a review of Holding Up the Universe

This book has changed my life.

Jennifer Niven can definitely write a story and make it into so much more than just a story. Holding Up the Universe is about about Libby Strout, who plainly put, is an overweight teenage girl. When went through a very traumatic event in her life which determined what came after. (I’m sorry if this sounds vague but I don’t want to give too much away.) In short she was dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” And yet… she is brilliant and lovely and courageous. She is so determined and her thought process makes me rethink my own.

On the other side, we have Jack Masselin and he has what is called prosopagnosia. He cannot recognize people, not even the ones he loves like family. He has to use identifiers; hair, ears, walk, to know who is speaking to. It was very interesting to read how Niven translated this disorder in the book. But as she explained in the acknowledgements, she did her research and it really is evident. Besides his disorder, Jack is so much more, just like Libby. He has swagger and deep deep down, past all the teenage doucheness, he has a heart of gold. And together with Libby, they changed my life.

I finished this book in two days. I probably would have finished it sooner if it weren’t for trivial things such as work. But mind has expanded and changed thanks to Libby, and I don’t think I could ever go back to thinking the same.

The message in the book is simple: “You are wanted.” That is something that everyone must hear.

Maybe I or you will never be the girl that people pine over. Or call pretty. Or want to be friends with. Not everyone will want to be friends with you. You might be the one that gets picked last in gym class. You may never be everyone’s first choice. But maybe you or I shouldn’t aim to be those things. I want to be like Libby. I want to be fierce, brilliant, brave, and most importantly resilient. I want to be remembered as that. More than just a face.

We are wanted.

a review of Holding Up the Universe

It’s been my experience that the people who are most afraid are the ones who hide behind mean and threatening words.

Jennifer Niven, Holding Up The Universe

Booked for a month. #20


Pretend there is a picture here.

I know. I’m breaking rules today. I took a picture of different pies I ate today, and all I could think about was Dean Winchester. And then I started thinking about how maybe I should take you know ghost/ monster fighting classes, you know, to protect myself. And then I was thinking, do they even have ghost/ monster fighting classes? 


So I just caught up with Once Upon a time and I can’t help but make the connection with Supernatural. I mean it can’t be a coincidence that Maleficent’s daughter is named Lilith and that the girl below is named Lilith. 

Needless to say, I’m scared. 

“I don’t have friends, I have family.”

That is what Dominic Toretto says in the new installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise: Furious 7. Love is such a loaded word. Even more loaded when you add an adjective in front of it. Romantic love, friendly love, familiar love and so on and so forth. But what can sometimes be more powerful than the love you feel for someone, something that might go hand in hand. Loyalty and trust. With those two suckers you can’t have love, or at least a love that functions properly. 

I couldn’t help but yearn for what Dom has. He has Letty that is his ride or die until the end. Brian O’Connor, which at first Dom probably hated his guts, but then is probably the person he trusts the most after Letty and his sister Mia (most great relationships begin in hate…don’t they?). If you have Dom you will most certainly find Brian. But what compels someone to be loyal? Is it promise of power, money maybe? Security would probably cause someone to be loyal to you, if they knew you would keep them safe. Or simply knowing someone for a long time? But how well do you really know people? They could just as easily rob you blind, building that loyalty like a tower, only to tear it down once you’re done. 

As far fetched as it may sound, after watching Furious 7 I kept thinking of The Originals and Klaus….(hang with me I have a point!), how Klaus is always striving for loyalty and respect. I mean GEESH, he probably says the word “loyalty” and “respect” about ten times an episode. He will not stop until his baby girl is safe and sound and he has an army of people loyal to him and will protect them at any cost! But what Klaus also says is the same thing that Dom enforces. Where there is family there is power, because family is power. No other person is going to give you the loyalty and the respect that you want like family, or people that are like family. 

Like my old friend Bobby Singer used to say, “Family don’t end in blood.” Then he’d probably say “idjit” or something a long those lines and then Dean will eat a slice of pie, and Sammy will be doing his moose thing, and Adam… well yeah anyways…

I guess when it comes down to it “family” or “loyalty” along with “friend” even “power” are very subjective words. Very important words. I believe we relate to these characters especially in this generation when all we want are 100 billion followers to agree with what we do, and like the decisions we make, and accept us no matter how true or false our image may seem. But maybe it’s time to get away from all that and actually find your tribe, the people that will be your family, whether it be your blood family, your friend family, or just one other person that will be there at the drop of a hat for you. Like Dom and Klaus our family is our security, our lifeline and maybe it’s time we celebrate and become a little bit more connected. Family is power. 

Stay humble my friends.