Holding up the Universe

Holding up the Universe

Book - 2016
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"A boy with face blindness and a girl who struggles with weight fall in love"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9780385755924
Characteristics: 391 pages


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KHCPL_Tree Nov 05, 2017

Enter Libby Strout once known as “America’s Fattest Teen”, and Jack Masselin, swoony popular high school stud, and throw them into Breakfast Club-esque detention sessions after a beat down from a bad attempt at a horrible prank and you have Holding Up the Universe. These two unlikely characters are thrown together and find that they can confide their troubles and secrets with EACH OTHER….and they are heavy burdens upon their teen shoulders. Libby suffers from extreme grief that caused her massive life-altering weight gain but she is on the road to recovery and is refreshingly confident amid high school ridicule. She doesn’t know that Jack witnessed her most embarrassing moment and that he really didn’t want to hurt her with his prank. Jack suffers from an extreme from a Face Blindness and has worked out a system so that no one ever knows until he mistaking kisses the wrong girl. It gets harder for him to hide his condition while learning more family secrets, the burden keeps growing. But with the help of Libby and their intense attraction the weight of the universe becomes shared.
This book is set in Indiana, it’s a well written and realistic tale of teens trying to navigate the world as best they can while finding out that sometimes it’s best to not shoulder the burdens of the world alone. It has a dual POV that shows there is more to another person that what you are shown. High School antics such as mild violence, language, sex, drugs, and alcohol are mentioned and experienced but are not the heart of the story.

Aug 12, 2017

A tad slow paced, but overall, good read.

Jul 24, 2017

Kids can be cruel. Anyone who is different or doesn't meet the school norm is often singled out and bullied. This novel starts with a friend of Jack's who thinks it is funny to play mean pranks on fat girls. The gist of the story centers around learning to see beneath the surface and seeing people for who they are on the inside instead of who they appear to be on the outside. Once again, Niven sets her novel in an Indiana high school--love the local connections. I also love these two realistic and well drawn teens attempting to make the best of their individual situations. Touching, heart rending, and well written.

RDPL_Teens Jul 12, 2017

"Dear friend, You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only you there is."

Libby Strout, a teen who just three years earlier had to be cut out of her house, starts high school and discovers it can be an emotionally treacherous place. She forms unusual bonds with some of her classmates, including Jack, who is harboring secrets of his own.

I loved Libby's insurmountable spirit in this book about overcoming loss, bullying and figuring out who you really want to be.

Jun 11, 2017

This book was better than I expected.
It was a cute, easy to read book with a interesting story!!!

JCLEmmaF Feb 03, 2017

This was super sweet. A girl deemed the "Fattest Teen in America" quickly gets into a fist fight with Mr. Popular- who happens to have a secret disorder called prosopagnosia (he cannot recognize anyone's face). I was vaguely skeptical that the main character could be so gutsy; however, I loved every minute of it. Lovable characters made me happy. Is it a tiny bit extra/stereotypical? Sure, but I think high school/first loves are. But the thing is, it's not a "popular boy rescues fat girl" story. It's a "two people figure out who they are and own it" story... Super cute and easy read, Very easily my favorite fiction of 2016.

JCLEmilyD Jan 31, 2017

This one seems to be getting some buzz so I decide to read it. I didn't regret it!
This is the story of Jack and Libby. Jack is face-blind and Libby was once deemed America's Fattest Teen. Jack is struggling with being his true self and Libby is struggling to get others to accept that her true self is worthy.

JCLMichelleR Jan 31, 2017

This is the book I wanted Dumplin to be! I loved Libby! She's smart, strong, confident and full of life. She has had huge pain and has dealt with and is currently dealing with it. She knows that she deserves to be loved fully, I adore her. Jack, oh Jack. He really is a good person, even if he doesn't believe it yet. I giggled and gasped and was carried away by their story. The only thing that kept this book a 4 star for me was that there were more than a few times that I had to double check who's chapter it was because their inner voices were too similar. Overall a beautiful story and thankfully much less heartache than All the Bright Places!!

Jan 29, 2017

Libby Strout is labeled as the fat girl who couldn't even get out of her house.
Everyone thinks Jack Masselin is the cool guy who knows everyone.
But things on the surface aren't what's really happening. Libby dealed with her emotions after her moms death by eating, but she's lost 200+ pounds and is trying to start over. Jack has a secret that no one knows; he cant recognize a face, not even his own. When these two get caught up in a cruel high school game, they end up in counselling together and bond over the fact that they are both really alone.
Although this book sounded really interesting, I couldn't get into it. Hopefully I'll pick it up and try again later because I’ve liked this author’s other books.
- @Fallenangelhushhush of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Wow. What a beautifully executed and well established book this was. Jennifer Niven surprised me with her YA novel “All the Bright Places” but I can’t say I loved it as much as this one. Holding Up the Universe was exactly what I have yearned for as a Saturday night book, because it captured the essence of the main characters and focused only on them. Libby, known at one point as America’s Fattest Teen when she was removed from her house by a crane during a fire. Jack, who cannot recognize faces of his loved ones, his friends, and wakes up everyday not knowing who his mother even is. How unlikely for a popular boy with a secret and a girl with an embarrassment she can’t live down, to meet and to hate each other to a point of love. They meet together only because Jack attacks her in a game of “Fat Girl Rodeo”, and she trusts him only because he tells her the biggest secret of his life. Niven has outdone her previous novel by bringing two very real, very interesting and very beautiful characters together in the most perfect way. The sheer perfectness appears to be a bit staged, but otherwise one of my favourite YA romances of this time! Rating 4.5/5
- @jewelreader of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Dec 13, 2016

Ninja_Lotus thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and under

SanRafaelStaff_JillT Nov 22, 2016

SanRafaelStaff_JillT thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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