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Holding Up the Universe

Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
Categories: Young Adults, Ages 13 & Up
4.5 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

Non-member price: $51.27

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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.

©2016 Jennifer Niven (P)2016 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"[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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Love the book

Already started to listen to it again. Very inspiring! Only wished we could have Spotify Playlist to go with it. Or even if they had the songs in the Audiobook. When is book 2 coming?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New Favourite!!

I loved this book!! I need more!! Such an amazing story with loveable characters! Can't wait to read it again. So sad it was over.

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beautifully book

I loved it and couldn't put down the book! it was an awesome book. It really touched my heart.

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Entertaining

The story was good but the female narrator's voice was very annoying, she sounds like a breathless child. The main female character also expected too much of the boy.

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  • Sophie Beever
  • 01-04-2017

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • FanB14
  • 13-11-2016

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.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Doha
  • 10-12-2016

Interesting Concept .. annoying story

I was so interesting to pick this up as it got so much hype across all bookish platform, and I heard a lot of praise about the writing style and the premise was so intriguing .. I never read a book from an over weight person view .. but sadly I was hugely disappointed as the story was so boring .. nothing was really happening and the short chapters made it such an uncomfortable ride for me with this book
I liked Libby's character .. she one of the best protagonists I've read in a while, but I didn't like Jack as much, I feel a little let down but I don't regret reading the book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • ClassDreamer'84
  • 12-01-2017

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS - YOUNG AND OLD

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Definitely!!! Because Libby wants to change the world, and everyone should know the reason why.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Holding Up the Universe?

All of them! All of the moments in this book are so big, that it's impossible to choose just one as most memorable.

Which scene was your favorite?

The end scene. But also, I was proud of Libby in her purple bikini scenes.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Oh yes. It made my heart happy, it made it sad, but mostly it made me happy to be alive, and I hope Ms. Niven's message is shouted throughout the universe. It is THAT remarkable.

Any additional comments?

This book should NOT go unread, and I think every high school should have it on their To Be Read by ALL students list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Julie
  • 12-01-2017

You are wanted

We should all write that on ourselves. This is a story of a teenage girl who already knows who she is, a rarity in teens, and how others see her. It's also about a boy who can't see faces and how he realizes that he can see the girl. Powerful and smart story. Thankful that the fat girl doesn't need to lose weight to be better, those stories suck. Fabulous readers.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna Pivonka
  • 19-11-2019

This is AMAZING!

This book gives you all the feels for one of the most unexpected and amazing pairs.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-10-2019

READ IT

You need to read this it's like omg the whole way through READ IT it's amazing

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Silviana
  • 11-06-2019

my first audiobook

I mostly read it at work. it was very good. love the author, so I knew I couldn't be disappointed.
once again I caught myself adoring the characters and getting so involved with the way they think and act.
The English wasn't hard to understand they spoke clearly.
now I need a new book !

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kendall Jordan
  • 28-05-2019

Warms the soul!

Great book. If you enjoyed All the Bright Places you will love this. Great characters and a happy ending.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jolena G.
  • 21-01-2019

Moving Story

An amazing story with wonderful acting, definitely would recommend to anyone who needs a pick me up and a little bit of love.

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  • Glenis
  • 05-01-2017

Wonderfully written

I was a little apprehensive about reading this book because I'd seen quite a few bad reviews however I really enjoyed this book and thought it was a rather moving story.
the characters were engaging and unique (how many characters have you read about having prosopagnosia?)
I would recommend you give it a go.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mullika
  • 22-11-2016

Highly recommend!

I heard mixed reviews so I read it unsure what to expect but it was an excellent read! Highly recommend it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • lyeira
  • 02-11-2016

amazing

it was amazing and i just wish it went on longer i was in love with the story

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-11-2019

Holding up the universe

My first impression was that the female narrator was to cherry and a little bit squeaky but as it went on it was fine and I actually think it suits the character well. Overall it was very enjoyable and easy going although at times I felt like it needed a little more excitement, I love the way Jennifer Niven always has unique characters never have I ever come across a book with a character who has face blindness it definitely shines a light onto the challenges that come with the disorder, also the way that Libby Strout was overweight and how Jack always had to search deeper into someone and how he doesn’t obviously judge a book by the cover as he can’t. Overall I love the characters and book just felt like it was a bit slow at times.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-09-2019

Amazing from start to finish!!!! 😍😍

This book is honestly amazing from start to finish!!!! 😍😍 It is so inspiring and everyone should read/listen to it!! Also the voice of Jack really draws in your attention and is perfect for his character 😊

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-09-2019

a laugh but nothing new.

it is a pretty entertaining book, not something new, not something you can get an analysis out of, but fun light hearted and with some moral.

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  • Antri Theodosiou
  • 15-03-2019

authentic and lovely

I really enjoyed this book; it's authentic in its own way and really lovely. worth a read if you like this genre.

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  • Lyly
  • 07-02-2019

Warm and feel good story

I loved the story, poignant, fun and emotional at times. I definitely recommend this book

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  • Susan Sweeney
  • 03-11-2018

fantastic

This book is a beautiful coming of age story that I really enjoyed. 5 stars as it had me really gripped. lovely, heartwarming, would recommend even if you're not a young adult.

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  • Ashling
  • 20-10-2017

wow!!

I love this book!!
The characters and the storyline are great, I didn’t want it to end!!