Friday, January 13, 2017

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

More info*
Publication date: 2016
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Pages: 388
My rating: 3.5
Ages: 16+

Both Libby and Jack have things they'd rather not have people know. Libby is returning to school after five years of being housebound and would rather that no one remember that she was once "the fattest teen in America." No one knows that popular guy Jack can't remember the faces of anyone around him, and he's been very careful that no one finds out. When the two of them end up having to spend a lot of time together, they find that they have more in common than they would have ever thought possible.

This book is an amazing example of great writing. Niven seems to really understand teenagers and the things that happen during those completely awkward and uncertain teen years. The teasing, the bullying, the worry about what your peers will think of you. Then there are the relationships between siblings and parents, of all types, and the examples of both good and bad teachers. Then there are the deeper themes of looking past the surface and seeing people for who they really are.

I liked Libby a lot. She was still a bit self conscious about her weight (like everyone), but she was passionate and knew what she wanted. There wasn't anything she was going to let stand in her way to getting the things she wanted. She was also close to her father, which is unique in YA novels, but as someone who had a good relationship with her parents throughout her teen years (and now), I thought it was nice to see.

Jack was kind of . . . rude, but that was mostly because of how he compensated for his face blindness and the people he surrounded himself with. Jack doesn't have anyone in his life that inspires him to be his true self.

There was quite a bit of language and some sexual talk.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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