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  • Daisy Paterson

Holding up the universe


The first book of this month that I read is called ‘Holding up the universe’ by Jennifer Niven. I read ‘All the bright places’ last summer by the same author which I enjoyed, apart from finding very sad! So when I found out that Jennifer Niven had wrote another book I wanted to read it straight away. As soon as I went to the book shop a few days ago, I started reading, and didn’t really stop. It was the kind of book I really didn’t want to finish because it was so gripping and I loved the story, but I wanted to finish it because I wanted to know what happened.

I was genuinely upset when I finished it, as it was so good!

Holding up the Universe is a romance about two people, who are both very different, who fall in love.

Libby Strout, a girl who’s been hiding for a long time but recently joined school again. Since her mother died, she felt empty, empty inside, so she filled herself, with food. She soon became Americas Fattest teen, and had to be crained out of her house to get to hospital. In fact, she was 653 pounds. She was a mess, until she met Jack Masselin.

Jack’s a boy who looks handsome, popular and cocky on the outside. But on the inside, he was a nervous boy who has an inability that no one knows about. This inability is called Prosopagnosia: An inability to recognise faces. Basically, everyone looks like strangers to him, even his loved ones.

It all starts when Jack and his friends play a game called ‘Fat girl rodeo’ which involves clinging on to the fattest girl you can see, for as long as you can. Jack Masselin had to cling on to Libby Strout for as long as he possibly could. She punched him in the nose. They went to the head. Would hate turn in to love?

This book had great descriptions and I could imagine the story in my head, like a film. I loved the characters and how they each had a very different but both large problems to conquer. I had never heard about Prosopagnosia before and it really interested me and it caused me to research and find out about it. I love finding things I didn’t know before in a book, and it made the whole story more interesting.

I think the structure worked really well as it occasionally went back in the past which I always love in a book. Also, I loved how each chapter the story changed in perspective from Libby to Jack, which I thought was really clever. I especially liked it because not only could you see the story from the point of view of both of them, but you can see the perspective of what it’s like standing out in a crowd and how to deal with it, from Libby, and what its like to see everyone as a stranger, from Jack.

Overall, I loved this book from beginning to end and it was an easy yet interesting and gripping read which I will be recommending to many of my friends. It gave messages such as not to judge people until you really know them, and be courageous and don’t worry about people judging you about what you do and Say-Which are two vital messages that everyone should think about in life. It also had a great and happy ending and it left me wanting to read the whole book again as I loved the book so much! I would recommend it to people age 13-18, it fits in to the YA section.

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