Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

I got this book from Netgalley after I saw some super positive reviews on it. It was only after I had finished the book that I realized that this was the book that had caused such an uproar on goodreads because of the “fat girl” blurb.

Let me clear something up. I do not know what it’s like to be bullied because of being fat, but my sister is fat and I see how much she has to go through. People keep telling her to be “like me” and that’s such bullshit because I eat like a pregnant woman. I just happen to have a fairly quick metabolism.

So basically my sister is told to change something that she cannot control…

*insert my eyes bleeding because of the excessive eye rolling*

And I have noticed that a MAJORITY of the negative bashing on goodreads has come from people who do not know what it’s like to be fat and be bullied for it. This is the classic case of being extra for something that has nothing to do with you! I’m not saying that you should not support fat people. I’m saying, stop assuming what they might think. Because as an Indian Muslim, I know just how common that is!

People seem to express their opinions and then force it down the minority groups without truly understanding the minority. And I hate the word minority considering how there are more of us than them! Okay I’m gonna stop talking because this is a topic I have strong feelings about and it should be up for discussion some other day.

28686840Moving on, here’s the plot as I read it: Libby was dubbed “America’s fattest teen” once. The hospital had to break open her house and lift her out in a crane to help her with her obesity. But now, Libby’s ready for high school and this is her story of self-confidence.

Jack is your everyday popular high school teenager except he’s got prosopagnosia, a condition where he cannot remember or recognize faces. He can’t let anyone know about this in fear of being an outcast. And this is his story of acceptance.

I absolutely loved this book.

I’m not a fan of contemporary and I absolutely despise cliched romantic novels but this book was fluffy, cute, empowering and everything that makes my insides warm and fuzzy.

The writing was so captivating. I didn’t expect the writing to be so simple yet so powerful. Jennifer Niven was absolutely wonderful in that regard. This is my first book of hers and I already know that this is not going to be the last.

The characters! Oh man, where do I even begin? Libby and Jack are so BEAUTIFUL! I love them so much that my heart hurts just thinking about them because I’ll never be able to hug these beautiful souls.

Libby is self-confident yet we see that many a times her confidence wavers and that makes her so human. While her confidence issue arises from her weight, I can still totally relate to it because of all the times I had been bullied for my skin colour, something that I couldn’t possibly change. My point is that everyone can relate to her because she is just this beacon of light for the people who need help. She is such an amazing role model but we get to see the behind-the-scenes of sort when she becomes sour and mean and she bites because she is afraid. And I love her for how she doesn’t let her flaws overpower her.


Me cheering for my babies, Jack and Libby

Jack is again, so human. We see that his popularity doesn’t mean he is mean and a bully (which I know is a cliche) but we also see times when he gets on the “bandwagon” as psychology says, where you do something just because others around you are doing it. He isn’t perfect, but he tries, and for that I love him. His acceptance of his condition and to not let it define his life is beautiful and it lets me know that there will always be people who will love you for you.

I have read a few reviews that have bashed this book for following the “Everything-becomes-alright-once-you’re-in-love” trope but I beg to differ. Libby has been self-confident and amazing on her own. Yes, Jack needed Libby to tell him that there was nothing wrong with him but is that a bad thing? To have someone support you and tell you to be you?

As I read it, I didn’t think they “became alright” after they fell for each other. They supported each other and that’s why they fell in love, and to me, that’s the best form of love.

Wow, me is being so romantic. I think I need to go in a corner and just eat some manly biscuits to get the tomboy back in me. (I’m just kidding guys!)

Review banner

So that was my review of this beautiful book. But I do have a brain and I know that not everyone will feel the same as me and that’s okay. Let me know if you’ve read this book and tell me what you thought about it in the comments below!

Lots of love and more love,



4 thoughts on “Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesday: Books you’ve read because of Bookstagram/Blogging, etc. | Raven & Beez

  2. Pingback: Top 5 Wednesday: Books to read without the synopsis | Raven & Beez

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s