Review : Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven 

EditFrom the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

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 in new and bad-ass ways, 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.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.  (From: Goodreads)

Title: Holding Up The Universe 

Author: Jennifer Niven 

Genres: YA, contemporary 

Publisher: Knopf (US), 2016

Edition: paperback, 388 pages

⭐⭐⭐ universe stars!!! 

  • cover ⭐⭐⭐
  • plot ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • characters ⭐⭐⭐
  • writing ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m not a shitty person, but I’m about to do a shitty thing.

This is the second book I read from Jennifer Niven.  She is the author of All The Bright Places, a book which soon will become a movie.  That was a book about depression.  I liked that book.  (I guess?  Since Nikki has showed me her point of view which was really convincing.  Haha.). This book is about an overweight girl and a boy who had trouble recognising people’s faces.

Truth be told: this book has been on my bookshelf for quite a while.  The reason it took me so long to pick up this book is because I’ve heard some people say they didn’t feel comfortable reading it.

Things I Like About It

– Jack’s prosopagnosia 

It’s the name of the disease that Jack had.  It’s a new thing to me.  I wasn’t so sure about the existence of this thing.

– the plot 

The plot, or rather, the storyline is well-built.  

– the writing 

I like Jennifer’s writing.  This kept me turning one page after another.  

Things I Dislike About It 

– hurtful words 

Yes.  It made the story seem realer to use those hurtful words on Libby, but…it depressed me in a big time.  I mean…how can high school students say something like that?  I’ve only seen this thing happen when I was in primary school.

– Libby’s attitude toward other people 

Not all the time.  Sometimes, Libby talked to people in the way like she was the Queen, she owned this place.  I didn’t like it.  She’d definitely make people dislike her even more.


I recommend people with strong heart to read this book.  It doesn’t officially have a heartbreaking moment, but it sure does have a lot of nibbling-your-heart lines.  If you’ve read All The Bright Places and loved the writing, then you should pick up this book.

Do whatever it takes.  Be lord of the douche.  Anything to keep from being the prey.  Always better to hunt than be hunted.

That’s all for my review of Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven.  Have you read this book?  Let me know what you think!

Have a nice day and I’ll see you next time.  Bye-bye 👋

xoxo Remi 


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