Saturday, September 10, 2016

BLOG TOUR: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

Holding Up the Universe 
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publication: October 4, 2016
By: Knopf Books for Young Readers 
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads 
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.

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review*

My Thoughts

Describe Holding Up The Universe in three words: Honest. Heart-breaking. Hopeful

This book sent me on a roller coaster of emotion from the Author's Note in the front of the book explaining how she drew on personal and family experience to write this story, right up to the last page.

I laughed, I cried and I cheered! 
Jennifer Niven does a great job of portraying these characters--their stories, struggles and victories--in a relatistic and relatable way. And Libby and Jack are the kind of characters who stick with you long after you finish reading their story. The message this book leaves with the reader is one of self-love, confidence, and seeing people for who they really are.    
"Life is too short to judge others. It is not our job to tell someone what they feel or who they are. Why not spend some time on yourself instead?" ~ Libby Strout (hashtagCanIGetAnAmen)

Read it.  

Side note: Jack Masselin's RL doppelganger works at my local Jimmy John's. I foresee a lot of turkey subs in my future. 

About the Author 

Photo credit: Author's website
By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson ("If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win"), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder's sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven't stopped... I've written nine books (#9 will be out Oct 4, 2016), and when I'm not working on the tenth, I'm writing the screenplay for All the Bright Places, contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing. 

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