Review: Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe
Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a while since I had a 5 star read, one that makes you stay up really late to get it finished in a big breathless rush to the end. This book officially ended my reading slump. And here is my true confession, I’ve never read All The Bright Places, I tried twice, but it came out at a time where I just couldn’t read a book about suicide. Now though, I’m going to give myself a bit more Jennifer Niven, if it is even half as good as this one it will be great.

In this gorgeous story we have Libby, the largest girl in America, who famously had to be lifted out of her house by a crane because she couldn’t get out any other way. She has been in therapy for a while now, has lost a lot of weight, but she is still really large. Libby is one of the best people you could have in a book, she is feisty and snarky and all the things I like in a girl character. Then there is Jack, who has something I know a bit about going on with him, he has ‘face blindness’ or prosopagnosia, a member of my family has this and I know it is hard to deal with. Jack can’t even recognise his family or his girlfriend and has heaps of coping strategies to manage his life, a life which is fairly messy anyway. So, these two are in high school, Libby finally starting after a life of being unable to go there, and Jack who behaves badly to make up for not knowing what is going on half the time. You can guess what happens, but it is the lovely way they are drawn to each other. How they look after each other and how they become important to each other that I really liked. This is a nice book about nice people and I’m totally fine with that. It is abook about tolerance and love and the fact that physical appearance is a terrible indicator of what someone is like.

I think you should hand this book to the people who loved Jandy Nelson and John Green and E Lockhart and Rainbow Rowell. A gem for everyone in high school. I do get why some people are not going to be fans of this, and I don’t even care because this is good reading. This is what teenagers want to read and I shall be buying a bunch of copies and thrusing them about willy nilly.

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