Friday, February 03, 2017

Holding Up the Universe--Jennifer Niven

Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Random House Children's Books, 2016
Pages: 400 p
Source: VOYA
Compensation: None
Read: September 2016
Jennifer Niven's Holding Up the Universe

Three years after Libby Strout was named “America’s Fattest Teen” and was airlifted out of her house, she is ready to start her junior year of high school and put her infamous past behind her. She is determined to make up for lost time and to be the girl who can do anything—if only her classmates will see her for who she truly is instead of just seeing her size. Jack Masselin is one of the cool kids, the popular kids, who seem to have everything easy. But Jack is hiding a big secret that could jeopardize his entire school life. Jack has a disorder called prosopagnosia, an inability to recognize faces. Each morning he wakes up his family and friends are strangers to him. Relying on hair styles (that can change) and personality traits to identify his family and friends is getting harder to do as Jack gets older. When Libby is the victim of a cruel joke and Jack is the reluctant perpetrator, they are both sent to group counseling, where they learn that they are not as alone as they thought.

Told in chapters alternating Libby and Jack’s point of view, Holding Up the Universe is a thoughtful story of friendship and love. Both Libby and Jack are vulnerable flawed characters who find peace when they find each other and the strength to be honest with themselves and their loved ones. A worthy addition to any YA collection, this story is engaging and difficult to put down.


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