Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything.
Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.
Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.
I liked Jennifer's first book but something about it didn't quite click for me and I didn't love it like everyone else is. Now I've read this book I finally get it. I get why people are obsessed with her work. I loved this book.
I loved the storylin completely and seeing Jack and Libby's relationship develop over the course of the book. It was wonderful seeing how they got to know each other and they changed each other and the other's perception of the world.
I loved Libby as a main character. She's a bigger girl who is treated in a really foul way purely because she doesn't conform to the stereotype of how you are supposed to look in high school. I loved particularly that actually on the grand scheme of things she's OK with herself and her own skin after taking control of her extreme weight. I love that she took control of that for herself because it's what she wanted.
Jack's story is also really interesting. I'd not heard of Prosopagnosia before she seeing how Jack deals with it was fascinating as you see how he copes with his condition on his own and then later with Libby's support.
A book I loved. Highly recommended.