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 re-engineer and rebuild anything in new and bad-ass 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..
"I've never fallen in love with characters as fast as I fell for Libby and Jack. Holding Up the Universe is a beautiful reminder of the power of understanding." — Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why
"Niven… creates two indelible characters and a heart-stopping romance." — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"…a thoughtful exploration of identity and self-acceptance…" — School Library Journal (starred review)
"More a story about falling in love with yourself than with a romantic interest, this novel will resonate with all readers who've struggled to love themselves." — Kirkus
"Recommended for readers looking for non stereotypical love stories." — Booklist
"Gorgeously written and oh-so-deeply felt, Holding Up the Universe contains one of my favorite characters of all time! You will absolutely fall in love with Libby Strout!" — Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything
"At once hilarious and achingly poignant, Jennifer Niven's Holding Up the Universe brims with love and heart and hope. A gorgeous, life-affirming book that— like its lovable and resilient main character Libby — will make you want to open your arms wide, lift your face to the sky, and twirl." — Kerry Kletter, author of The First Time She Drowned
Want a love story that will give you all the feels? Meet Libby… and Jack… who forge a deep connection neither of them could have expected. You'll seriously melt! — Seventeen Magazine
"Jennifer Niven's debut young adult novel, All the Bright Places, resonated with teens everywhere. Her second, Holding Up the Universe, is another moving tale of two teenagers finding solace in each other. "…the true heart of the tale lies in personal growth and learning to love yourself." — Bookish
Holding Up the Universe is about more than just the relationship between these two souls. It taps into the universal need to be understood. To be wanted. And that's what makes it such a remarkable read. — Teen Vogue
Holding Up the Universe is thoughtful story of friendship and love. This is a worthy addition to any young adult collection; the story is engaging and difficult to put down. — VOYA (starred review)
Niven is adept at creating characters. …A joyful reading experience. — The New York Times Book Review
Niven's honest writing shares a story of friendship, confidence, strength, and identity — and it's not one to be missed. — Buzzfeed
Holding Up the Universe is filled with loss, love, courage, kindness, and most of all, HOPE. — Kelly Vorhis, Nerdy Book Club
Weight Issues / Eating Disorders