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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe (edition 2016)

by Jennifer Niven (Author)

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9004818,162 (3.94)3
"A boy with face blindness and a girl who struggles with weight fall in love"--
Title:Holding Up the Universe
Authors:Jennifer Niven (Author)
Info:New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016
Collections:Your library
Tags:Young adults

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Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven


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English (45)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (48)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
A YA Romance Novel. I really enjoyed it. As a big girl who probably has overeaten due to her mom's death - I identified with the main character. As a person who has (most likely) dyslexia - I empathized with Jack and his face blindness (which I did not know was a thing until I read/listened to Bone Gap. I love all the revelations in this book and internal monologues. ( )
  MorbidLibrarian | Sep 18, 2021 |
I received a copy of this book free from the publisher via netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Please see full review at www.coffeeandtrainspotting.wordpress.com. ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
3.5 Not quite the masterpiece that All the Bright Places was, but a very good YA story about the insecurities everyone possesses and the ways they try to hide it. Told in alternating chapters by Libby Strout and Jack Masselin, the book is essentially the story of a school year (junior) and the unlikely events that bring these 2 very different teens together. The time sequence is important too and is clearly labeled, but was a little challenging on a e-reader. Libby was America's Fattest Teen and had to be extracted from her house by construction and a crane when she was 13 years old. She has lost 300 of the 600 pounds she once was and after being home-schooled during that process is returning to public school, specifically junior year of high school. She hopes for a fresh start and has made amazing progress in her self-awareness and self-understanding, and has learned a lot about her weight, her emotional issues and how to cope. Her problems were initially brought on by the sudden, unexpected death of her mother when she was 11 or 12. Now all her health and growth is about to be tested. Week 1 she encounters Jack Masselin, a popular kid whose deviant friends have dared him to play "Fat Girl Rodeo" in which he is supposed to grab her and not let go -- much like riding a bull. Libby decks him and they both end up in the principal's office. Jack reveals to Libby privately that he only took the dare in hopes of preventing his "friends" from doing the same or worse. He also reveals that he has a condition called prosopagnosia, or "face-blindness" in which he cannot recognize people by their facial features or retain memory of them. He has to find other identifiers like size, or hair (he himself wears a big afro) or birthmarks -- his girlfriend Caroline has a fake beauty mark-- and that he has been a great pretender all these years, because not even his family (whom he also cannot recognize) knows this about him. BTW, this is the second YA book to deal with this topic recently -- must be a thing. Jack and Libby and a few other miscreants get thrown together in a Breakfast Club-like scenario to work off their detentions and misbehavior and Jack and Libby become friends and more over time as they try to help each other navigate the awkward, cutthroat world of adolescence. Highlights: road trip to IU to confirm Jack's diagnosis. Libby's manifesto about kindness and acceptance that she delivers in the school hallway while wearing a bikini. Mr. Levine, cool school counselor who runs the after school Conversation Circle (detention). Libby's slam-dunk try-out for the school's dance team -- dancing is her major talent and her salvation. There are requisite mean girls and cocky guys who try to thwart Libby and Jack, but they both gain and retain a sense of themselves, separate and together that helps them become invincible. The overall message is to face the truth and be your truth. ( )
  CarrieWuj | Oct 24, 2020 |
Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Libby has been struggling with her weight her entire life known as "America's Fattest Teen". She is dealing with the death of her Mother and her grieving Father. She wants a normal life and to be accepted by her peers.

Jack is suffering from a rare condition Prosopagnosia or Face Blindness. He can't recognize people, including family. Due to this he uses humor (to cope) and does not allow anyone to get too close to him. He wants to live a normal life and be accepted as well.

The two form a friendship while facing normal teen problems and trying to overcome their own insecurities. Although the paring of the two would seem off to some, the union of the pair could be exactly what they need to live life to it's fullest.

The story moves at a fast pace with well developed characters and alternating (voice of) Libby and Jack. Both are very likable. I really wanted them to be self confident and find true happiness. Overall I found Holding Up the Universe very enjoyable. With true to life situations and told in a relatable way. I highly recommend to Young Adult and Adult readers as well. A definite five star read. ( )
  SheriAWilkinson | Aug 28, 2020 |
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I'm not a shitty person, but I'm about to do a shitty thing.
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"A boy with face blindness and a girl who struggles with weight fall in love"--

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Average: (3.94)
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2 9
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