Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

How I Heard About It:  All the Bright Places was one of my favorite YA reads from 2015.  Such a powerful novel.  I was thrilled to learn that Jennifer Niven was coming out with a new book in October of 2016.  I recently checked my Cloud Library app and was thrilled to see that this title was available for check out.  

What It Is About:  Libby hasn't had it easy.  She lost her mother at a young age.  She locked herself up in her home and became bigger and bigger.  So big in fact that she had to be removed from the home by a crane.  The years have passed, she has lost some of the weight, and is ready to head to high school and reunite with all the kids she use to go to school and be friends with.  Jack is also in high school.  He is in the popular crowd, well-liked, and has the girlfriend all the guys would want.  Jack also has a secret.  He has a secret disease where he can't remember faces.  He has lived with this on his own and has been able to hide it from his family and friends.  After he participates in a stupid high-school "game", he and Libby end up in a counseling group together and have to fulfill some community service hours.  These two young people really don't want anything to do with each other, but as time goes on, the two of them learn to rely on each other, stand up for each other, and accept each other's differences.  

What I Thought Of It:  What a story!  Once I started the book I could not STOP reading.  I was a bit nervous to read this second book from Jennifer because I enjoyed All the Bright Places so much.  To me, this novel was just as good as the first book; if not better.  Everything about it was top-notch.  Getting to know Libby and Jack was a complete joy and they were special characters with really touching back-stories.  The writing was beautiful and all plot elements were tied together so smoothly and with a surprise or two along the way.  A book that I will be recommending to all of my reading friends.  

Who Should Read It:  Fans of the first book will need to experience this second novel.  You will not be disappointed.  The audience geared toward the book is the young-adult and I can see high-school readers being able to relate to so many aspects of the story.  Of course adult readers who enjoy YA will find this a greatly satisfying read.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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