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My Never Ending List

I read almost every genre & I enjoy venturing into unfamiliar territory. As a library volunteer, I'm constantly bringing home novels. Being a substitute teacher, I read lots of YA & children's books.  

Holding Up the Universe

Holding Up the Universe - Jennifer Niven

I really enjoyed the characters in this novel, from their diversity to their voice; they really brought the novel together for me. The two main characters in this novel were each dealing with major medical issues and they each handled it differently.   Libby knew that she would not be hidden as she made her way back into the school system this fall. Still a big girl, Libby wanted her classmates to see her as just one of the many students returning back to class. Libby was nervous and excited as the first day of school approached and she hoped that her peers would forget that she once held the title of America’s Fattest Teen and the taunting and the jeers from years ago would be history. It only took one student, one student to ruin the start of her junior year. She soon finds out that some people never change and that maturity lacks in some individuals.


Jack, on the other hand is a popular guy and he hangs out with the cool crowd. Now, if you viewed Jack’s world from anyone else’s perspective, you’d see him as forgetful or confused at times. Nothing alarming, but at times, he can’t remember who some people are.   If you were Jack, you know there is something wrong, you realize you have a difficult time deciphering people’s faces and you’re afraid of the truth. You keep this secret inside and you ponder the mystery behind this condition, afraid of speaking out about the real Jack. They’re both alike in many ways, Libby and Jack, yet they are so different. I enjoyed their stories and how they tried to handle their conditions. We all know that everyone is unique and special and what makes them tick is what makes them, exceptional and I saw this in this novel. I really wished this novel would not have pushed the romance as hard as it did. I wished that instead of the romance, it would have relaxed a bit and worked more on their friendship. I felt the romance was pushed, it was sudden and quick. I would have liked their friendship to be drawn out, giving them time to build a lasting friendship where they would build a foundation.   I felt that these two individuals needed to find themselves and each other before the word “love” is thrown into the mix.


The other characters in the novel, bended and twisted these characters around, showing them qualities of each other and of themselves until the music stopped and they had to take a stand. These characters; they built them up, tore them down and molded them. Just like Play Dough, I see these parents, peers, and siblings shaping them right before my eyes. It was a great novel.


“Everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him.”