Being the author of All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven knows how to reach the young adult audience and how to capture their hearts and attention. She knows how to make characters relateable, three-dimensional and loveable.
Holding up the Universe is better than All the Bright Places. It’s 10x better. The writing is more fluid, the characters have more depth to them and there’s a strong, clear, positive message all the way through the book: you are wanted, you are necessary, you are loved.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, but no one’s ever looked past her weight to see who she really is. Since her mum’s death, Libby’s been hiding, but now she’s ready for high school.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin too – sexy, aloof and too cool for school. But Jack’s swaggering confidence is hiding a secret he must keep at all costs.
Then Jack meets Libby. And their worlds change. Because sometimes when you meet someone, the whole universe just comes into focus.
It’s very hard for a book to make me cry actual tears. My eyes tear up and my bottomg lip quivers but that’s about it normally. In Holding up the Universe, I cried properly, as in tears-streaming-down-my-face properly and that happened pretty much throughout the entire book.
I am not Britain’s Fattest Teen but I have struggled with my perception of my weight for seven years and it was the thing that has also made me suffer from depression and anxiety for those seven years. So when I read Libby’s point of view, how she actually was America’s Fattest Teen, how she was the fattest girl in high school, but how she was also proud of her body and how far she had come in her life, of how she realised that she just had to own her body after all of the hate and abuse that she had over the past – I knew that’s the kind of role model girls of today need. That’s a person who I can look up to and say: ‘I want confidence like hers.’
“It’s the suddenness of life changing in an instant that makes me anxious when I sleep and makes me tell myself to breathe when I’m awake.”
― Jennifer Niven,
This book deals with a lot of issues that most people can relate to. The characters are also beautifully written and I love Jack’s afro! I have fallen in love with it.
The secondary characters such as Jack’s brothers: Marco and Dusty were also fantastic. Dusty is the cutest person on the planet and I just want to give him a massive hug and tell him that everything is going to be alright and it’s not going to be shitty all the time.
Everything about this book was perfect to me: the duel perspectives, the writing, how Libby’s favourite book is We Have Always Lived in this Castle by Shirley Jackson, how Jennifer Niven literally put her heart and soul into this book and how this book will always fill me with feels.
Please read this book. Please.