Holding Up the Universe Paperback – 6 October 2016
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Gorgeously written and oh-so-deeply felt ― Nicola Yoon, author of Everything, Everything
A love story that will give you all the feels ― Seventeen Magazine
A remarkable read ― Teen Vogue
Niven is adept at creating characters . . . [Libby's] courage and body-positivity make for a joyful reading experience ― The New York Times
About the Author
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- Item Weight : 298 g
- Paperback : 432 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0141357053
- ISBN-13 : 978-0141357058
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Publisher : Penguin; Latest edition (6 October 2016)
- Reading level : 12 - 18 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from India
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Name of the book: Holding Up The Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven (@jenniferniven )
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.5/5
I picked this book up because Jennifer Niven had my heart when I read All The Bright Places all those years ago. If you asked me to pick out a reason as to why I love her work, it would be because she writes about things that matter and she writes it in a way that make them matter to YOU. I had ATBP when I had no clue about mental health disorders and I still felt it. That's what good writing does to you. Makes you feel what you cannot.
Coming back to Holding Up The Universe, I loved it for two reasons: the characters and the character development. This book is about Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby Strout is America's fattest teen and Jack Masselin has prosopagnosia (face blindness). Their story is naked and vulnerable because you'll feel the humiliation and you'll feel the struggle. Libby and Jack have a rough start but they're both compassionate, both outlaws so they fall for each other. There's sunshine and roses until there isn't.
Through Jack I could only imagine how difficult it would be not to remember faces and not recognize people except by identifiers. When Jack says "You deserve to be seen" I know he means it. Libby is brave and Libby will take you out. She's the kind of character we all wish we knew because she fight body shaming. At one point Libby says "My only crime was that I was fat" and that's the best line in the book. This book made me hopeful, made me think that there is an end to bullying and body shaming and all the horrible things people do to feel about themselves. Hope is what takes us forward.
Things I liked:
📚Characters - real, naked, lovable
📚Focused on character development than plot
📚Seeing through Jack's eyes
📚Realistic, nondramatic situations that'll feel natural
📚Didn't end in suicide and that brought hope (mental health books can have an impact without the characters dying)
Things I didn't like:
📚The fact that it probably could have had a little more story to it but that's find
~Do I recommend?
Yes! If you like reading about things that matter, then yes.
very engaging and funny.... thought provoking and inspirational not just for fat people but anyone who has insecurities... i absolutely loved the character of Libby Strout and her strength and fierceness is amazing
overall it is a very refreshing read and JUST GO AHEAD... one of the best novels i ever read
Top reviews from other countries
On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and the pacing of the book and thought the plot line was great. I also enjoyed reading about the male protagonists life and about the issues this book presents (bullying, eating disorders, and more).
However, I found some of the situations and responses highly unrealistic (although I will admit I’ve never been to an American school so if it’s like that there then fair enough) and I found it hard to sympathise with the female protagonist since the way she responded to things felt too perfect and unlikely given the age of the character and the things she’s dealt with.
All in all I would recommend reading this book especially if you like the author (I can’t comment on how well it compares to her other books). It was a quick read and was still incredibly captivating and I do believe people who are going through similar issues as the protagonists may enjoy it a lot more than I did. I still love it, I just didn’t love the female protagonist and I do believe it would be ideal for those between 13-15 ( I as a 17 year old wasn’t as keen on it as I would have been at a younger age ) however, if you’re buying for someone else be wary that there is some profanity in. Nothing extremely offensive, but still there.