Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Review: Holding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven
Started reading: June 19th 2017
Finished the book: June 21st 2017
Pages: 391
Genres: YA, Romance, Contemporary
Published: October 4th 2016
Source: Borrowed from the library
Goodreads score: 3.94
My score:
Synopsis

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, 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


My thoughts
After finishing All the Bright Places I had high hopes for Holding Up the Universe! I really adored Jennifer Niven's writing style in All the Bright Places and she didn't disappoint me in this book! Although I wasn't as blown away, I did enjoy this book a lot. Jennifer Niven totally captures the type of humor I like in a book. Definitely a writer I'll keep my eyes on!

Pros
  • Libby: Libby is such a strong character. I'm very insecure myself and I can't see myself doing some of the things she has done. She is proud of herself for losing weight and she is happy with who she is. Libby is enjoying her freedom and just being who she is without caring what others think, because she did that way too long already. YOU GO GIRL!
  • Humor: Like I said, the humor in Jennifer's books are totally my thing! The sarcasm and the snarky remarks some of the characters make are definitely something I cherish in books!
  • Positive vibe: I was kinda scared after reading All the Bright Places, which felt like a dark books at some parts. This book had quite a lot of cruelty in it, but I did feel a very positive vibe. Libby is such a big, bright star in this book who has this great positive attitude. This made the book feel very colourful for me!
  • Skipping back and forth: It's so strong that you skip back and forth in time. The book starts with a letter, goes back in time. Skips to the past and back forward. It's a better way to understand Libby and Jack and totally adds something to the story, where in other books I sometimes find it confusing and unnecessary. 

Cons
  • Not mind-blowing: Okay, so I know it's not always fair to compare books, but I still did it. A bit.. Maybe.. I was BLOWN away by All the Bright Places and that wasn't the case in this book. Although the books are very different with totally different characters I couldn't help compare the books and the feelings that came with it. Don't get me wrong; this is a strong book, but the bar was set for me with All the Bright Places.
  • Cruelty: I know this also adds to the story but I just can't stand it.. The cruelty. I'm a teacher and luckily I work at a school where bullying is NOT a word we even USE. We have ZERO TOLERANCE policy for bullying. So the things that were said to Libby and that were done to her gave me such a bad feeling... People are stupid sometimes and I really hope none of the kids in my classroom will ever do things like that to a person. They'll have to justify their actions before me.
Overall
Another great book by Jennifer Niven, which is 2 out of 2 for me now! Definitely a writer I'll keep my eyes on, I'm very curious what she'll write next. So strong that she is not afraid to take up some heavy subjects in her book and creates very believable characters around it. I'm a new Jennifer Niven fangirl!

Other opinions about this book
"Want a love story that will give you all the feels?... You'll seriously melt!"
- Seventeen Magazine

"Written in short chapters of alternating perspectives, this is a thoughtful exploration of identity and self-acceptance, with commentary on overcoming adversities that will hit close to home."
- School Library Journal

"Libby and Jack are two characters who will reach out of the page and climb into your heart!"
- Justine Magazine

Memorable quotes from this book
"We're all weird and damaged in our own way. You're not the only one."

"It's my experience that the people who are most afraid are the ones who hide behind mean and threatening words."

"We can't fight another person's battle, no matter how much we want to."

Have you read a book by Jennifer Niven? What did you think?

  

12 comments:

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book!

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  2. Wonderful review!! I enjoyed this book a lot, but, like you said, it didn't have the same emotional punch that All the Bright Places had. Still, as far as lighter contemporary novels go, this on was a good one! Libby was a truly delightful character. I loved the confidence she had! I think she's a great model for some younger teen girls.

    ~ Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

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    1. Thanks for your compliment and sharing your opinion! Libby would be a great spokesperson for young teen girls!

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  3. I need to read her first book. I thought this one was ok but wasn't blown away by it.

    And yeah the bullying was awful!

    For What It's Worth

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    1. All the Bright Places was great! :) I was blown away!

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  4. It's hard not to compare books by the same author, especially when you enjoyed one more than the other. I can totally get on board with snarky characters. I'm prone to being a little snarky myself. It's my brand of humor I suppose. Sometimes it can be really hard to read a book where someone is being really cruel to a character. Enjoyed the review!

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    1. Thanks so much! Always nice to find personality traits in a character that match your own!

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  5. Great review! This has been on my TBR for ages, I need to just sit down and read it already! :)

    www.letmecrossover.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! It's a great read. You can probably finish the book in a weekend :)

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  6. Awesome review! I've been meaning to check out Niven's latest novel since it released but I was a little hesitant because of the first one's darker tone. Glad to know it has humor and a positive main character, I will have to finally read it. Thanks

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    1. I hope you'll enjoy the book! Thanks for stopping by.

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