‘Holding up the Universe’ by Jennifer Niven

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This is a book is beautifully written and inspiring for teens everywhere!

Plus my mum bought it for me SIGNED by Jennifer Niven, who is one of my favourite authors!!! I was so happy when I got this book!!

It’s a book that should be not only read, but analysed and listened to by ever part of your body!

Here’s the description of the book on Goodreads:

“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 counselling 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.”

This book is nothing that I’ve read before.

In this day and age, there are so many books that tackle eating disorders, but all of them that I’ve seen are to do with anorexia, and not obesity/over-eating.

Of course, every eating disorder needs to be addressed, and being addressed through literature is one of the best ways to do it in my opinion, but there are a lot more eating disorders than anorexia.

Libby Strout went through a traumatic time in her life which made her start eating for comfort. This comfort soon became a habit; an addiction, and soon she could not stop. Her eating got so bad that she became stuck in her bedroom that she couldn’t even get out of her bedroom door.

Admittedly, this made me feel uncomfortable, but of course, I think it’s meant to.

Society nowadays is so blinded by what over-eating can do, that reading something like this really opened my eyes and saw it as the problem that it truly is; just like under-eating is too.

The second protagonist in this book is Jack Masselin and he has a condition called prosopagnosia… admittedly I spent the entirety of this book having NO IDEA how to actually pronounce prosopagnosia, but now, as I have researched on google, and it’s pronounced: proso-pag-no-sia. I’ve definitely been saying it wrong!

I knew that this was a thing, but I had no idea what it was really like to have it until I read this book! Of course, I can never really know what having prosopagnosia is like as I don’t have it, but reading about it from the point of view of someone who has it – even if he is fictional – was truly amazing!

Together, these characters make a very different fictional pair, and I love them.

The story is one that starts off shaky, and at first I truly hated Jack, but then I learned to love him as he started to be himself.

This book takes fat-shaming into a whole new context and it is an incredible read.

There’s nothing that I can truly say without giving the whole plot away, and I truly believe that it’s a book that should be embraced personally and not given to you in a short summery.

Jennifer Niven is truly an exceptional writer that fills her books with unusual characters to everyday fiction, and I can’t wait to see what she has left in store for her writing.

Rating: 4/5

Link to the book on Amazon HERE.

Link to the Book's Goodreads page HERE

Link to Jennifer Niven on Goodreads HERE.

Link to Jennifer Niven's Twitter HERE.


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