Holding Up the Universe
Once upon a time, Libby Strout was severely obese, depressed, and completely isolated from society. She’s come a long way in the past few years, and now she’s ready to reenter public life for her last few years of high school with a new sense of confidence, ready to make a new life for herself. But when a mean-spirited game gets her mixed up with Jack Masselin–the cool kid, full of swagger, but hiding his own secret–she ultimately discovers an unexpected ally. As the two endure group counseling and community service projects, they discover they’re more alike than different, and the connection they form changes both of their lives.
Author Jennifer Niven is bound to find some new fans while pleasing current fans with Holding Up the Universe, a teen novel that explores some deep topics. While readers may not be able to identify with Libby or Jack in a direct manner–after all, being morbidly obese isn’t common, and most readers will never have heard of face-blindness before)–they will certainly be able to see themselves in some of the high school situations the two find themselves in. The book alternates between the perspectives of both characters, giving readers a good sense of their histories, their current struggles, and what their futures may hold. Fantastic read.
Knopf Books for Young Readers