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, 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.
Libby Strout, once named “America’s Fattest Teen” just wants a fresh start, she wants to dance and twirl and to be her true self without having her past as an introduction card. Jack Masselin is your average high school student that fits right in… or is he? Throughout his life Jack has mastered the art of hiding the fact that he’s unable to recognize faces, even his own. They’re both trapped in the somehow cruel roller coaster that is high school and more specifically, group counseling, which isn’t how either of them would like to spend their time, but surprise hits them on the face like… like… like a surprise I guess because sometimes you meet someone and it changes the world, theirs and yours.
Holding Up The Universe was the first book I read by Jennifer Niven and honestly I just wholeheartedly loved it, once I started reading it I couldn’t put it down to save my life, Libby and Jack wrapped me up in their story like a warm blanket and reading every word was a delight.
Libby is most definitely one of, bravest characters I’ve ever read, she’s been through so much yet she still wants a fresh start, she wants to be her happy twirling self which, I think, takes a lot of lady balls, to not give up, to let life bring you down but still get up, pick up the pieces and start rebuilding, and still dance around in your room and laugh and being kind, I truly admire Libby.
Jack and Libby are such a power couple, at least to me, Jack sees Libby for who she truly is and not for the Libby you see in her introductory-card past, TV, “America’s Fattest Teen”, her mother’s death. He sees the real Libby Strout, he did what nobody else had before and took his time to really get to know her. And Libby helps Jack to truly define himself, to be a lot more than “I’ve got swagger and I fit in” Jack or “I can’t recognize faces” Jack, she helps him to fully unravel his curiosity about his condition and not to “fix him” but for him to truly know and find himself.
This book made me laugh and cry and it held me in between it’s pages as it all went on and twirled it’s was to my heart. It’s such and amazing book.