Holding Up The Universe || Book Review


Author: Jennifer Niven

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Genre: YA Contemporary

Rating: 5/5


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.


Libby Strout is such an inspiring and strong independent woman. Despite getting bullied because of her weight, she still manages to keep her head high and ignore them. I really adore her because she doesn’t care what people says at her back or even in front of her. She believes that she will succeed and she did. Plus, she only wants to live a normal life after stopping school and experience life as a student of Martin Van Buren High School.

Jack Masselin is your typical guy – attractive, popular and somewhat a douche. He’s the type of guy who tries to please other people because of his friends and wants to fit in. But that all leads to his secret, he has Prosopagnosia. He can’t remember faces, even his own family and friends. For him to remember people, he uses identifiers to remind him that he knows the person. Few chapters in, from the way I see him, he’s the type of student who always gets in trouble and a coward and mostly hangs out with his friends, who by the way, are total douche. As the story unfolds, we get to see his character mature and see his other side. His kind and loving side towards his family, especially to his little brother.

What I really love about this book is the story itself. Most especially its meaning. YOU ARE WANTED and YOU MATTER. I can honestly relate to Libby, she was suffering with anxiety and depression and she’s fat, like me. In this book, I learned that even though people may not like you or may not understand you, what’s important is that you value yourself and your dignity. That we should always remember that people’s opinion of us doesn’t matter because what only matters is how we see ourselves. Always be confident and keep your feet on the ground. And if they don’t like us, its okay. We are not born to please people. Instead, we are born to matter. Also, if you think that no one loves you, I’m here and I’m very sure that the right person will come along.

I totally recommend this book to everyone who loves the idea of love and acceptance.

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