Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Holding Up the Universe. (Mindscape Reviews #1)

It had been a while since I read Young Adult fiction and when I heard that Jennifer Niven had written another novel, I ordered it right away. I read her 'All the Bright Places' and I was amazed by the story and her writing style. But, when it comes to YA, I should learn to start confiding in a few authors.
Holding Up the Universe is a coming-of-age novel focussed on 2 teens who have some serious issues and how they manage to work through them while surviving high school, family ups and downs and mean people. So, yeah, it felt like deja vu. It was that trip down the lane which I never wanted to remember.
The thing about this novel is that at least some part of it will make you connect to the story in some way, either minor or major. Because every high school student experience involves bullying, failed romantic relationships, meaningless dates, unclear goals, family fights and so on. And at the end of it, every high school student experience concludes in learning from all the crap that happens to us in that shitty period. Holding Up the Universe is just about that. It is a light read, nothing spectacular, nothing extraordinary. It is very common in the sense that everyone will find it relatable and end up liking it. Unfortunately, I'm not made  for generalised reading and so I didn't like it much.

The main characters in this novel are Libby Strout and Jack Masselin.
Libby Strout is an overweight girl who had to be rescued from her own house because she was too huge to walk. And that's what she gets known for; America's Fattest Teen. But, she isn't that person anymore. I liked the fact that she knows herself and accepts her for what she is. And by that, I don't mean a fat person. I mean a person with inner strength. She knows how to stand up for herself and after having been through so much. Usually, in girls like Libby there is a high insecurity and minority complex, but not her. She had the courage to grab some stars!

Jack Masselin is that popular guy in high school who every girl lusts over and who every guy wants to be. But, being that person isn't always a merry ride. There's always another story. In this case, Jack has a disease called prosopagnosia, which is basically face-blindness due to which he cannot even recognize the faces of his family and loved ones. He's the one who lands up in a lot of trouble mainly because of this disease, but due to his douche persona, it comes off. Anyway, he is a nice person, he just doesn't know that until he meets Libby.

Together, they make each other better.

Some Favourite Quotes:
1. Every book I read & movie I watch seems to give out the same message: high school is the worst experience you can ever have.
2. "We can't fight another person's battles, no matter how much we want to."
But we can chase the bastards who terrorize them down the street.
3. Its's been my experience that the people who are most afraid are the ones who hide behind mean and threatening words.
4. If you try to carry everything around all the time, pretty soon you end up flat on your back in bed, too big to get up or even turn over.
5. Loss does that, hits you out of the blue. You can be in the car or in class or at the movies, laughing and having a good time, and suddenly it is as if someone has reached directly into the wound and squeezed with all their might.
6. It's about the way their face lights up when they laugh, or the way they move as they're walking toward you, or the way their freckles create a map of the stars.
7. Two broken, lonely people who maybe aren’t so broken or lonely anymore.
8. It’s okay to be a person. We’re all afraid. We all get hurt. It’s okay to hurt. You’d be so much more likable if you just acted human.
9. Maybe this is where we stay. Right here in this small radius where it’s safe. Maybe we can just stay right here, safe like this, forever.

Overall Thoughts:
The story starts off really good. The pace is good and it grasps the reader even though it is just the usual teen high school drama with more weight and a disease added to it. I expected a lot more from Jennifer Niven, but as usual high expectations (or rather any expectations) just lead to disappointments. So, this one was really a let down in terms of the story line, character building, development of plot and literally everything.
If you don't want to stress your brain too much, then it's okay to read it. If impracticality and plainness doesn't bother you, it's okay to read it. If you like any sort of Young Adult fiction, go for it! But, if you're looking to find meaning or if you are overweight and think reading this will help you make some connection or if you think it is a shot at high school survival or if you have any deeper purposes other than 'light reading', then you will be wasting your time. I have rated it 2/5 stars on Goodreads.  

Have you read this novel? Did you like it? Tell me about your views! Lets discuss!!!


  1. High school is so hard. I think anything that makes you feel like you aren't alone in that could be a great read for a teen!

  2. Looks like an interesting read. I'm sure if someone has been through a rough time in high school, they could probably relate!

  3. I'll have to add this to my reading list, thanks!

  4. Quote #6 is so beautiful - omg! Adding this to my reading list fosho!

    Coming Up Roses


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