Book Review: Holding Up the Universe


Title: Holding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Published: October 4th, 2016

Publisher: Knopf

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

My Rating: ☆   ☆   ☆   ☆   /5

“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”


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.


I’ve read reviews about this book and I may say that there are negative reviews that made people think twice in reading in this. In my unpopular opinion, I think that should be broken because I am currently in love with this book. This is a good story but it doesn’t surpass her novel, All the Bright Places.

Points. Let’s start making points.

My favorite part is having connections with the characters. I felt a connection with Jack because of his mental health condition. Sure, I may not have his face-blindness but I felt connect with him in terms of his experience dealing with it alone and not having the confidence to say it to your loved ones.

In terms of Libby, I felt a connection to her in terms of the Anxiety I felt when making my every move, but she proved to herself that she is better than that. My inspiration.

The adventure. Let’s not forget that. I felt inspired by this book that’s why I was finally motivated to have a proper check up about my mental health condition.

Jennifer Niven’s works are truly inspirational and I am waiting for her future works.

What are your thoughts about the book?

About The Author

45592By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson (“If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win”), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven’t stopped… I’ve written nine books (#9 will be out Oct 4, 2016), and when I’m not working on the tenth, I’m writing the screenplay for All the Bright Places, contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.


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