Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven


Holding Up The Universe
Jennifer Niven
Published: October 4th 2016

This book was sent to me via Netgalley for an honest review. 


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.



Okay, so first of all, before I even got this book sent to me from Netgalley I was hearing so much negativity about it on Goodreads, where people where hating it before it was even released. I don’t remember why there was so much hate about it, because usually I try to avoid all that drama when it comes to books. I think everyone deserves to read a book and then decide themselves whether they like it or not. It’s not very fair for people to hate it before even reading it.

My thoughts about this book? I absolutely adored it. I think it’s a wonderful book for anyone who has weight troubles to read it themselves. I myself have always been overweight my whole life and therefore lacking self-confidence whenever I’m in public, but after reading this and hearing Libby’s thoughts on how this is her body, she’s come a long way and lost a lot of weight but she’s proud of who she is, it’s very inspiring!

So seeing as I’m already talk about Libby, let me just give you a brief run down on what she’s like. After the passing of her mother she ended up closing off from everyone and finding comfort in food. Ultimately ending up where she was extremely obese and had to be “cut out” of her house to be taken to hospital. It may seem a little extreme for people to read about that, but it’s a reality and unfortunately there are thousands of people out there who are bed ridden because of their weight. Libby just happened to be one of them.

Although, after Libby’s rescued she changes her life for the better and loses half her body weight and gains a self-confidence she’s never had. She knows she’s not skinny like all the other girls at school, but she walks with her head held proud and rocks her body. Which I admire!

Then there’s Jack, a boy who hangs out with the wrong crowd, a crowd who like to pick on and tease people who are overweight. Jack has a secret though that he’s been hiding from everyone in his life, that he can’t recognize anyone’s faces. Until one day the only face that stands out to him within a crowd is Libby’s. Unfortuently though he’s friends have something humiliating planned for Libby, but thinking he’s doing the right things, Jack decides to be the one to do it… which then introduces the two characters together in what seem’s like a very unfortunate way.

It’s a beautiful story of two people who haven’t had the best past but end up finding the good in each other and slowly growing closer over events that happened. It’s a happy story in the end that makes me smile ear to ear and feel so much joy for Libby that she get’s to experience love and my happiness towards Jack when he accepts who he is and that even though he’ll never be able to recognise faces, he has Libby and he’s family to help him along the way.

 Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars
Do I Recommend This? Yes! I think it’s a great book for someone to read who also may have self-confidence. Libby stands up for who she is and is proud of who she is which is inspiring. Jack may not be able to recognise faces, but he can see the beauty behind the face and knows how to really make someone feel worthwhile.

Happy reading and until next time,



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s