Reviewed by Melanie on June 26, 2017
To begin this review, I should first state that I may be a bit biased, because I love Jennifer Niven, and All The Bright Places is easily in my top ten favorite books. I tell every one to read it, and it is one of the books I’ll really push for someone to read, even if they aren’t readers. That being said, I walked into Holding Up the Universe with high hopes, I wasn’t disappointed.
Like All The Bright Places, Holding Up the Universe is told from two different points of view. Libby Strout, who had to be physically cut out of her house, and Jack Masselin, very popular, but can’t recognize faces…not even those of his family. This very odd couple begin the book as enemies, and quickly realize that for most people, there is more than meets the eye.
As usual, I don’t want to spoil the book and tried not to reveal anything that isn’t brought up in the “about” section at GoodReads. I loved this story. I’d never heard of Jack’s condition, but it makes sense. Watching the way that he and Libby grow not just together, but as individuals is enough to make anyone’s heart melt.
Libby and Jack both grow individually, understanding themselves and each other better than they thought possible. Libby, finally comfortable in her own skin helps Jack not only admit his condition, but gives him the courage to tell those that he loves. Jack makes Libby see that it’s not the outside (especially if you can’t remember faces), but the inside that counts. I think we see this happening for Jack long before he does when he realizes he’s not recognizing her size and stature, but her spirit.
This book will make you laugh, and sit on the verge of tears for chapters, waiting to see how things work out. Like All The Bright Places, this is one that I want to re-read a few times.