Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven (Review)

Title: Holding Up The Universe 
Author: Jennifer Niven
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2016
Genre: YA Contenporary, YA Fiction

This review can be found on my BlogTeacherofYA’s Tumblr, or my Goodreads page*

My Review:


This is my first ever contemporary read. I’m shaking because I’m so excited to write this review!

When it comes to contemporary, I’m a little hesitant. I usually like my stories to have some sort of science fiction or fantasy element and I was convinced I couldn’t love or enjoy a book without it.

I was wrong.

But I digress, as usual…

This title was one I wanted to read. When I get into this, you’ll probably understand the “why” behind it.

Libby Strout was known as America’s Fattest Teen. At 653 pounds, she was housebound. The day came when she had to be removed from her house by a crane to get to the hospital. That alone can lower anyone’s self-esteem, especially when people from the neighborhood crowd around and watch. Talk about humiliating. 

Bit Libby’s not that girl anymore. Though she still is over 300 pounds (which may sound like a lot, it’s really not as big as one pictures), Libby can move. Libby can go outside. And Libby can dance. She’s happy in her own skin…most of the time. And it’s time for Libby to go back to school.

Jack Masselin seems like he’s got it all together. He knows how to smile, style his hair so it towers above everyone, and walk with swagger. No one knows that since 6 years old, he’s been face-blind. Prosopagnosia. The area of Jack’s brain that creates the ability to recognize and store faces is damaged. Everyone is a stranger. When mistakes happen, he laughs it off like he’s playing around. He hasn’t been diagnosed: he self-diagnosed so his family won’t know. So his friends won’t know. Because Jack has constructed an image, and if he’s not careful, that image will shatter.

After a mean prank on Libby goes terribly wrong, both Libby and Jack are forced into after-school counseling and community service. Jack feels bad for what he did to Libby, and he writes a letter telling her (and only her) what’s going on with him. He always seems to be able to pick Libby out because she’s the largest girl in the room. But that’s not all Jack is starting to notice about Libby.

Libby loves to dance. She’s also warm and seems to care about what Jack’s going through. Libby and Jack start to talk more, and though both refuse to believe it (Libby because it’s JACK MASSELIN and Jack because it’s LIBBY STROUT), but something is happening between them.

Maybe size doesn’t determine someone’s worth. Maybe not recognizing a face doesn’t mean you’re broken.

Maybe Jack and Libby are good together…they just don’t know it yet.


Is It Classroom-Appropriate?

Yes yes yes! This book is perfect! Insecurity, bullying, mental illness, eating disorders…you name it, this book’s got it! This has a plethora of teachable moments. I could whip up a lesson plan right now and use this in a classroom. So many topics to discuss! And there’s inappropriate (besides a couple instances where Libby fantasizes about “sexing” the weight off her (but who as a teen doesn’t think something like that?). 

Lexile.com marks this as HL770L, which means more mature content that can still be understood at lower levels. However, the 770 is pretty high. So this book seems to be perfect for a high school classroom, preferably sophomore or junior year (as a good target audience).

Age Range

Lexile has me on this one at 14 and up. I agree. This is great for freshman level and up, but I think would do more in the hands of sophomore level readers (unless you have an advanced reader). The themes are complex and there is a lot of self-reflection and discovery. A good study in human behavior. No one is perfect: every e has flaws.

Though Lexile suggests 14 to 18, I would like to mention that there are plenty of 13 year olds that could handle this book. I wouldn’t use it in middle school, but it wouldn’t be horrible to have advanced readers pick this up. I personally wouldvevread this at 10 and been happy…but I had only Stephen King to read, and this is much tamer than that.


End Result:

I want to let you in on a little secret: I was Libby Strout. 

No, I didn’t ever get as high as 600+ pounds, but I was HEAVY. Boys would pretend to ask me out and then laugh if I would say yes. Some boys would “date” me for other reasons, but wouldn’t want anyone to know, so we had to keep it secret. I had one boyfriend in high school, a guy that was three years older, and he treated me like garbage. So yeah, I know Libby’s pain. And I didn’t even know how to dance, so Libby has me beat there.

I’m still plus sized, but many people tell me that they would never believe I weigh as much as I do. I’m working on it, but it’s hard. “Fat” people don’t always eat too much; in fact, many plus sized girls forget to eat. That slows our metabolism down. Exercise sounds like such a simple solution, but when you are heavy, it’s hard to motivate yourself to do anything. Your metabolism (if like mine) makes you sleepy and tired after a long day. I was Libby, and in a lot of ways, I still am Libby. I didn’t try out for anything because I was the “fat” girl, and “fat” girls don’t get to wear uniforms. My old band teacher in eight grade told me if I went another size up over the summer, I wouldn’t have a band costume. 

I dropped band after that, and especially after he called me “Jenny.” He didn’t care.

I’d like to think there’s love for all of us Libby Strouts out there. I’ve had some good boyfriends and some bad. Hopefully more books like this will make teens understand that plus size doesn’t mean having just “a pretty face” or wanting to hear, “you would be so much prettier if you just lost the weight.” (Sorry, that my mom talking through me…she told me in third grade to remember that, “nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.” 

I was a messed up kid. My mom told the cafeteria lady to not let me buy ice cream…I had a friend who would buy it for me. Ahhh, memories. And I wasn’t even plus-sized then.

See, my mom has the opposite problem: she can’t eat because she’s borderline anorexic. It’s kind of scary.

Ok…enough about me. Let me rate this book. I give Holding Up The Universe ★★★★☆. It was a lovely foray into contemporary for me, and I will always remember the contents of this book. 

So that translates to:



Let me tell you a little about the author…

All the Bright Places is Jennifer Niven’s first book for young adult readers, but she has written four novels for adults—American Blonde, Becoming Clementine, Velva Jean Learns to Fly, and Velva Jean Learns to Drive—as well as three nonfiction books—The Ice Master, Ada Blackjack, and The Aqua-Net Diaries, a memoir about her high school experiences. Although she grew up in Indiana, she now lives with her fiancé and literary cats in Los Angeles, which remains her favorite place to wander. For more information, visit JenniferNiven.com, GermMagazine.com, or find her on Facebook.

Where to go for more information on Holding Up The Universe:

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


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158 thoughts on “Holding Up The Universe – Jennifer Niven (Review)

  1. Okay. First, I’m definitely getting this after reading your passionate review! Second, thank you for sharing your story and explaining why this book was so personal for you. I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. Sadly, body image and remains such a problem for kids and adults. I was a skinny kid right through high school, but I never was a “pretty” child and because of that I was bullied. Since college, I’ve struggled with my weight and while thankfully I’ve never gone over 220, I’ve seen how society treats those that don’t fit into that “perfect” mold.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes!! I’m so glad you can identify though I’m sorry about high school. I was called “Raver Beast” and people would make thudding sounds while I walked down the hallway. In middle school and elementary school I was called “sea cow.” It was tough.
      Then I graduated and haven’t been bullied since…it’s kind of why I want to teach so much.
      Glad you liked the review. 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hey, it’s over now! I’m older and no one picks on me anymore. I think it gave me character (at least that’s what I tell myself, lol).
      I wish that I had this community when I was a teen. I’m so glad that this exists and if it did back then, I probably would never have felt so alone. And never would have turned to drugs. But I hope the next generation appreciates what they have available to them as resources!!
      Thank you darling girl!! 😘😘😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I’m glad you know this one! And I’m so glad for Blogging for Books for sending me a free copy! I don’t think I would have ever gotten around to reading it if it wasn’t free tbh. And now I am in love with contemporary books!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Well done on the review Teach. You gave enough but not all away… I’d be interested in reading this myself, actually.
    Thank you for sharing your personal story with us all.. the body image… eh… I think it doesn’t matter if someone is heavy, light, big, small, etc etc.. someone will always find a way to make that one person feel bad… I have always been shortish and skinny like a freaking stick which has gotten me bullied as well in school… when i was 22 and working, a customer (older man) at a shop I worked at was surprised to find out I was indeed a female… he thought I was a 16 year old boy… so everyone who has something to say about someone’s body can go eat dirt! You’re pretty and fun and you’re loved by us here so much ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks Boss! A 16 yr old boy? They must’ve been blind: you should have told him you’re ALL WOMAN!! 😉😘
      High school is horrible. Bunch of insecure teens trying to make themselves feel better, and it’s a freakin jungle. That’s one reason why I know I can help: I’ve been there. Some of the things Libby says make me laugh…she doesn’t want to be the Sassy Fat Girl, or the Fat Girl Friend, or any of the stereotypes. And she doesn’t understand why they call her “Fat Whore” when she’s never had sex bc many heavy girls don’t get asked out!! I think I want to read Dumplin’ now.
      Girl power to all of us!!
      I did also live in Scottsdale, AZ which is like growing up in Hollywood…it’s so superficial and it’s like the school in Mean Girls (I love that movie!). It was a horrible place for shitty people.
      Love you for saying such sweet things! I wish you didn’t live so far away! ☹️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. To be honest, I thought this horrible high school thing was just a fictional thing for a long time in movies and such… some documentaries around bullying, etc a few years back opened my eyes as to how awful things can really be and I hate this… I hate that young people can be so … shallow and mean… ha… the ‘Fat Whore’ comment- when I started listening to metal, all my ‘friends’ pretty much disowned me and labeled me a satanic slut.. which also meant that every guy was trying to get in my pants.. because if you’re a metalhead that makes you loose… as if… none of those wankers got a piece of me!
        I wish the shaming and bullying would stop… it’s horrible, it’s totally wrong and the problem deserves to be talked about all the time, every day… that’s why I want to read the book, too…
        I know, girl… if we were like in the same state even we could start a group or something and start raising more and more awareness of bullying and body shaming… and we could also, then, paint the town red! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I would love painting the town red!!
      When you say State, does that mean you’re in the US?
      I know…I wore a hilarious shirt in middle school that had a fake “name tag” on it and it said “Hello, my name is” and then in the written part it said “SATAN.” I loved it and bought it. My friends told me they wouldn’t hang out with me bc the shirt was “offensive.” So I had to stop wearing it…but to prove their point they stopped hanging out with me for a week. Whatev.
      Yeah…I hope the bullying stops, but it won’t. Not until you get rid of insecurity in teens. 🤷‍♀️ And that will not happen unfortunately.
      I loved metal in high school! The metal heads were the only nice ones to me!! Go figure!
      If you live in the US, then maybe one day we really can paint the town red…or whatever color you want, Boss!! 😂🙌

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, no, I don’t live in the US.. I’m in Ireland… and I’m not even Irish, I’m Estonian! 😀
        Yeah, you’re right about the bullying and shaming never stopping… the insecurity seems to be getting worse and worse, and we all know why…

        We can still paint the towns red with black polka dots though… you there and me here and screw every meanybag! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    3. That’s what I thought! (I get confused easily. You know, now that I’m an old lady 👵 and over 30 lol)

      You and I will be crime fighters! Love the polka dot addition!!
      An Estonian in Ireland? They should make that a movie! (Jk, it just sounds good!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha, I know the 30s problems now… but there’s no way you look as old as you are, I’ve seen your mugshots! 😉 I thought you were 20something… 25 maybe!

        Oh… it would make for a good movie.. the cultural differences and everything… just wow! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Oh, you flatterer, you! Make me feel so young! ::blushes::

      I would go see the movie! Love to see it! Imagine the plot: girl moves from Estonia to Ireland, girl meets love interest, then girl is supposed to go back…but she can’t leave the one she loves! So she stays. End scene. 🎥
      😂😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really good review Stephy.😂 Definitely not a book for me but a quality review and high praise for using plethora, I like that word and use it on occasion.😀

    Really can’t think of anything sarcastic to say fork it – am I using that right?!😂 Plus size/larger build rules and size doesn’t determine someone’s worth.😢

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are a sweetie. (I love the word plethora!)
      Fork them all, I say! We all have our stories, right?
      Yeah…I’m sure you’re not a contemporary YA reader…just like with some of the blogs I follow (half naked men books and thriller readers), we all have some different tastes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Eurgh, Yuck, did you really just use ‘sweetie’ in a comment on my blog!😂

        Yep, everyone has a story to tell just like everyone has scars to be they internal or external.

        Eurgh, half nekkid men covers, Yuck, just no! It’s a shame I can’t find a sick/barf emoji to show my disdain for them!😂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You don’t get this one? 🤢 (In case it doesn’t show up, it’s a little barf emoji!)
      We have one but it may not show up if you don’t have the right phone or whatever…
      Yes, I called you sweetie!!
      Should I call you hotpants instead??

      Liked by 2 people

    3. Ugh! All my fave emojis and you can’t see them! Makes me want to use an awesome emoji of a clown…but you won’t see it! Anne has the same problem. Ugh!!
      And now I christen thee “sir hotpants.” ::knights Drew::
      Thank you, Mr. Pants. 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I hope you can!!
      I try to do the age thing because it’s my hope to be a teacher and I want parents to be informed about what their kids are reading. I hope to keep the wrong stuff out of the hands of those that are too young to handle certain material. That’s my hope, anyway…
      Good luck and I hope you like it!

      Like

  4. Hi! Sorry that I have commented in ageeessssss, I feel SO bad!
    But… I’m so happy that you got around to reading this book–and enjoying it!
    I really appreciate how you talk about how it resinated with you and how this book strung a cord with you personally. ❤ I loved your view on everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, thank you! And yes, I’ve missed you! Glad to see you, darling!
      It’s ok, I’m behind on bloghopping too. It’s horrible. I have a ton of emails again and can never catch up.
      I really enjoyed this one! It did resonate with me and I totally felt Libby.
      Don’t be a stranger! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It IS!! It never ends!! And if I’m checking that, then I can’t read! If I’m reading then I fall behind on blogs…and if I’m checking blogs I fall behind on my own blogging! There’s never enough time especially to do anything else, lol!
      I don’t know how people write pubs and review them all the time!!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your story. People are so mean in this world, but you definitely put out such an inspirational message. I definitely wish there was a story like this out when I was a kid because it would have helped me far much more than reading Maximum Ride or something. XD You said it beautifully, and you definitely made me want to read this story…although I definitely might have to wait a while for it since you’re so right about having too much feelings with it. XD Wonderful and inspiring post! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! You melted my heart!
      Don’t worry…this is a positive one. Though it hurt to be reminded of my high school years, the story has a good ending. I have to be almost sure if a book has a good ending before a read it. I don’t want heartbreak…there’s enough of that in life! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope they do. I want to use it for a classroom and I am glad I have a physical copy.
      Thank you! It is hard sometimes to talk about those days: I was very unhappy back then. But at least those days are over.
      I hope more people read this book and understand how plus sized people have feelings, too. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Yay Stephanie I am so glad to see the first contemporary book you’ve read and reviewed on your blog was a success and one you really enjoyed as well. Is this maybe the start of you picking up more contemporary books? It became that way for me pretty quickly!
    I definitely agree that this book is full of teachable moments, and would probably be amazing to read in schools because there are a lot of important messages for teenagers in it I think.
    Also it was great reading about how you could connect to this book through your history as well. It’s always nice when books kind of have that affect on us isn’t it? I am sorry you had to go through all that in school/high school though, it can’t have been easy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It wasn’t easy…I wish I had all you guys with me back then!
      I picked up My Chemical Hearts from the library Today! I have been bitten by the contemporary bug!
      I also picked up In Real Life, the graphic novel! 😮😮😮😮

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Yeah, I figure that way I find some that are kinda similar at first, like when you read The Hunger Games as your first dystopian and then pick up every book afterward that describes the book as, “The Next Hunger Games.” I know that’s what happened to me!! 😳😳😳

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Yeah, I would say THG was my first dystopian and Twilight was my first fantasy…after both I just kept looking for something similar so I kept picking up vampire books. I think when you read something you love, you keep trying to recreate the experience of the first time…kind of like falling in love.
      But with a book. 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. bookreviews5blog

    I can’t believe this is your first contemporary read😱 Holding Up The Universe is a great read. I recommend Nivens debut or something by Colleen Hooever or Sarah Dessen if you want to get into contemporaries😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wonderful review! Jennifer Niven is like one of my favorite authors and all the bright places is one of my favorite books of all time, I haven’t read this one yet but after reading your review, I am dying to read it! Thank you for sharing your personal story, even I’m a little overweight so I know what it feels like. I had this one boyfriend who wanted to keep our relationship a secret, I dumped him.😂😂 because you shouldn’t have someone in your life who makes you feel like shit. Again, lovely review❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, coming from you, this is a big compliment! I think your reviews are fab!!
      I think it was your review for All The Bright Places that got me interested in Niven!
      Yeah…I had such low self-esteem that I put up with it. One guy said, “It’s like you’re a pair of my fave sneakers. Sometimes I want to wear them, but sometimes I want to put them away and wear something else, but I don’t want to get rid of my favorite ones.”
      I was like, “Did you just compare me to SHOES???” But I stayed.
      But HS is like that…now that I’m older I have more self-esteem. I guess that’s why I want to teach…I remember how it was. 😊😘

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s so offensive that he compared you to shoes! But I understand why you stayed. Even I had a problem of low self esteem, I still do because of one exception. Did you like him a lot? I’m sorry if its uncomfortable for you to answer that, I’m just curious! and Thankk youuu, that means a lot to me.❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I liked him a lot only because he was my first boyfriend. I thought we were going to get married and I needed to stay with him bc no one else would love me. That’s the truth, and I’m not embarrassed about it anymore bc I’m not the same person anymore!! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I really enjoyed reading your review, especially because this book seems to speak so much to you. I feel a great story needs to connect with its reader at a personal level and stir something inside, which this one did. So it definitely deserves all the praise it’s been getting, and I’m glad it’s not just another over-hyped book!

    It must have been tough to read about Libby’s experiences and remember your own (previous) circumstances. I find you very brave for doing so and for talking about it. Not many people would!
    This is definitely a book I will want to read in the future, especially since it holds such a powerful message.

    Let’s hope for more books like this to come out! Lovely review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Such amazingly kind words!!
      I do hope you check this out bc I loved it, and as my first contemporary it really made an impression.
      I am eager to hear your thoughts on it and I’m really glad you liked my review! 😊😊

      Like

  10. Will you convert yourself into a contemporary reader now? Best thing about reading these books is, it’s relatable. I’m glad you enjoyed it. The other book I read from her is also as life changing as this one. Dealing with weight problems is hard too. Excellent review! I like your personal input about the lunch lady not selling you ice cream.. awww… 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah…my mom got really into my life when I was a kid. I wasn’t even overweight and she had me on Jenny Craig in the third grade. So when the ‘rents divorced, I went nuts living with my dad, who was never home.
      I like the genre, and I have just checked out Our Chemical Hearts, but I am going at it slowl. I don’t want one that is going to make me cry!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No, I didn’t cry bc I knew what it was like. And it was empowering instead of sad. I was fortunately never housebound like Libby (she was 653 pounds at her highest), but I knew what it felt like. Luckily she was happy to be out in the world…there was a lot of positivity in the book.
      Yes…the Jenny Craig thing is what screwed me up in the first place. I wasn’t heavy then, but I guess I had a “tendency” (according to my mom) to gain weight…so my brother got McDonalds while I got PB&J. It sucked. So when my parents divorced, everyone went with my mom and I stayed with my dad, and without someone constantly picking at my food choices, I went a little crazy (repression was over so I indulged too much). Then I got overweight.
      The library is about three months behind. They did have Carve The Mark, but that must’ve been a donation, bc they just got in their Oct books yesterday! So it’s weird!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know about how extreme overweight is.. I saw news many years ago about that one man that was really huge. It’s just really sad. All of my public library here says they are on budget cut and can’t buy new books. Somehow they bought the Chemist. I borrowed for many weeks but ended up not reading it. You don’t really need to buy books now because your library has all the ones you want to read 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Kind of…I just picked up Rose & Thorn, a book I was denied for on Edelweiss and the sequel to Ash & Bramble…it helps knowing a really cool YA Librarian whose friendship has extended to Goodreads…she puts my books on hold when they come it. I get to read them, but sometimes I really want to own a copy of a really good book. Or a favorite. Then I can read it whenever I want: I am a big fan of rereading favorites!
      That’s why I love bargains and giveaways and ARCs…ebooks are the best bc they take up little space and they can’t get damaged, but there’s something about a beautiful book that I just love. I’ve always been that way. You should see on FB…my dad gets why it takes me so long to open my book mail; he used to buy me two copies of the same book: one for reading and one for “keeping nice.”
      I’m still that way! It’s an OCD tendency I haven’t been able to break. 🙃

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Whoa.. hehe.. buy one to read and one to keep? goodness.. do you open a separate facebook for books from your personal one? I don’t use facebook for books.. not enough time for all the social medias.. hehe.. and yes, being friend with a librarian has its benefits!

        Liked by 1 person

    4. Nah, I use the same FB. I’m not on it much and my friends don’t mind the bookish content. Besides, FB is the one place where I could care less about followers except my family. I use it to talk to my dad, who still lives in AZ, and Annemarie (from Inked Brownies) who has been sick so she hasn’t been posting, and Sammi and Drew. You are more than welcome to add me to FB. I haven’t seen links to yours on your blog and I don’t link to mine. I just like having friends on there. Like, real friends. My blogger friends are my friends, but they prob don’t care about the personal stuff. They have enough of that themselves I’m sure. Lol. 😊

      Like

      1. I don’t make FB for blogging. Not enough time for it hehe and anyway, twitter, Instagram, my blog, and Goodreads are enough places for me to talk about books. I also like to keep personal life separate from my hobby 😍

        Liked by 1 person

    5. That’s kinda what I do. I have a handful only of Blogger friends on FB…people who I know are like my friends in real life. That’s why I invited you. But it’s cool if you keep that separate. That’s why I use it for blogging too. No one that’s my friend in real life is surprised about the books bc I had Goodreads hooked up to it before. So one less thing to check. Besides, I RARELY go on FB. It’s mainly family and some ppl I have been friends with for awhile. I probably have maybe 100 people on there.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is going to sound terrible, but this is the type of book I would never normally read. Your review tells me though, that I really should. I am touched by your story and ability to relate to this one, because I was also overweight through a large portion of my school years. And my family was not always kind or supportive. So there is a part of this that resonates deeply within me.

    To see that you felt this book was so well done and was able to fully connect says a lot to me. There can never be enough books like this that are able to touch on such hot and relevant topics in a truly meaningful way. Too often, the seem to drift off course trying to add a bit of flair or drama for the sake of entertainment.

    Thank you. You are a beautiful soul ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is the type of book I would never normally read either. But the prosopagnosia was interesting. And I had to make sure it would be happy or I couldn’t read it. Enough stuff in life to make me want to cry. Don’t need more!
      I checked out Our Chemical Hearts as my next one…I’m going slow with this contemporary genre…I’m not one that likes the “feels” but prefers love and fantasy in my books! But this one def changed my mind about the genre.
      Thank you for the kind words. You made my heart swell. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Contemporary is a genre I seldom dive into. It is not that I lack appreciation, but I also struggle with emotional read. I have to be in just the right mood to tackle books like this. I have heard great things about Our Chemical Hearts.

        Happy Reading ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  12. This is an excellent review! Reading about your personal history had me on the verge of tears, I’m so sorry that happened to you. Especially through someone who is supposed to love you unconditionally and be there for you no matter what. ❤ Although it can't take away your pain, I hope that the younger generations never have to feel this and I'm so thankful Jennider Niven wrote a book like this. There needs to be stronger communities and safe places for teens who feel uncomfortable about their body weight. I wasn't planning on reading this book, but you've sold me 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad it spoke to you. Those were tough times. I never thought it would end.
      The prosopagnosia aspect was also fascinating: you have a popular boy who has to hide his disability bc he knows he could lose that fragile grasp on popularity. And in high school, popularity is everything. Even us outsiders who mocked the popular kids deep down wanted to be a part of the crowd.
      Now, I never deal with these problems. I’ve rarely been called fat in insults…and when someone does you the f word (in this case, fat), I flip out. I always say, “At least I can do something about that. I may not always be fat, but you’ll always be an ugly bitch.” Then I feel better. But it doesn’t happen much anymore, lol. No one should ever use the f word to describe someone.
      Thanks for reading…let me know what you think of it! I’m going to read another contemporary now that I know how awesome they can be! 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve never heard of prosopagnosia before, so I’m intrigued to learn more about it. Oh yeah, I know all about the popular kids. They terrorized me in highschool – not so much in my senior years, but the earlier years I was too scared to speak aloud in class for fear of them 😥 And lol that’s a great comeback and so true. Like Mia in the Princess Diaries: “I am a freak, but one day I’ll grow out of that. But you will never stop being a jerk.” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Definitely like that!!
      The prosopagnosia was really fascinating and I had only learned about it once on an episode of House where the patient asked where his usual doctors were. They showed three people that looked similar to them, and the voices were the same, but he couldn’t recognize them and I didn’t either. Then I understood how scary it would be…at least his case was temporary and, of course, fictional.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. Oh, it’s definitely intriguing! Don’t feel bad! It’s very rare, and it usually happens after a head injury. That is what made me interested: you have an overweight girl and a boy with face blindness! Had to read it.

      Liked by 1 person

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  14. I feel ya, I was the fat kid until high school. I learned to be funny, because if you were already laughing at yourself it didn’t hurt as much. Mostly, that just were making fun of myself in an effort to be the class clown. Damn Santa, making the world think all fat people were jolly. Got thin in the Army, got hurt and gained it all back. I’m working on it too. I feel your pain, but for what it’s worth you ARE a beautiful person! Stay strong, at whatever size!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s okay, it’s been a running joke between us that she started early on. She swears that it would take two wives to beat some common sense into me. And it is legal in some countries, we could look! I mean, I AM a sucker for a pretty lady! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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  16. Pingback: The Blogger Aesthetic Award – Bookshelves and Biros

    1. Thank you, Tod! That means a lot coming from a fellow YA reviewer (with educational purposes). I think this might be a good MG read too, because there isn’t anything bad or inappropriate in the book.
      I hope to see what you think! 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Celebrating The Little Things | The Belgian Reviewer

  18. Thank you so much for such a personal review! I have had my own struggles with my weight throughout my life. I used to weigh 100 lbs more than I do now. I wish I could say that losing the weight solves all the body image issues, but it hasn’t for me. Even though I am a “healthy weight,” my body image issues are just as bad as ever. I didn’t stop and try to fix the insides while working on the outside.

    I am so sorry your mom said things like that to you. I had that from family too. Except now they make comments like “why can’t you eat what we are eating?” so I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup. My sister is anorexic. It’s frustrating when the overweight girl tries to help the skinny older sister. She recently got into a size 2 and I asked her if she was going to stop losing weight now (she’s always been trying stuff even though she’s been a healthy size 5-7 most of her life) and she told me her body was none of my business. But smaller than that is a zero!!
      She’s a nurse so you’d think she’d know better! But we all have our personal demons…
      Congrats on your weight loss! That’s always a struggle…I have lost about 50 myself but keep trying to get under this evil number!! 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

  19. This book is always teetering on and off my TBR. It sounds interesting, but it’s one of those where I don’t know if I’ll actually get to it, you know? I hope I do, because your review made it sound amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I liked it, but it was my first contemporary, and I could identify with the main character. But you’ve read more of them, and a lot of ppl think it’s just ok. So my enthusiasm could be tainted by that! Just a heads up in case you do decide to read it. But if you do, I hope you like it! 😉🤞

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe it’s because it was my first contemporary that I liked it so much? Or maybe because the subject matter spoke to me! I don’t know…
      I really identified with Libby. Maybe it’s the reason I liked it so much…also, I thought the face blindness (prosopagnosia) was fascinating, and I couldn’t imagine hiding that from others and being alone! It was just a nice, warm story for me: I’m not a big fan of depressing tales so maybe that’s why others don’t like it: it’s too positive, lol! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I have been seeing great reviews about this, and have been wanting to read it! Books that emphasize empathy from the readers are often intriguing and meaningful (others are, too!), and your review has assured my mind that this is worth the read!

    Like

    1. Well, then I did my job!
      Sorry, I found you in my Spam! Apologies for the delayed reply, btw!
      So glad that I could share my love for this book and it carried across. It really touched me. The MC was really easy to identify with. I hope to see more comments from you! 😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, I do hope that I wouldn’t be put into spam again XD

        I live outside of US as well UK, so the price may hike up (if they actually made outside, which I really hope they do). Nevertheless, if I find it, I’ll get it 😀

        Thanks for your responses! really glad I was able to find your blog 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Me too! I like finding new blogger friends! 😍😘
      Scott commented on this post…if you comment to him, I’m sure he’d let you read and review! It’s worth it! Up to you! (Especially since you’re not able to get it in the U.K.)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s fine! I know that having so many comments from various people in various posts can cause mix-ups sometimes 🙂 , I am really grateful for your responses!

        I have tried sending a message to him through his website, hopefully that reaches him 🙂

        Thanks for your suggestion 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Oh good! I love it when people talk to these wonderful authors! I get so many requests from indies that it’s hard to read them all and I feel bad when I can’t. So I’m glad that others want to read and help too!
      I hope you love it!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. I’m glad you like this one! I really liked it too, though there were some moments where I thought it got a biiiit problematic.

    Also thank you for sharing your story. Struggling with weight is HARD, and even harder still when society’s judging you on how you look and the clothes size that you wear. Health is the most important thing, though, so I hope that’s what carries you through. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sorry it took me so long to find this comment! It was buried in my email, which I’m going through at the moment.
      Yes, this book made me feel like I understood the main character and her tendency to fantasize about what things could be like. I was always the girl crushing on the boy who thought I was gross. As an adult, it never really goes away.
      I’m not aware of the problematic issues on this one…but I may be out of the loop on that.
      Been working on my weight all my life. I have PCOS, which causes weight to gain and makes it hard to come off. So it will always be a struggle and I will never be a size two. But I’m okay with that: my blood sugar is good, my blood pressure is excellent, and if I could quit smoking, I would be very healthy. But I promised myself one problem at a time, lol. Weight first, then the cigs.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No worries! I totally get it – it’s SO HARD to keep track of everything at times and I’ve definitely missed things too. 😛

        I’m so, so sorry – that sounds like a really awful thing to have to go through, and I’m glad to hear that you’re feeling OK about it. Health is definitely the most important thing, I think. I’m relatively OK-sized (haha) but I’m not that fit, so that’s something I’m working on too at the moment. Just the temptation to be lazy is hard to ignore sometimes… and yeah, that sounds like a good idea to take one thing at a time! I hope it all works out for you. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! I’m queen temptation so I totally understand! And it’s a little hard to work out and read, right! 😂
      Ehh, people are pretty good now…I just don’t want kids to go through what I went through. It’s hard.
      You look perfectly sized!
      I’m getting better at balancing the move with everyday life, but for example, I have been meaning to post for two days! Hopefully today is the day! 🙄

      Like

      1. Sooo hard! I like audiobooks when I exercise but I’ll talk myself SO MUCH out of exercising. I have no self-discipline, haha.

        Thank you! I’ve struggled with weight at various points of my life too but now isn’t too bad, thankfully. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    3. Well, I can definitely identify, but I think (from what I can tell), you look fabulous!
      I need to work out more, too! Winter is the worst because it’s so cold outside tha you don’t feel like doing anything!

      Like

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