contemporary · review · YA

Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven


Series: Standalone

Released: October 4th, 2016

Publisher: Penguin Random House UK

Genre(s): YA, contemporary, romance

Length: 291 pages

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

Links: Goodreads// bookdepository// booktopia


Goodreads synopsis:

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, 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.

pastel dots

My thoughts:

Holding up the universe is a beautiful story of Libby Strout and Jack Masselin over coming their own insecurities and also coping with life in high school. Jack has prosopagnosia (face blindness) which means that he couldn’t recognise people- even his family. While Libby has to cope with resuming her normal life after an event that almost cost her life.

What I liked:

Personally, I really loved the premise of prosopagnosia because this makes the friendship between Jack and Libby natural because they both have to deal with their own insecurities. The problems Libby has to deal with are also very realistic because nowadays people tend to body shame and not love their own body. Libby’s side of the story really encourages us to embrace our uniqueness and not to base your self worth on how skinny you are.

Also, I like that the story was told from both Libby and Jack’s POV in alternating chapters. You really get to understand what each one of them are thinking and understand the reason of why they are feeling a particular way.

"We're all weird and damaged in our own way. Your not the only one."

Along with the alternating POV, the chapters were writing in alternating time periods -pass and present. I really enjoyed this because you get to understand what happened to the characters in the past and realise how the events shaped their personalities.

What I didn’t enjoy:

I honestly think that the plot twist didn’t make sense. When I was reading it I didn’t get it at all, and although it was surprising; there was no reason for Jack to do that. I feel like there should be a better explanation for what he did.

Overall, I think that this is a good read with a really important message that everyone should think about. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes contemporary with a big message!

Did you read Holding up the universe? What do you think about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! ❤

Happy reading!

Breanna x


6 thoughts on “Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

  1. The novel is currently on my TBR list, and your review made me super excited to read it!

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and am very impressed by your blog. I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.


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