Book Review: Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven

28686840Light. Eye – Opening. Unexpected. Weird but Honest. Lovely. Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven is one of the books that will keep you on reading because she discusses a lot of things that a normal teenager is facing. Difficulty in adapting. Adjusting in a new environment. Being accepted in a social norm. Just for being yourself. One of the few books that I’ve known that tackles a lot of mental illness in one book. And Jennifer Niven slays it!

Depression takes a lot of forms, it could be your conscience haunting you because of insecurities or it could be you have been experiencing in a major downfall in life that you really wanted to achieve or simply, you are being bullied for what you are or for what you have been or for what you looked like. It takes different nature in different people. Some are good at hiding them and some are not. We all live in depression at some point in our lives and that what makes us a living. The sad part of the coin is, there are a lot of people who didn’t survive depression and it sucks the small pieces of joy, laughter, and happiness in you. That is not a good thing. And this is what I hutu1saw with Libby.

She struggle being herself because society dictates and lead what you should do or what you should be. But that wasn’t should be, right? We should be the person we want to be and for who we are. Be natural and talented. But society sees all the negativity in their eyes and they started to bully Libby for being fat, for being not wanted, for being who she is. Where in fact, shouldn’t be. Fat shouldn’t become a label or a word that indicates negative meaning. It should be a beautiful word that is existing to be carried by people proudly because that’s who they really are and there is nothing to be shamed of it. That’s where I really feel Libby so much that I felt that I was in her shoes.

Prosopagnosia is face-blindness, it sucks because the people you have interacted with, hutu2especially the ones who are really close to you. The minute you turn your eyes away from them. You wouldn’t be able to recognize them for who they are unless you put an identifier to them in your mind. It is an everyday struggle and there’s a rare case that there’s no cure for this only therapy to hope on.

It is actually painful because you wouldn’t see the beautiful life forms of every faces and every people you had crossed path with. It is like giving you eyes but you can’t see any face. You are like blinded but not blind at all. It is a huge struggle and rare cases, you wouldnt able to recognize anyone. Its difficult on thinking this. It feels like you want to see the world but you can’t. Living everyday is hard enough but with Prospognosia makes your life harder than it seems. Imagine, talking to people you have spoken of and you couldn’t hutu3remember them because you don’t even recognize them. It is kind of painful. Devastating. And that is what Jack has.

Libby and Jack intertwinned to learn from each other. To have a courage in every fight. To learn new beautiful things from each other. To be wanted and be loved back. A simple symphony of what Jennifer Niven given unto us.

Very relatable and painful. But it will make you look at different angles of what life should be and choose for who you really are. She manifests words that could make you warm and feel the love from a mile away.

Brave. Standing up. Yearning. Few words to describe Holding Up The Universe by Jennifer Niven that could make you twirling and dancing. Jennifer Niven brought us another touching novel that will make our heart melt with her words. With her fast-paced, writing style you will definitely fall in love with Jack but you will definitely fall in love with Libby more.


You could buy your book on:
The Book Depository | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Abe Books


45592By the time I was ten, I had already written numerous songs, a poem for Parker Stevenson (“If there were a Miss America for men, You would surely win”), two autobiographies (All About Me and My Life in Indiana: I Will Never Be Happy Again), a Christmas story, several picture books (which I illustrated myself) featuring the Doodle Bugs from Outer Space, a play about Laura Ingalls Wilder’s sister entitled Blindness Strikes Mary, a series of prison mysteries, a collection of short stories featuring me as the main character (an internationally famous rock star detective), and a partially finished novel about Vietnam. I was also an excellent speller from a very early age.

In 2000, I started writing full-time, and I haven’t stopped… I’ve written nine books (#9 will be out Oct 4, 2016), and when I’m not working on the tenth, I’m writing the screenplay for All the Bright Places, contributing to my web magazine, Germ (, thinking up new books, and dabbling in TV. I am always writing.


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