Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

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4/5 stars!

“I know what you’re thinking- if you hate it so much and it’s such a burden, just lose the weight, and then that job will go away. But I’m comfortable where I am. I may lose more weight. I may not. But why should what I weigh affect other people? I mean unless I’m sitting on them, who cares?”

To be honest, I was not a fan of All the Bright Places and I wouldn’t have been this curious about Holding Up the Universe had it not been for the controversy that erupted long before its release. But the more the issue grew, the more I got so pulled to the book that I just had to buy it when it was out on our local bookstores. This time, my gut feel was right and the book is completely worth all my curiosity.

Let me help out our community of readers by pointing straight out what the book is/what it is not so as to avoid judging it just by its blurb alone.

But before that, just an excerpt from the book about “judging” *winks*: “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 judging yourself? I don’t know you, but I can guarantee you have some issues you can work on. And maybe you’ve got a fit body and a perfect face, but I’ll wager you have insecurities too…”

What the book is:

✔ A contemporary romantic novel so yes, it could be cheesy with several cheesy romantic declarations a girl wouldn’t normally hear from a guy [Now if you don’t like this stuff, then it’s probably not for you. ;)]

✔ It’s about mental illness. Both Libby and Jack suffer from unique sorts of mental illness. Libby suffered from depression while Jack has face-blindness or prosopagnosia.

✔ A serious read but approached with light, almost comic writing style that addresses social issues with positive conviction and inspiration.

✔ A moving, uplifting story that encourages people to be comfortable in their own skin, in their physical appearance/condition because that is what makes every person uniquely beautiful.

What the book is not:

✖ About a fat girl whose life changes because of a cool guy. It’s actually about a cool girl and an equally cool guy who have decided to accept who and what they are even if that isn’t what is generally accepted by society.

✖ It’s not about a skinny guy telling the story of a fat girl. It’s about a special guy who sees a special girl not because of her physical weight but of her inner weight, because she has the biggest heart, because she matters greatly.

✖ It’s not trying to romanticize mental illness. It’s simply trying to say that everyone should have an equal chance at everything this life has to offer and yes even though it may sound cheesy, that does include love life, romance and all.

✖ It’s not against life. In fact, it’s very pro-life. It’s not about just moving on after a loss of a loved one but moving differently, creating new experiences and living life anew.

I agree with my friend, Shelby. (Do check out her awesome, very insightful review by clicking her name). Ms. Jennifer Niven does deserve a pat on the back. If or when I meet her in person, I’m definitely giving her a big, big hug. ❤

Published by AJ

Hi! I'm Aj from the Philippines. Obviously I love to read and write and from years of experience I have learned that when you love something so much, you would do it absolutely for free so here I am writing stuff for all people to see in the hopes that at least one or maybe two souls could benefit or get little inspiration from what they will read from this blog. Enjoy and spread the love! ;)

9 thoughts on “Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

  1. That’s actually a higher rating than I expected, I haven’t read this one and I don’t really know if I’ll ever get to it but I’ve heard mostly bad things… which is a shame.

      1. I didn’t know that! Well that makes absolutely no sense, to rate and rant about a book when you’ve not even read it… I’m glad you enjoyed it!! 😊

  2. I’m so tired of YA books with illnesses … they have so many of this nowadays … but I really wanna try Jennifer Nivens books .. I just can’t do it at the moment .. hehehe .. Awesome review Aj!

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