Holding Up The Universe Book Review


Holding Up The Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven
Published by: Penguin
Released: October 6th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 388
Format: Paperback
Characters: Libby Strout, Jack Masselin, Dave(Jack’s friend), Dusty(Jack’s little brother), Bailey(Libby’s friend),Caroline(Jack’s ex-girlfriend)

“People are shitty for a lot of reasons. Sometimes they’re just shitty people. Sometimes people have been shitty to them and, even though they don’t realize it, they take that shitty upbringing and go out into the world and treat others the same way. Sometimes they’re shitty because they’re afraid. Sometimes they choose to be shitty to others before others can be shitty to them. So it’s like self-defensive shittiness.”
― Jennifer Niven, Holding Up the Universe


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. (Source: Goodreads)


The plot for me started off quite well. The story line was smooth and it had a nice flow. This book didn’t have any startling plot twists or any shocking events, there were a few funny and hilarious, sweet and adorable moments and they were nice and enough to keep me going. As the story revolves around the life of these two teenagers with own history and secret and they slowly falling for each other, it felt real and true. It did not feel fake or fabricated, it was nice reading what was happening to them and I love all the beautiful quotes in this book and there were a few moments that made me laugh so hard too. The ending somehow stunned me a little, I thought there was more to it but it ended on this one perfect, hanging yet not hanging kind of note. So, the ending was pretty well written, I loved it and I wouldn’t want to change anything.

“This is what I know about loss:

– It doesn’t get better. You just (somewhat) get used to it.
– You never stop missing the people who go away.
– For something that isn’t there anymore, it weighs a ton.”
― Jennifer Niven, Holding Up the Universe


This book has two main characters, Libby and Jack. I adore these two characters so so much, they are lovely people and so beautiful in their own skin. Libby was known as the fattest girl in America once when she was young and it was surprising and inspiring at the same time to see how the author has created her coming back from her struggles so strong and so outgoing. I love her passion and her spirit. She was there to prove to everyone that ‘you are WANTED’ and this is the part which really moved me. It was really beautiful. Jack was this boy who has been living in his shell and acts cool just to cover up his secret. But deep inside, I was just melted by how kind and how nice he is as a person. I love his personality and kindness, especially after he met Libby, he was so adorable!

You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is. Don’t be afraid to leave the castle. It’s a great big world out there.”
― Jennifer Niven, Holding Up the Universe

My overall thought? :

This book is so heart warming, inspiring and sending a great message to the readers. This is definitely a beautiful young adult, contemporary book. It teaches you on how to accept yourself and feel great in your skin, you don’t need to be someone else for the sake of pleasing others. Be who you are and be happy with it. I loved this book so much and I highly recommend this book to all readers out there.

Rating: 5 / 5 stars!


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