points. Knowing where the author got inspiration for this book is an additional tug to the heart. The writing is flawless, the book has just the right mix of romance and comedy and drama and… sugar, spice, and everything nice?
The relationships between all the characters are too strong and real, although there were parts where there were too many unnecessary characters that it became too difficult to remember who is who.
I think the most important thing about this book is the message it tries to send out to the readers, “You are wanted, you are loved, and you are necessary.” I wish this book existed when I was bullied in high school.
“It’s funny right? That even though we’re basically alone in here”—he thumps his chest—”it’s easy to lose track of yourself.”
Highly recommended. I’m definitely getting myself a copy now that it’s out in the world! Make sure you do, too 😉
And don’t forget to check out the tour stops:
JM from Book Freak Revelations
Jasmine from Jasmine Pearl Reads
Bianca from The Ultimate Fangirl
Josiah from The Bookish Fanboy
Eriele from This Is Not Your Book Blog
Fay from Bibliophile Soprano
Nicka from Read by Nicka
Elena from The Queen Reads