Wednesday, 26 October 2016


TITLE: Holding Up The Universe
AUTHOR:  Jennifer Niven
PUBLISHER: Penguin Books
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 6th October 2016



From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone - and love someone - for who they truly are.

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.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are - and seeing them right back.

Jennifer Niven is such a stunning writer, any of her books and unique voice will stay with you for a long time. One of my favourite things about Holding up the Universe were the descriptions- they were just so vivid and perfect. 

The book centres around two teenagers, Jack and Libby. Jack is amazing at building complicated mechanical things, but can't recognize faces: even his own brothers and parents. No one knows this about him, as he hides his prosopagnosia by recording tiny features of someone, so he still knows who they are. He just wants to play it cool, and not get too close to anyone.

Libby used to be called 'America Fattest Teen,' but people have looked past her without realising who she is on the inside. After trying to deal with the death of her mother, picking up the pieces for both her and her father, she feels she is ready for the adventures that High School has to offer.

But when the protagonists get wrapped up in a horrible game that makes them end up in group counseling together, there could be unexpected consequences both wouldn't think would happen.

I could connect to both of the characters so much- I especially loved Jack and Dusty. Even minor characters had their own little stories branching off, which made me want to read a whole book about them all: that is such a talent of Niven. Her writing style just takes you straight into the novel, drawing you in so much that you physically can't let go and put the book down. 

The chapters were a perfect length for me, I adored how the point of view constantly flickered between both Jack and Libby, which made me connect with them on a personal level. The plot was also a fantastic pace, holding my full attention and interest for every single page. A faultless 5/5: Holding Up the Universe was everything crammed in a book that I love, covering so many different issues that every teenager can relate to, showing you shouldn't hide away from the world and follow the crowd.

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