Read as an audiobook.
Review originally published on Goodreads – May 8, 2019.
“Three years ago, I was America’s Fattest Teen. I weighed 653 pounds at my heaviest, which means I was approximately 500 pounds overweight.”
📚 Genre:Young Adult
📚 POV:Alternating First Person
⚠ Trigger Warnings: Bodyshaming, specifically fatshaming. Bullying. Cheating. Anxiety. Depression.
“I know what you’re thinking- if you hate it so much and it’s such a burden, just lose the weight, and then that job will go away. But I’m comfortable where I am. I may lose more weight. I may not. But why should what I weigh affect other people? I mean unless I’m sitting on them, who cares?”
I was very hesitant to pick up Holding Up The Universe since it felt like a Hit or Miss. Many readers felt offended and put off by the controversial topics this book tried to venture in.
The main characters, Libby, who is obese, and Jack, who is face-blind, seemed to be too much defined by their illnesses. Frankly, at the beginning I felt uncomfortable with their low self esteems and how low they look at themselves.
Speaking as a plus sized twenty something woman myself, it is indeed a bit scary to read something I 100% identify with, especially when we are dealing with the bad parts. The bullying hit too close to home and I was breathing so hard at times due to so many horrible memories.
But I believe books like this need to be written. Books like this need to be read.
While I was listening to this audiobook, it amazed how many bits of wisdom were shared to the reader by both Libby and Jack. I wrote a lot of standout lines that made me rethink how I see myself and others, how I prejudge and how I react.
I know people tend to look at the bad things in this book. There’s that insta-love. There’s extreme cheesy sappy lines. There’s “love can heal illnesses”. Despite these, I would like to forgive these and appreciate new representation and what the world really needs.
These are teenagers. We have to remind ourselves that teenagers are sappy and dramatic and fall really fast in love. They were written exactly the way teenagers behave. They make mistakes and say the wrong things, but at least, someone somewhere gets to read this and maybe learn to be someone better.
This book ended sweetly and I am happy about it. Bonus note, I really appreciated how amazing the persons who lent their voices as Jack and Libby. The emotions really shone through and made the book hit even closer to the heart.
“Life is too short to judge others. It is not our job to tell someone what they feel or who they are. Why not spend some time on yourself instead? I don’t know you, but I can guarantee you have some issues you can work on. And maybe you’ve got a fit body and a perfect face, but I’ll wager you’ve got insecurities too, ones that would keep you from stripping down to a purple bikini and modeling it in front of everyone.
As for the rest of you, remember this. YOU ARE WANTED. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise not even yourself.
Especially not yourself.”
☁ THE CRITERIA ☁
🌻 Support Characters:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Writing Style:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Character Development:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Page Turner:⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Book Cover:⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
☁FINAL VERDICT: 4.09/5 ☁