Holding Up the Universe is the second book I have read by Jennifer Niven. I read All The Bright places with my Penpal Raven so we could discuss it and let me tell you, that book wrecked me. I was left crying and wanted more. Due to the fact I was so affected by this book I set out to read another book by Jennifer Niven.
*Any information mentioned about the characters or plot are mentioned in the blurb.
Holding Up the Universe is a duel point of view book that follows Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby is a strong character, she is fierce, strong, and yet vulnerable which makes her come across as real. Prior to the start of the book she has been through a lot, even has been given the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”. Jack comes across as someone who just fits in with no problem. He has friends, a girlfriend, and seems to not have a problem in the world. But, that is not the true. He hide a secret from everyone, even his family. He cannot recognize anyone, even when he sees himself.
As you read the book you explore what Jack and Libby are currently going through, but you also learn a lot about their past. You explore the whys of Libby getting the title of “America’s Fattest Teen”. You also explore Jack’s relationship with prosopagnosia. I have to say the one thing I enjoyed most about this book is that is explores relationships. Not just romantic relationships, which there are, but also friendship, parent-child, and also being a good citizen. When you start the book not all of these are present, but as the characters grow you begin to see the humility and the good that comes from just being nice to one another and respectful.
Additionally, this book sheds light on a topic that is not really discussed. Prosopagnosia, which I have heard about, but I did not understand what it actually was. I am grateful that Jennifer Niven took this and decided to share it with others through her writing. Throughout the book there are definitions, statics, and resources. All of which I found helpful.
Throughout this book there are good times and bad. You see the characters grow and become stronger. My favorite part of this book is not a specific moment, but how it made me feel. Jennifer Niven has the ability to make you so invested in her characters that you cannot help but get excited when good things happen to them, get anxious when something wrong might happen, and mad when something bad happens. Let me tell you I felt all of those emotions. I recommend this book, I enjoyed it from page one all the way until the end. If you enjoy reading about high school romances, a little of adventure, self discovery, explore relationships, and the idea of knowing this book is for you. Once again Jennifer Niven has me wanting to buy another book of hers and read it right away.
P.S. There may or may not be a little shout out to Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell on page 211.
Here is a link to the Goodreads page.
Publication Date: October 2016