Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer NivenHolding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up The Universe

byJennifer Niven

Hardcover | October 4, 2016

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New York Times Bestseller

From the author of the New York Times bestseller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone—and love someone—for who they truly are.

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 in new and bad-ass ways, 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.

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are—and seeing them right back.

"Niven is adept at creating characters. . . . [Libby's] courage and body-positivity make for a joyful reading experience." --The New York Times

Holding Up the Universe . . . taps into the universal need to be understood. To be wanted. And that’s what makes it such a remarkable read.” —TeenVogue.com, “Why New Book Holding Up the Universe Is the Next The Fault in Our Stars”

"Want a love story that will give you all the feels? . . . You'll seriously melt!" —Seventeen Magazine
Jennifer Niven is the author of the New York Times and international bestseller All the Bright Places. She has also written four novels for adults—American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, and Velva Jean Learns to Drive—as well as three nonfiction books—The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua Net Diaries, a me...
Title:Holding Up The UniverseFormat:HardcoverDimensions:400 pages, 8.56 × 5.81 × 1.4 inPublished:October 4, 2016Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385755929

ISBN - 13:9780385755924


Rated 5 out of 5 by from great book though i got bored of it in the beginning, as the book progressed i found myself attached to the book. Overall, i really enjoyed the book in the end.
Date published: 2018-03-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from terrible no chemistry between the characters, who were thinly written on top of not making sense together
Date published: 2018-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing book! This is one of my favourite books! Definitely a must read! Jennifer Niven is an amazing writer. It's different from All the Bright Places...had some doubts but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed this book. #plumreview
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok It was a good book, I did enjoy it
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring This book deals with issues that teenagers deal with today--and also shows how to cope with those problems. With amazing prose and inspirational quotes, Niven portrays the importance of positive self-image.
Date published: 2018-01-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Inspiring Libby Strout is a breath of fresh air and a positive role model for young adult women: she wants to dance for all the right reasons, she has issues in her life that she is determined to overcome, and she is kind. I'm glad I was able to add this book to my classroom library! My teen students love it!
Date published: 2018-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Amazing. Could not put it down. Read it in one sitting and I saw things from a different perspective. It did talk about a few issues going on currently in society I just wish there was more to the plot. Still amazing and do recommend to everyone it truly is an unforgettable read.
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright I bought this blindly half way through finishing All the Bright Places because I was loving it so much. This book sort of disappointed me. Like I mentioned in my review of All the Bright Places, I live for awkward romance books, but this wasn't exciting. The characters felt very repetitive in their thoughts, words, actions, to the point where I was thinking "ok we get it, you don't recognize faces" and "yes we know that you used to be america's fattest teen and now you're very confident and out there". I wanted to love it, but the whole thing was just... alright, and the ending didn't leave me feeling satisfied. Not a bad book, it was fun, quick and easy to read, but I would recommend All the Bright Places over this one
Date published: 2018-01-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Perfection This was one of my favourite books of 2016. I read it in one sitting and then passed it along to my mom.
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from You'll like this if you like John Green Such a sentimental story that teaches you life's lesson(s)
Date published: 2017-12-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Read this book in 5 days, it was really good
Date published: 2017-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from WOW what an amazing read, really enjoyed, will never forget how this changed my view of the world
Date published: 2017-12-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok This book consumed me. I lived in every word, and felt every feeling.
Date published: 2017-12-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok didn't end up where I thought it would
Date published: 2017-11-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Alright this book was okay and it did speak about problems that we have in our society just wished there was more to the plot
Date published: 2017-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Riveting. This book is riveting.
Date published: 2017-11-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from meh not that great. didn't like how much her romantic interests played in the story and i don't like when someones weight is used towards the plot narrative so
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok Such an inspiring and interesting read, simply could not put it down! Great job!
Date published: 2017-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from READ THIS BOOK!!!!! This book is amazing! I love everything about it: the characters, storyline, character development, all of it! It's an awesome read, you won't regret it!
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a great book you should definitely read a masterpiece, a beautifully written book
Date published: 2017-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I Loved This Book! I could not put this book down. It was a great read! I highly recommend this book.
Date published: 2017-10-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ok I read quite a bit over the last few days. The plot-twists left me shocked and confused in the best way. It left me thinking hard, pondering every detail of the book. I would definitely recommend.
Date published: 2017-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So amazing Amazing book and amazing concepts
Date published: 2017-10-01
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven I’m honestly so sick of contemporaries in the present day that are just based around putting 2 characters in the worst possible situation and then forcing them to fall in love – I say forcing because there is 0 chemistry between these characters. I swear some authors just have a big long list of mental illnesses, diseases or unfortunate scenarios that they scroll down and eeny, meeny, miny, moe which ones they will choose. Dead parent for you, random illness for you, a bit of anxiety on the side as well as extreme obesity and we’ve got our perfect story!!!! Everyone will definitely love it!!!!! I strongly question the motives behind writing a novel such as this one.The pacing also slows down as the story moves forward. I remember feeling at one point like the book should be coming to an end, and yet there were almost another hundred pages to go. You knew the characters had feelings for one another, you knew they were going to end up together, but the narrative was dawdling. I feel like Niven has given very little thought to what it means to portray an obese character and a character with a cognitive disorder. I feel like little thought has been given to any readers who might relate to these characters. I can't help but imagine the author sitting there and simply thinking “how can I make this romance super angsty?
Date published: 2017-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting I was super excited that Jennifer Niven was coming out with a new book after being obsessed with all the bright places...not going to lie, this book wasn't as great BUT it was still a great quick read! I loved the characters and the plot : ) Can't wait for her next book
Date published: 2017-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not on the same level as 'All The Bright Places' I absolutely loved Jennifer Niven’s “All The Bright Places” (which I gave 5 stars) and fell in love with Finch & Violet. Naturally, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on “Holding Up The Universe”. I hate to say how disappointed I was with “Holding Up The Universe” and it pains me to give it only 3 stars; I wanted to love it so badly. “Holding Up The Universe” was immature, even for the YA crowd. A lot of the plot was not believable. Popular badass falls in love with loser aka fat girl. This story couldn’t be any more typical and overdone. The only part that was original was the prosopagnosia, which I haven’t decided added to or took away from the story. Even still, I would recommend “Holding Up The Universe” for teens. It’s an easy read that focuses on bullying, family, friendship, love and loss – every teenager could use a lesson or two. This novel also boasts a strong emphasis on body positivity (which we need more now than ever).
Date published: 2017-08-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from i love this story i love this story, it is quite refreshing and will help people's eyes to what is happening some kids go through
Date published: 2017-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from refreshing story This was a cute book with relatable characters. It was well written and engaging.
Date published: 2017-08-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I was obsessed with this book! I got this book a week ago, and finished the day I got it! It has such a wonderful storyline, a bit predictable (at least in my opinion), but it was really beautiful. Anyone would enjoy this!
Date published: 2017-07-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from awesome read! i found that this book was very realistic, because it dealt with characters who have flaws, instead of just perfect people. the love story was also very well written. quick read
Date published: 2017-07-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Should be read in conjunction with 13 ways of looking At a fat girl by Mona Awad.
Date published: 2017-05-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good book I was super excited for this book to come out as All the Bright Places is one of my favourite YA novels. Unfortunately I was a little let down by this novel. The characters are interesting and it is a very unique plot line, it just felt like it was lacking something. That being said I would read it again
Date published: 2017-05-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Terrific Such a wonderful story to read, very emotional
Date published: 2017-05-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Book! Made me cry :( Excellent Book! Made me cry :(
Date published: 2017-05-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Cute and Fun Read I've previously read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and I didn't particularly enjoy it as I have other contemporary books. I decided to take a chance and read Jennifer's other book Holding Up the Universe; I am glad I did. Holding up the Universe was an interesting and touching novel with complex characters and a very unique storyline. Libby is a fantastic character and I love that she doesn't try to anyone else but herself. She also has a great relationship with her father and meets some good friends throughout the story. Moreover, I adored the fact that even though Jack believes he doesn't deserve her help most of the time, she is always there for him because that's the kind of person she is. I personally loved their relationship even though it was complicated at first. Libby and Jack's relationship grew and developed as the story progressed and it wasn't rushed. Jack absolutely won me over early in the book, just knowing that he was the person that sent a note saying her was rooting for her after her infamous incident after her mother's death; it warmed my heart. Libby's message to the student body nearly had me in tears. I won't go into too much detail about it because I wouldn't want to spoil the reading experience for you, but I will say that the meaning behind that letter is something that is very relevant in today's society. People will want to tear you down; make you feel as if you are nothing or not essential. However, you should have confidence in yourself. Don't let anyone change who you are or make you feel less wanted. Be happy in your own skin and do what you love no matter the negative comments. You keep doing you sweetheart because in a world full of hate, spread love and positivity; starting with LOVING YOURSELF FOR WHO YOU ARE. Another part of the book I enjoyed was when Libby and her father addressed their grief and struggles of continuing life after the death of Libby's mother. I was so moved and this quote.... "It's not moving on...It's moving differently. That's all it is. Different life. Different world. Different rules. We don't ever leave that old world behind. We just create a new one." It gave me a new perspective of losing a loved one. Everyone says they will move on after the death of a family or friend. But, moving on might imply forgetting those memories shared, and the lessons learned with each other. Moving differently remembering that loss and those memories, yet continuing to live life the best way possible. Never forgetting, instead, creating a new path forward. Overall, I really enjoyed this unique and original novel.
Date published: 2017-05-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as reviews Was a good read, hard to get into and the reviews raved about it.
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best love stories with better morals in them This kind of novel often represents the fact that only the inner character matters the most that you love not the outer appearance, just like Beauty and the beast, loved the novel and cannot stop reading it again and again! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 <3
Date published: 2017-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very touching A great story to read. Ha a hard time putting it down.
Date published: 2017-04-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Great story! Im in love with the authors writing <3
Date published: 2017-04-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing, Heartfelt Book Jennifer Niven does it again. This book made me feel all the feelings, and I loved the characters. Plus there were LOTS of Supernatural references!
Date published: 2017-04-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING I read this book so far, it's so easy to read and so enjoyable to read. It's such a unique book and I'm glad that Jennifer Niven decided to focus on this story line. I want to read it again! #plumreview
Date published: 2017-04-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Good! I was wondering whether or not I would actually like this book, but decided to give it a try anyway... and I'm so glad I did. It was a good read and I enjoyed the story of each character.
Date published: 2017-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Different and loveable This book wasn't "All the Bright Places" but it was still a great read! I love the story from start to finish but once it was finished and I thought about it, I notice there wasn't a real "climax" to the story. Nothing BIG (get it?) happened, it was just a story about two very different people, and that was enough to make a great story.
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Insightful and enjoyable I loved everything about this book. After reading All The Bright Places, I loved Jennifer's writing. It's setting, it's interesting characters, it's unique plot. The writing was great in addition. I loved reading this. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-03-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from very insightful book #plumreview I received this book for my teenage girl for Christmas. I have to say that I read it without putting it down. The book is great. My daughter had many questions and the lecture inspired lengthy conversations. Love it - recommend it!
Date published: 2017-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from interesting this book is absolutely amazing
Date published: 2017-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome got this for Christmas and read it within a day! great book
Date published: 2017-02-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from a really interesting book i bought this this month and i really enjoyed reading the story, i even bought my friend a copy so she could read it. Jennifer Niven is a great author.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh It was far too similar to Eleanor and Park, my expectations were far too high for this book after reading All The Bright Places.
Date published: 2017-02-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Pretty good This book really sums up what its like being the new girl in high school. I love Libby. She is so real and confident. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Average This was just an average novel. The story line was okay, but it was not great.
Date published: 2017-02-20
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok... I found this book really slow and I didn't really get into it until the end of the novel.
Date published: 2017-02-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nothing less I expect from Jennifer Niven. Jennifer Niven is my all time favourite author. Ever. Period.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Liked this Book that shows that the world is full of endless possibilities
Date published: 2017-02-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from so good. you'll love this book just like I do.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nothing special about this one This was my first time reading a book by Jennifer Niven, I can't say I was particularly impressed. There were a lot of things about this book that seemed very unrealistic. The romance was alright, but really there's nothing special about this one.
Date published: 2017-02-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing I loved All the Bright Places and I looked forward to this book very much. Unfortunately, this time Ms. Niven did not deliver. The concept was only okay - it kind of jumps on the tails of Dumplin' and the other fat girl gets the guy teen books that have been coming out over the past few years. I just didn't connect to the characters and I found I didn't buy into their struggles. A book to borrow from the library - not a buy it yourself title.
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from LOVED this was a very cute and amazing story but it doesnt beat All The Bright Places
Date published: 2017-02-04
Rated 2 out of 5 by from it was ok I didn't really get into it until the end
Date published: 2017-02-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from it was ok I didn't really get into it until the end
Date published: 2017-01-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from nice story Loved this book I read it pretty fast. Although I found it really didn't grab my attention until almost the end.
Date published: 2017-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wow, loved it As I finished the closing words of this book, a single word escaped my lips, WOW. Wow, in a very good way. When I started this story, I had no expectations of what I would find, but chapter upon chapter, Libby and Jack found their ways into my heart. I was totally rooting for both of them and wanting them to triumph over their individual challenges. After having to be cut out from her house, Libby has been labelled as America's Fattest Teenager. Not something easy to live with during the difficult high school years. Jack finds that he has to employ a lot of bluff and bluster to hide the fact that he can't recognise nor remember faces, even those of his family members. After a prank gone wrong, the two of them must address their aggression toward each other. Both of these teens have to deal with self acceptance of their physical limitations as well as the mental ones they have imposed on themselves. They also have to learn to cope with how others respond to them and we all know that kids can be mean whether it is from spite, ignorance or to make themselves feel better about their own issues. Yes, there is romance in the story, but what YA book would read as realistic without some level of budding relationship. I would recommend this for all teens as an excellent way toward understanding what your family, friends, and classmates might be undergoing. Bullying is far too wide spread and has very serious consequences. It is not acceptable to make fun of someone just because that person doesn't live up to your expectations. Our young adults need to learn not to blindly follow the crowd, but to use their intelligence to guide their actions. *I received an advanced reader copy of this book fromPenguin RandomHouse Canada in exchange for an honest review* #IndigoEmployee
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved, nice story. Loved this book I read it pretty fast. Although I found it really didn't grab my attention until almost the end.
Date published: 2017-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Once again, Jennifer Niven creates the most beautiful, multi-dimensional characters. Libby and Jack are both hilarious and witty in their own way, and the way they help each other find peace with their lives is captivating. I want to read Holding Up The Universe again and again.
Date published: 2017-01-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from OK this book was enjoyable but not my kind of story
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from To Be Expected Typical YA high school story - two total opposite characters get in trouble for whatever reason and end up in the same therapy/detention class. Fast forward a bit and something clicks between the two, lessons are learned, the end. Typical YA, still enjoyable for the most part.
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Eh First of all, I feel like the characters are too quick to fall for one another. When Libby and Jack first formally met it was when he grabbed her for the fat girl rodeo and when she finally broke loose, she punched him in the face. That seemed like an interesting start to their relationship. They get put in the gym together and they are forced to dance with each other. Fine. But then, they fall in love. The speed of their love is very unbelievable to a person like me who has never experience such quick emotions and since this is a book written specifically for teens, I don’t think most of them can relate to this. Secondly, Jack and Libby’s relationship seemed to forced. They don’t seem right for each other. I feel like Jennifer Niven just threw the characters together. My friend told me that she wishes there was a book where the protagonists just become friends and I totally agree. I think that in this book, the two characters should have just been friends. They could have helped inspire one another without all the forced drama between them. When they broke up, I was actually hoping that they would not get back together just because they were not right for each other. Having the other be their first “love” could have been a much more satisfying ending. Jennifer did such a good job with all the bright places. That is one of my favourite books of all time but this one is way too focused on the character’s flaws. Like the entire story was circled around “Libby being fat” and “Jack can’t recognize faces”. We understand that but they should have other significant traits about them too. Libby is also way too positive but we don’t understand why. After being stuck in her house, wanting to commit suicide and her mother’s death, she has changed to a completely different person. I understand that she got therapy and all but one does not simply just change their outlook on life. Another cliche in this book was the mean girl. In most ya contemporaries, there is always some ex-girlfriend of boyfriend who is so crappy to one of the main characters. Of course this book was no exception. Jack’s ex-girlfriend was so useless in the story. She was literally only there to tell us that Libby is fat. Like we already know that. Then there is the fact that, after they met for like a month, Jack realizes that he is able to recognize Libby’s face. Seriously? When you have a disorder that affects your ability to recognize faces for around 17 years you shouldn’t just magically be able to recognize someone’s face. He goes on about some sappy pickup lines that just want to make you laugh. I do enjoy Jennifer Niven as an author, but this book just wasn’t good. I feel like after all the hype around All the Bright Places, she felt the pressure to write a better book but failed to do so. I will keep reading her books but I don’t think they will live up to her debut novel. #plumreview
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Expected More This book was a unique one. First off, never have I read of a character that is identified as "the largest teen in America" or a character who has a disorder (prosopagnosia) that leaves him unable to recognize faces. I appreciate the unique attributes that both of the main characters have as sometimes it can read as if characters are 'too perfect'. No one is perfect. Sometimes it's a helpful reminder to have characters that are just as 'imperfect' or as 'flawed' as the readers who pick up this book. I think overall, the messages that were sent from this novel are important whether it be body confidence, dealing with bullies, coping with parental issues, personal insecurities, etc. However, even though this novel was well-intended and dealt with very important issues, I just wasn't enthralled or invested in the story. I read it but I didn't feel any strong emotions (whether positive or negative) while reading. Again, I do think it's an important novel. But as for my reading experience or entertainment, it just didn't do much for me.
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Thank you, Jennifer! Holding Up the Universe is a beautiful story that has still left me breathless. It's like a prized possession for me, and its message is extremely powerful. With beautiful characters, diversity, real-life issues (some that we have never heard/read about, ever), a beautiful ending and attachment to the characters, leaving us wondering what they are doing at this very moment, this is just unforgettable.
Date published: 2016-12-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Another good YA Your typical YA book - two misfits come together in a highly unlikely pairing to teach each other a lesson. This was a very quick read and somewhat enjoyable albeit unbelievable.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it! Holding Up The Universe is Libby and Jacks story. They've had to deal with a lot at home & at school. Many have accused Jennifer of misrepresenting the very people she writes about in her books, totally tearing her work apart. I can tell you there was no misrepresentation here in HUTU. I understood why Jack & Libby acted out in certain parts of the book. They walked around angry, hurting others & themselves. This was their way of keeping their loved ones & peers at a distance to keep themselves from getting any more hurt than they already were. It's a coping mechanism many use in real life, & I completely understood it. This was a beautifully written novel & I can't wait to read more from Jennifer.
Date published: 2016-12-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Typical YA Your typical YA book - two misfits come together in a highly unlikely pairing to teach each other a lesson. This was a very quick read and somewhat enjoyable, albeit unbelievable.
Date published: 2016-12-04
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Okay Not really my type but I was able to finish it.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Ever since I read All the Bright Places, I've loved Jennifer NIven's writing. This book was super interesting and the character development was great. Highly recommend!
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Book I thoroughly enjoyed the plot line and character development. To me, it felt like a normal pace read but knowing what happens in the main characters' life is what draws me to the next page.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderful. I bought this probably the second it came out and I wasn't disappointed. Anything Jennifer Niven writes is a masterpiece
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really good. This book is a worthy read. Niven is an amazing author.
Date published: 2016-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really Good! Started reading and just couldn't put it down!
Date published: 2016-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful Beautiful! This book takes you into the lives of two completely different people that somehow together make each other better. This book shows that no mater who you are there will always be at least be someone there for you no matter what.
Date published: 2016-11-15
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved this! I adored All the Bright Places so was SO excited to read this one--and it didn't disappoint! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because I reserve that for my all-time favourites, but if you love a good YA book that will tug on your heart strings and make you laugh, smile and cry, this is for you!
Date published: 2016-11-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great! This is a fantastic book for young readers. It initiates a conversation about many issues that teens deal with everyday... Bullying, obesity, communication. Definitely buy it for s teen you know.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent read For Young Adults or Young Adults At Heart This book was a lovely read for young adults or adults who are young at heart! This is a wonderful story of a girl who has a heart of gold and an amazing spirit. She is what I wish all young women in high school could be - strong minded, certain and brave. She doesn't bow to the haters and she believes she's fabulous just the way she is. There's also a dude in this story because a YA novel wouldn't be complete without a little love interest. But, he's not what he seems either - vulnerable, unsure, but you'd never say it. They're an unlikely but likeable pair. Purchasing this one for some teen readers this holiday season!
Date published: 2016-11-06

Read from the Book

Libby  If a genie popped out of my bedside lamp, I would wish for these three things: my mom to be alive, nothing bad or sad to ever happen again, and to be a member of the Martin Van Buren High School Damsels, the best drill team in the tristate area. But what if the Damsels don’t want you? It is 3:38 a.m., and the time of night when my mind starts running around all wild and out of control, like my cat, George, when he was a kitten. All of a sudden, there goes my brain, climbing the curtains. There it is, swinging from the bookshelf. There it is, with its paw in the fish tank and its head underwater. I lie on my bed, staring up into the dark, and my mind bounces across the room. What if you get trapped again? What if they have to knock down the cafeteria door or the bathroom wall to get you out? What if your dad gets married and then he dies and you’re left with the new wife and stepsiblings? What if you die? What if there is no heaven and you never see your mom again? I tell myself to sleep. I close my eyes and lie very still. Very still. For minutes. I make my mind lie there with me and tell it, Sleep, sleep, sleep. What if you get to school and realize that things are different and kids are different, and no matter how much you try, you will never be able to catch up to them? I open my eyes. My name is Libby Strout. You’ve probably heard of me. You’ve probably watched the video of me being rescued from my own house. At last count, 6,345,981 people have watched it, so there’s a good chance you’re one of them. Three years ago, I was America’s Fattest Teen. I weighed 653 pounds at my heaviest, which means I was approximately 500 pounds overweight. I haven’t always been fat. The short version of the story is that my mom died and I got fat, but somehow I’m still here. This is in no way my father’s fault. Two months after I was rescued, we moved to a different neighbor-hood on the other side of town. These days I can leave the house on my own. I’ve lost 302 pounds. The size of two entire people. I have around 190 left to go, and I’m fine with that. I like who I am. For one thing, I can run now. And ride in the car. And buy clothes at the mall instead of special-ordering them. And I can twirl. Aside from no longer being afraid of organ failure, that may be the best thing about now versus then. Tomorrow is my first day of school since fifth grade. My new title will be high school junior, which, let’s face it, sounds a lot better than America’s Fattest Teen. But it’s hard to be anything but TERRIFIED OUT OF MY SKULL. I wait for the panic attack to come.    Jack  Caroline Lushamp calls before my alarm goes off, but I let her go to voice mail. I know whatever it is, it’s not going to be good and it will be my fault. She calls three times but only leaves one message. I almost delete it without listening, but what if her car broke down and she’s in trouble? This is, after all, the girl I’ve dated off and on for the past four years. (We’re that couple. That on-again, off-again everyone-assumes-we’ll-end-up-together-forever couple.) Jack, it’s me. I know we’re taking a break or whatever but she’s my cousin. My COUSIN. I mean, MY COUSIN, JACK! If you wanted to get back at me for breaking up with you, then congratulations, jerkwad, you’ve done it. If you see me in class today or in the hallways or in the cafeteria or ANYWHERE ELSE ON EARTH, do not talk to me. Actually, just do me a favor and go to hell. Three minutes later, the cousin calls, and at first I think she’s crying, but then you can hear Caroline in the background, and the cousin starts yelling and Caroline starts yelling. I delete the message. Two minutes later, Dave Kaminski sends a text to warn me that Reed Young wants to kick my face in for making out with his girlfriend. I text, I owe you. And I mean it. If I’m keeping score, Kam’s helped me out more times than I’ve helped him. All this fuss over a girl who, if we’re being honest, looked so much like Caroline Lushamp that—at least at first—I thought it was her, which means in some weird way Caroline should be flattered. It’s like admitting to the world that I want to get back together with her even though she dumped me the first week of summer so that she could go out with Zach Higgins. I think of texting this to her, but instead I turn off my phone and close my eyes and see if I can’t transport myself right back into July. The only thing I had to worry about then was going to work, scavenging the local scrap yard, building (mind-blowing) projects in my (kick-ass) workshop, and hanging out with my brothers. Life would be so much easier if it was just Jack + scrap yard + kick-ass workshop + mind-blowing projects. You should never have gone to the party. You should never have had a drink. You know you can’t be trusted. Avoid alcohol. Avoid crowds. Avoid people. You only end up pissing them off.

Editorial Reviews

★ "[Niven] creates two indelible characters and a heart-stopping romance." —Publishers Weekly starred review★ "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 starred review★ "This is a worthy addition to any young adult collection; the story is engaging and difficult to put down." —VOYA starred review"Niven’s honest writing shares a story of friendship, confidence, strength, and identity—and it’s not one to be missed." —Buzzfeed.com"Libby and Jack are two characters who will reach out of the page and climb into your heart! . . . [A] beautiful love story." —Justine Magazine"A novel about love and how important it is to be seen." —Popsugar.com "Moving. . . . The true heart of the tale lies in personal growth and learning to love yourself." —Bookish.com“I've never fallen in love with characters as fast as I fell for Libby and Jack. . . . Holding Up the Universe is a beautiful reminder of the power of understanding.” —Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why “Gorgeously written and oh-so-deeply felt, Holding Up the Universe contains one of my favorite characters of all time! You will absolutely fall in love with Libby Strout!” —Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything “At once hilarious and achingly poignant, Jennifer Niven’s Holding up the Universe brims with love and heart and hope. A gorgeous, life-affirming book that—like its lovable and resilient main character, Libby—will make you want to open your arms wide, lift your face to the sky, and twirl.” —Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She DrownedPraise for All the Bright Places:“[A] heartbreaking love story about two funny, fragile, and wildly damaged high school kids.” —Entertainment Weekly “A do-not-miss for fans of Eleanor & Park and The Fault in Our Stars, and basically anyone who can breathe.” —Justine Magazine “At the heart—a big one—of All the Bright Places lies a charming love story about this unlikely and endearing pair of broken teenagers.” —The New York Times Book Review