Review: Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven

‘I want you to know, I am rooting for you’

Wow, it has been a while! I am so happy to finally be out of my reading slump, and it all thanks to Jennifer Niven ❤️

If you liked All The Bright Places, then be ready for the feels! Jennifer Niven really knows  how to hit those nerves.

So we have two main characters, Libby Strout and Jack Masselin. Libby was once ‘Americas Fattest Teen’ who after loosing a lot of weight, is ready to go back to school, which is pretty much ruled by Jack. However, Jack has his own secret, he is ‘Face Blind’ (Prosopagnosia) and he cannot recognise people by their faces, even hit own family (who have no idea).


When we first meet Jack, he is a little bit of a D***. He takes part in ‘Fat Girl Rodeo’ (holding onto a large girl for as long as you can) and rightly so, Libby punches him.

They are forced to spend time together in a counselling group, as punishment. However they seem to grow together.

I loved Libby’s attitude throughout the whole book. She has suffered such a loss and really had to cope on her own, and she has built herself a wall, which (thankfully) Jack breaks down.

I also feel sorry for Jack, imagine waking up and having no idea what your parents look like? Not only does he deal with this, none of his friends know, and he has a daily fight of trying to figure out who is who, added into the mix that his new teacher is the woman his father is having an affair with.. I can understand why he isa bit of an ass.


I’ve seen lots of people comment on both characters attitudes, and that the book doesn’t promote a healthy body image. I BEG TO DIFFER. As a ‘larger’ girl myself, Libby’s attitude is like a breath of fresh air. She is full of such confidence and to stand in a school with just a bikini on.. that takes some strength. And for anyone who thinks this doesn’t happen in real life, that the larger girls never feel like crap, that they never get bullied off the popular kids? I recommend you go back to high school and see what it is really like, because I can guarantee you have probably never been bullied. This book hits at what the bullies say and do, and what some of us actually feel like and how we view our bodies and for that, I think it is beyond amazing.

I gave this book 5/5 and strongly recommend you read it!




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