Title: Holding Up The Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
No one can see past Libby’s weight and see her as more than the past “America’s Fattest Teen”. As she finally goes to high school she can only hope that someone takes time to look past that label and get to know the real her.
Jack has mastered the art of fitting in. He has the confidence, he has the popularity, what he doesn’t have is the ability to recognise faces. Even his own family are strangers to him. To make sure no one finds out he plays it cools, becomes the life of the party and most importantly doesn’t get close to anyone. Until Libby comes along. Somehow they make each other feel a little less lonely.
OMG, OMG, OMG!! I loved this book!! If you had asked me this time last year that I would be reading this many contemporaries and loving them I probably would have laughed. But there have been so many heartfelt contemporaries this year, that I couldn’t help but fall in love with. However, this has been by far my favourite.
The plot seemed very simple when I read the synopsis but I quickly learned that it was a story chock full of emotional goodness. I couldn’t help but fall in love with the characters. Jennifer Niven received a lot of back lash based purely on the synopsis which I thought was a little unfair. People went crazy because of how the blurb explained Libby’s character, of how her weight was explained. But if you read the book you learn more about the character and who she is.
Libby lost her mother and coped with the grief by using food as a crutch. Unfortunately, her dad was unable to help, despite trying everything to help her. What does help her is the day she has to be publicly removed from her house..by a crane. She looses weight, but is still overweight, and goes to school. I think this shows her character and how strong she is. Everyone at the school knows who she is and makes fun of her but she doesn’t let any of this get her down. She knows the journey she has been through and tries to not let any of the jabs get her down. Her strength of character and the heart-breaking loss of her mother just makes her a character you can’t help but want to cheer on.
As a Psychology graduate I found Jack’s prosopagnosia very interesting to read about. I vaguely remember learning about it in a lecture here and there. But it was interesting to read about it and see how it can effect someone in there day to day life. Jack hasn’t told anyone about is inability to recognise faces and finds ways to recognise his friends and family. However, his techniques are not always 100% effective. In the past he had screamed that his own mum was kidnapping him after she got a haircut and he didn’t recognise her. I have to admit I didn’t understand his reluctance to tell his family about his disorder. It would have made life so much easier but his struggle is part of the story so I understand that Niven wanted us to read about his journey and about him accepting who he is.
Other great things about this book:
- Diversity! (yay always nice to have in a book)
- The Supernatural references. I will read any book that references any of my favourite tv shows.
- Libby and Jack are just adorable when they are together.
- So many emotions!!
So as you can probably tell from this huge ramble I really enjoyed this book. This was the first book I have read by Jennifer Niven so I cannot wait to get my hands on her other books.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think?
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