Skip to main content

Holding up the universe by Jennifer Niven- 4.5 stars

Holding up the universe is about two teenage kids. A girl, Libby, who was once know as "American Fattest Teen" and is now trying to go back to school and once again have a 'normal' life. And a boy, Jack, who suffers from a disease that does not let his brain recognize faces, even his family are strangers to him.

"Dear friend, 
You are not a freak. You are wanted. You are necessary. You are the only one there is. Don't be afraid to leave the castle. It's a great big world out there. 
Love, a fellow reader"- Jennifer Niver

I had another reader (whose opinions I trust) give me some very harsh reviews on this book. She/he believes the book is offensive and criticized the author for not understanding 'fatness'. For body shamming and a lack of sensitivity. The author has also been criticized for mishandling a character with cognitive disorder.The list of horrible things this reader and many others (just have a 5 min look through GoodReads) is huge.
I decided not to buy the book.
Two weeks later a good friend read the book and told me she loved it! We don't always agree on books, but she rarely tells me a book is good if she doesn't know I will like it too.
So I bought the book! 😃
I am so very glad I did.

In no way is the author being offensive towards obese people. That is just ridiculous! And don't even dare saying I don't know what I am talking about, sorry to brake this to you, but I've been just that for many many years now.
The way she portrays Libby is just the way that particular character feels, Are there overweight people that don't feel like that?! Sure thing, I don't!
But there are those who do. More importantly, it is a FICTIONAL character, and it seems to me, many who read the book forgot that tiny detail.
I for one appreciate her take on Libby. Bullying like that does happen. Teen and even adults do feel that insecure. And teen girls do often feel the need to be wanted (specially by a boy). I very much like that Jennifer Niven did not shy away from those things.
And I love the underlying message: be yourself! Be tolerable and don't follow the crowd.

We readers ask for complex characters and that is exactly what Jennifer Niven gave us. Have you read another book with characters quite like it? I have not.
At the same time, the book is simply another feel good high school romance story. The 'feels' will be many. The 'mooshy gooshy' moments more than you can count!
Had the characters been ordinary-everyday-nothing special about you- teens this would have been just another cheesy romantic story. The characters backgrounds and complexity help make it special.

Libby is happy, loves dancing, is full of life and is darn strong. She refuses to let the outside world define her. Its empowering and I wish more of us were like her. She is an easy to love character.
Jack, oh Jack... he is such an easy character to love too. I felt bad for him through out the book. Him and his big afro hair are just adorable! I love his personality. He is funny, charming and cool. But its his willingness to do whats right (and messing up most of the time) and the way he admits when he is being an ass that captivates.
Ok, I will give it to you critics of the book that his illness is not treated in a very realistic way. How on earth would you hide from your parents you don't always recognize them all your life? But its a fiction book guys, it never would be perfect!

All in all, I thought it was a near perfect book. It took me a while to get 'into' the book to start. The pace and the jumping back and from Libby-Jack took me a while to get use to. Had it not been for that I would easily and happily have given a 5.

Go Read!



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Quickies, April 2021

I read a good amount of older releases this past two months. I will not write long individual reviews for every single one of them but here are is a little bit about each one of them:  - Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh It's unlikely I will ever dislike something Nalini writes. She is a master of her craft. This is the second book in the Psy-Changeling series and it is just as good as the first. Shy and isolated Faith is plagued by visions of blood and murder. She has questions and needs help but can't ask those around her. She turns to the changelings and the only Psy she knows that has defied her race (first book in the series). Vaughn is more cat than human but has to control his instincts not to scare Faith away. This was a fabulous paranormal romance read but you really must read the first book first! 4 stars from me :)  - Desperate Measures by Katee Robert Desperate Measures is the story of Jafar and Jasmine. But if you read Katee before you know it is not that simple at

Fortune Favors the Duke (The Cambridge Brothers #1) by Kristin Vayden [arc review]

@glimpses_of_my_books Oh the beauty that is discovering new authors! Kristin Vayden is someone I had not heard of before Fortune Favors the Duke  was announced and Sourcebooks told me she is local to Washington State. I am planning a signing event with her and Lucy Gilmore this December at  Inkling Bookshop  and of-course I had to read the book ahead of time.  Fortune Favors the Duke  was utterly adorable! I managed to read this beauty in two sittings and I will be reading the other books in the series. Blurb: Quinton Errington is perfectly happy teaching at Cambridge, with his elder brother carrying the duties of being the Duke of Wesley. But when a trip to celebrate Wesley's last week of bachelorhood ends in tragedy, Quinton, who becomes the Duke of Wesley, would give anything to have his brother back. Now, under the most heartbreaking circumstances, Wesley's would-be bride, Catherine Greatheart, is left wanting. Her only protection left, her grandmother, has fallen ill, an

A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

I knew very little going into this book except that it had my current favorite bad boy in it: Hades! Seriously though, I have a "hades tbr" at the moment, it's a thing. And if you know any good Hades based romances do tell me. Always and forever looking for more. Hades, the God of the Dead was phenomenal. I have ZERO complaints about his character. There was more to the underworld than known by other gods and humans, and the same is true about the man that runs the place. He is to the point and although not always up front and straight forward he is always honest and true. He has built a gambling empire but his bets are not always monetary and they are known for being impossible.  Persephone was very much still learning who she really was. Up until meeting Hades and for some time after she has no power of her own. Plants die at her touch and that is that. She is also known as the goddess of spring, but that is not because of who she is but rather because of who her mother