I finally got around to reading Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven…
So, I’m a bit late to the party when it comes to this book. Oh the drama! Such drama!
And whoa! Talk about a battle ground. Reviews swing back and forth about how this is such an offensive book and how amazing it is. I am firmly in the ‘I love it’ category, but let me talk about why before you go hating me please. If you don’t know what the book is about, check out the summary here before you read on because I’m not going to summarize it.
I like Libby a lot. I’m not overweight, but like many girls today, I do struggle with my body image. People who said Libby talking about her weight that frequently, saying it’s not realistic may have a much better body image than some of us. I remember constantly worrying about how I looked at school. To me, her thinking about her weight that often didn’t bother me, because I understood that. I also totally understand how other people who didn’t have those struggles might assume it’s overkill. But try and understand Libby’s past and how much her weight has defined her.
Ah Jack, you are such an imperfect character (gotta try and say that nicely). I kept going back and forth about Jack. He experienced a lot of growth over the course of the book. It was interesting learning about prosopagnosia. I’d never heard of it and had fun doing a little research outside of the story. I liked how their relationship built slowly. His friends really irritated me and it was nice watching him leave them and become a better person.
The plot moved fairly quickly. I was never bored. Some of the twists were completely unexpected, which is always nice. This may be sad, but I was glad she didn’t make the dance team. So often in YA books and coming of age stories, the main character triumphs in the sports team or whatever, so I liked that she had to overcome that by being the better person.
While this book has been bashed and hated, I liked it. It’s definitely a book that people should read and decide for themselves what they think.
What books have you read that reminded you of your own struggles? Let me know in the comments below!