Hi everyone! I’m back with another book review and today I’m going to be reviewing Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven 🙂 This is Jennifer Niven’s newest contemporary novel and it definitely exceeded my expectations. If you know me well, you would know that I don’t tend to pick up YA contemporary novels but I loved All The Bright Places and I’m happy that I decided to pick up HUTU. Though there were some drama regarding the previous blurb that was released where many people found offensive, don’t let that hinder you from reading this book because it’s nothing like the previous blurb stated! This review will not contain spoilers so let’s get started with the review ❤
Release date : 4th October 2016
Published by : Knopf Books / Penguin
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.
My rating : ♥♥♥♥ / ♥♥♥♥♥
Buy it here :
Book Depository → http://www.bookdepository.com/Holding-Up-the-Universe-Jennifer-Niven/9780141357058?ref=grid-view
Amazon → https://www.amazon.com/Holding-Up-Universe-Jennifer-Niven/dp/0385755929/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476189800&sr=1-1&keywords=holding+up+the+universe
As taken from the synopsis of the book, Holding Up The Universe follows the journey of the relationship between ” America’s Fattest Teen “, Libby Strout ” and Jack Masselin, a boy who can’t recognise faces. Throughout the course of the book, we see how their relationship with each other develop and we also see how they each grew and matured as individuals. I overall enjoyed the plot of the novel as I felt it really captured you into the story and though it was a simple plot, it still made me think about some of the situations the characters go through such as bullying as well as some life lessons that they learn such as the true meaning of friendship and learning that it’s okay to be different. The storyline is definitely relatable to many people and that was something I liked because I could relate to certain aspects. I absolutely adored the writing style in the novel! The author’s writing style is so beautiful and it makes you not want to put the book down and continue reading. The pacing of the book was just nice and the whole story flowed and came together nicely.
I feel that the characters were probably the best part of the novel. Firstly, we have our two main characters, Jack and Libby. Starting off with Libby, she’s definitely one of my new favourite characters amongst all the books I’ve read. She is such a strong person and she presents herself very maturely. Libby went through a lot of bullying and teasing in the book because of a past event that occured related to her weight, but she was still able to stand up for herself and step out of her shell to try new things. She is very snark and vocal and she does not tolerate people talking nasty things about her, which I find important because I just love characters that actually stand up for themselves. Throughout the book, I just wanted to give Libby a big hug and be her best friend because she’s such an amazing character.
As for Jack, I wasn’t the biggest fan of his character at the start because he was kind of a jerk but throughout the book, we get to see how his character develops and how he learns from his mistakes. Jack went from being the person who’s influenced by his friends to make fun of people to a guy who decided to take matters to his own hands and stop bullying others and that is just great character development! There was however, a line that Jack said that was pretty offensive-sounding and I know that some people were offended by it. It was also the reason why I gave this book 4 stars instead of 5. He stated something along the lines of ” For someone who’s fat, she is graceful “. I definitely understand why people were offended and I thought that the author could have handled that better but apart from that, I loved his character
I thought that the romance in the book was very well-developed and it didn’t felt insta-lovey or rushed. There was strong chemistry between the two characters and I really enjoyed being a part of their relationship as a reader. There were also family dynamics in the novel which was so lovely! 🙂 Libby has a very close relationship with her father and her father is just so funny and supportive, and I loved how he was always present in her life. There are cases in YA novels where the parents are just not present in the child’s life so I thought that it was refreshing to see a supporting parenting figure in Libby’s life.
That’s all for my review of Holding Up The Universe! I would highly recommend this book to everyone because it’s adorable yet I feel that we can all learn something from it as well. If you’re looking for a quick contemporary, do support Jennifer Niven and pick up her book 🙂 Thank you all for reading and I’ll see you in my next post, bye!