Hello there! It is that time again for another review and it is the turn for Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven. So here we go:
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.
When I started this book I was a bit dissapointed because I wasn’t enjoying it so far. Maybe I wasn’t getting involved in the story and didn’t like one of the main characters (Jack Masselin).
But I decided to go ahead and keep reading, because, after all, I really wanted to know more about Libby’s story. I felt identified with her in so many parts of the story: when she was bullied for being fat, which was something that used to happen to me when I was a little girl.
What I loved the most about this book is Libby’s bravery, the way she accepted herself and didn’t give a… about people’s opinion concerning her weight.
As I said above, Jack wasn’t “my cup of coffee”, I just don’t know why, but Has it ever happened to you that you hate someone and you just don’t know why? Well it happens a lot to me with book characters, specially when they take bad decisions.
I still don’t like him, but I understand the conflict he was passing by, so I will not be so rude with him.
This book made me think a lot about being different, having a health problem, having anxiety, having depression or other kind of trouble, is not so bad as it seems. I mean, it is bad to have those problems, but I think what Niven wanted to tell us is that we’re not alone, we’re not less than others, we are wanted.
I recommend this book, despite I wasn’t so convinced in the beginning, it really is a good book, with so many teachings about life, and a very strong and brave female character we should all imitate.
“As long as you live, there’s always something waiting; and even if its bad, and you know its bad, What can you do? You can’t stop living”.
“We can’t fight another person’s battles, no matter how much we want to”.
“Don’t judge a man till you’ve walked a mile in his shoes”.
“You can’t stop living”.
“It’s not moving on, Libbs. It’s moving differently. That’s all this. Different life. Different world. Different rules. We don’t ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one”.
“We all got something. We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one”.