Yeh, we went on honeymoon. There was lots of lazing by the pool and lots of reading was done.
So here is a review of Holding Up the Universe By Jennifer Niven.
The book is about a girl who was once dubbed ‘America’s Fattest Teen’. Since her mum’s death she’s been picking up the pieces and eating herself until oblivion. Until a few years ago, and she had to be cut out of her house. Since then she has lost a hell of a lot of weight and is now back at school.
Jack Masselin is popular, charming and hilarious and everyone thinks they know him. What no one knows is that Jack can not recognize faces and despite having tonnes of friends he is incredibly lonely…just like Libby. When Jack and Libby meet, they discover that the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel.
I must admit, I had tried reading this book before and failed. Instead of chapters it flits between Libby and Jack sections which, at first, I found quite annoying but you get used to it.
Once you do get used to it the book is really easy to read just like Niven’s other novel ‘All The Bright Things’. Jennifer Niven wrote Holding Up the Universe as a response to everyone who wrote to her after All the Bright Places, which dealt with severe mental illness. She replied to a lot of the letters with ‘You are wanted. You are necessary. You are loved’ and so this story began.
I liked the fact this story highlights Bullying, Fat Shaming, Depression and Peer Pressure in a way that makes you feel ok if you are in those categories and if not I hope it makes you realise the effects. You can never truly know someone when you are at school, not really. Teenagers are not grown up enough to not lie or make themselves look better than they are.
There were certain points in the book which made me feel anxious and in a way that was good because the book was doing exactly what was intended and hitting a nerve. For example, Fat Girl Rodeo made me think back to my school days and luckily nothing like that ever happened to me but it made me realise the certain people who would have done that and would have gone that far and that pissed me off to be frank.
I Loved Libby and Jack as characters and loved the cliche happy ending. I think the book is aimed at the slightly younger teen but still loved it even so. As an adult, reading books like this you have to go in to it knowing who they are meant to be aimed at and I think that helps you to understand the way it was written and intended to come across.
I gave this book 5/5 on Goodreads which you can find here. (Elle Ritson).
You can also find my other book reviews here.