Title: Holding Up the Universe
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publishers: Penguin Random House
Holding Up The Universe is one of the greatest book titles because the universe is infinite and how can one just freeze the time and delay everything. This story is of a girl Libby Strout, former America’s Fattest Teen and a guy, Jack Masselin, who is suffering from a rare neurological disorder called Prosopagnosia or face blindness. This story is the same as every teenage story of high school where students either learn and understand things or give up on everything.
This is the story where both of them chose to not give up. Of course, they failed and fell but they stood up because they found it necessary. Libby gained a lot of weight at an early age and wasn’t able to see the world outside. At a very small age, she lost her mom who was the only best friend she ever had and so now it’s just her and her dad. Once when her house caught fire, they had to tear up the house to take her out from the house. She became famous because of all these things going on in her life. She used to receive hatred emails where people expressed their disgust and how they would have preferred to die rather than being a burden on this Earth.
Jack suffered from face blindness and so every other person he meets feels like a stranger, doesn’t matter how many times he had seen them. Not just his family members, but he can forget his own face at times. Isn’t it amazing to wear someone else’s shoes and then look at the world? Jack was one of the decent guys in the school and holds a good reputation. He had two siblings Marcus and Dusty. Dusty was just ten and inspiration to Jack. Dusty loved to carry a purse and he was never afraid of being different even though his classmates teased him for it. At times, he asked Jack that why were people being shitty and Jack told him that maybe someone doesn’t like who he is and then there is this kid who knows who he is and seems pretty fearless and so to cover up their insecurities they act shitty to other people. Jack loved his brother a lot and he was having face blindness so he wanted to gift his brother a robot without any disorders.
Through all the bad days that Libby had gone through, she became stronger and braver. This story will make you realize the value of the outside world and how living in a box and then moving out of it changes your world. Libby exhibited he genuine self. She thought that till when someone would protect her. It was like if she fell on her face, she fell on her face, at least she had done it.
Jack saw his face blindness as something bad but later on, he realised that his disorder was what made him different from others. Even if it had a cure, would he really want to go for it? Everyone sees each other’s face and just recognize but he studies more and learns every detail of a person to recognize them and so he knows more of a person than the person himself.
Libby as well Jack loved to dance and in fact dance gave a new and a bit different identity to Libby. When she danced, she went from one place to another. She flew everywhere. And there was one of her caretaker cum best friend, Rachel who would twirl anywhere along with Libby if Libby asked her to.
This story tells that either people love each other unconditionally or not at all. Regardless of her highness and his face blindness, she loved him and he loved her.
The author has this wonderful way of playing with words. She has used many phrases, you will be in awe with. As you will read, pages after pages, you will feel every phase of the story.
About the Author
Jennifer Niven is an American author who is best known for the 2015 young adult book, All the Bright Places and Holding Up The Universe.