Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Number of Pages: 391
Publisher:Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
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.
In this story, we follow Libby Strout who has gone through traumatic experiences ever since her mom’s death. For the longest time, she’s been dealing all this by herself in the comfort of her house. Now, she’s ready to face the world. Then, she meets Jack Masselin, and who has issues of his own.
I remember that there was a lot of fuzz about how the synopsis seemed offensive and it has gone through the book community when the book was first release. To be honest, I wasn’t one of those people (and I’m a fat kid myself). Despite that, I honestly think that Libby’s and Jack’s story on its own is very inspiring and empowering not only for “fat kids,” but for everyone who is having a hard time accepting and loving their imperfections. To me it wasn’t just about the romance, it’s about how they both overcame their personal insecurities that made me love this book even more.
I absolutely loved Libby as she is very relatable and I love the way she stands for what she thinks is right for her life. I am rooting not only for this book, but to everyone who has gone through or is still going through the same things Libby and Jack has gone through in this novel.
My overall rating for this book (4 stars) is because I feel like it was such an interesting and moving read with complex characters and a very unique storyline.