Holding Up the Universe

  • by Jennifer Niven
  • Narrated by Jorjeana Marie, Robbie Daymond
  • 9 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

From the author of the New York Times best-seller All the Bright Places comes a heart-wrenching story about what it means to see someone - and love someone - for who they truly are.
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed "America's Fattest Teen". But no one's taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom's death, she's been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now Libby's ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he's got swagger, but he's also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: He can't recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He's the guy who can reengineer and rebuild anything in new and badass ways, but he can't understand what's going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don't get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game - which lands them in group counseling and community service - Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are - and seeing them right back.


What the Critics Say

"[Niven] creates two indelible characters and a heart-stopping romance." (Publishers Weekly)
"Written in short chapters of alternating perspectives, this is a thoughtful exploration of identity and self-acceptance, with commentary on overcoming adversities that will hit close to home." (School Library Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

We Need Diverse Books

Niven follows the movement and offers an obese heroine and a hero with prosopagnosia. In the world of YA, her writing style is engaging as was this book. Her first, All the Bright Places, was amazing. This one is interesting, but lacks the connection between the two main characters. They just started liking each other after a rather traumatizing beginning and I never understood why. Seemed a little forced.
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- FanB14

Decent Story

It wasn't horrible, certainly, but I guess I was just expecting more. I knew the ending before the halfway point and the closer it got to the ending the more I felt the author just rushed to finish. The relationship between the main characters felt inauthentic at times, and it took some time to warm up to Jorjeana Marie's (voice of Libby) speech style and cadence. All in all it's a decent read if you're used to Jennifer's writing style and want a simple teen "love story". Definitely won't make my reread list, though.
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- Sophie Beever

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2016
  • Publisher: Listening Library