Holding Up The Universe By Jennifer Niven | Book Review


“I’ve always thought you should be able to freeze time. This way you could hit the Pause button at a really good point in your life so that nothing changes”

When Libby’s mom passed away, her life, crumpled down. She started gaining weight and hiding in her house, because she didn’t want anyone to see how she’s become. Her sadness felt like a prison that kept her from doing so many things. One day, Libby had a bad  panic attack and she couldn’t breathe or move, because of her massive weight. So, she was rescued from her house by a crane, and the ambulance took her immediately to the hospital. After a while, she decides to lose weight and talk to a therapist to help her become mentally and physically healthy. As a result of working so hard on herself, She made a choice to step into the real world and go back to school after being home-schooled in the past.

Jack Masselin is so popular at school. Everyone knows that he’s funny, too confident, and that he has a group of friends who enjoy bullying kids in school. But, nobody knows that he is actually hiding behind a mask, to hide a major secret. He suffers from Prosopagnosia , which is called ‘Face Blindness’. Every day he wakes up, every one to him is a complete stranger. He doesn’t recognize the faces of the people he knows, even his own  family. Therefore, the damaged part in his brain makes him differentiate people around him by specific details. Like, their voices, or gestures. So, every single day is like a mystery he has to solve, otherwise, he is screwed. However, When Libby goes to his school, he can’t help to not notice her. Eventually, they will meet at the right time, and in some way, they’ll help each other.

My favorite thing about the book is that is told from Libby and Jack’s point of view. The chapters are so short and fast paced, and there are so many relatable quotes in the book. Let’s talk about the characters. I didn’t like Jack’s character that much, but I sympathized with him about how he hid his ‘Face Blindness’ from everyone. I just can’t imagine what it feels to wake up every morning, going through the day trying to guess the names of everyone you meet. It must feel devastating and exhausting. But, I thought it was interesting to know more facts about the ‘Prosopagnosia disorder’  from Jack himself, and how he dealt with it every day. I totally understand how Jack pretended to be someone else rather than himself, because he felt that it was a lot safer to not show the world who you really are. On the contrary, Libby has spent most of her life hiding from people, because of her weight gain. But, after she got better, she wanted the world to see how courageous and unstoppable she is. I wish I was fearless and self confident when I was fourteen like Libby. She has her own personality, she is honest, says what’s on her mind, and doesn’t let anyone underestimate her. She’s so vibrant and full of life. The dancing parts in the book were so much fun, and I loved how Libby felt so free While she was dancing. Seriously, I was like, Go Girl! Own that Dancing Floor! I just wish that book existed when I was a teenager, it would’ve changed how I felt about myself back then. Sometimes, all you need is to believe in yourself, and break free from your own comfort zone. There’s so much in life to experience, don’t let your own fears hold you back. Eventually, I had such a lovely time reading this book. It’s so heartwarming and it definitely teaches you something at the end.


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