Holding up The Universe | | Review

November 26, 2016

After the whirlwind of emotions All The Bright Places was, Jennifer Niven has just published her second YA novel with Penguin Random House. I knew after reading ATBP I would read anything and everything by Niven, ugh. she is absolutely fantastic and her words are beautiful!

Let's start with the cover, Holding up The Universe has the most gorgeous cover, it's simple and definitely pleases my aesthetic and has a place on my bookshelves among my other books with white spines. Dunno what it is about white spines but my books appear to be white quite often. Probably influenced by hours of Pinterest browsing. 

I have so many thoughts about this book, if this appears to be a word vomit blog post then so be it. Libby, our main character, who within the first 15 pages my thoughts were 'I am rooting for you'. There's something about Libby, she's incredibly confident and accepting of herself, finally. Just wanna dance with her and be happy about life despite its shittiness sometimes u no.

Libby has issues with her weight, after being titled 'America's Fattest Teen' and having to be carried out of her house by a crane she is accepting herself for who she is. Being positive about your body is a message that Niven flows through the book fantastically, for young influential girls and boys it's a very important message to be portrayed.  There's some beautiful paragraphs about dealing with weight issues that will make you think HELL MY BODY IS GREAT I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK.

"Our bodies are wondrous, miraculous things, and we shouldn't ever feel ashamed of them!"

Enter Jack Masselin with an incurable condition called prosopagnosia which means he can't recognise people's faces. Imagine coming home from school and not recognising your mum or brother? It must be so frustrating for Jake, you can feel his frustration as he walks through school hallways identifying his friends by what he calls their 'identifiers' which is something that stands out about them, whether that's crazy hair, their height or tone of voice. Jack seems to be a bit of an asshole, you'll grow to love him despite the trouble he gets himself into. Not only is Jack a bit of a jerk, so is his friend Seth. Both assholes. Ugh. And his on/off girlfriend Caroline is a girl I would have completely avoided in high school at all costs. 

Libby punches Jack which then turns into an unlikely friendship/relationship. Here we go. My absolute favourite part of YA is romance, despite the cringe and cheese, I just love it. Can't get enough of it. The young pair get off to a bad start but by the time Libby accompanies Jack to a research centre to find out more about his condition she thinks she might actually like him. And he thinks he might like her too. Adorable. Love it. So much.

Favourite character? Dusty, Jack's little brother. Just adorable and going against gender stereotypes. Likes the Jackson 5. Isn't afraid to wear a purse. Love him. Can I have him as my brother?

Favourite moment (s)? The car rides Libby and Jack share. Libby's dad and how wonderfully kind he is.

If you do one thing today, please read this amazing ya novel, fabulous, you won't regret it. You'll cry, laugh and fall in love with Niven's characters.

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