HOLDING UP THE UNIVERSE – Jennifer Niven

holding up the universe4.5/5

RELEASED: 6/10/2016
PUBLISHER: Penguin
GENRE: Young Adult Contemporary

“We’re all weird and damaged in our own way. You’re not the only one.”

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 see who she really is. Since her mum’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. 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 art of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a 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 own 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, Libby and Jack are both angry, 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. 

Jennifer Niven delivers another poignant, exhilarating love story about finding that person who sees you for who you are – and seeing them right back. 

I LOVE All The Bright Places so naturally was desperate to read Holding Up The Universe and it didn’t disappoint! That said, it is totally different to ATBP since it’s a slightly more cheerful topic, making it better suited to younger teens, and the ending wasn’t sad – since its publication I’ve reassured lots of fans of Jennifer Niven who were hesitating over not wanting a read that needs a box of tissues to hand and so I would like to reassure people that THIS BOOK ISN’T THE SAME!

Something that I love about Jennifer’s writing is that on the surface we have a typical contemporary teen romance, but underneath there are layers to the story and characters which confront common and often serious conditions (although Jack’s debilitating condition of prosopagnosia is one that isn’t commonly known about) in a way that makes the writing enjoyable to read. It feels like a key element of the characters is showing that even the people who appear to have it all can have problems behind closed doors and that it is okay to be different. The issue of weight and body image also continues to be a massive problem in the modern world and this book joins the ranks as one of the brilliant books for teens dealing with this.


Thank you to the Penguin Huddle for sending me a copy of this title!
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snailycanflyy Book Award 2018

Last year, I hosted my first snailycanflyy Book Award, where I narrowed down my top books of the year, and after a fab reading year the award is back for 2018! Last year saw some tough competition from some amazing books featuring amazing authors and illustrators with the overall winner being the very worthy The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson which still stands out as one of the best books I’ve ever read!

The award is split into three categories – Best Picture Book, Best Middle Grade and Best Young Adult, with a winner in each category and an overall winner. The criteria is simply that it has to be a five-star rated book published in 2018 and one that I want to talk about, one that has stuck with me since reading and one that I would recommend wholeheartedly. So, without futher ado, here are the category nominees:

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BEST PICTURE BOOK:

Oscar the Hungry Unicorn – Lou Carter, Nikki Dyson
The Bear, The Piano, The Dog and the FiddleDavid Litchfield
Ruby’s Worry – Tom Percival
Space Tortoise – Ross Montgomery, David Litchfield
The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty Jessica Courtney-Tickle

BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK:

The Truth PixieMatt Haig
Death in the Spotlight – Robin Stevens
The Eye of the North – Sinead O’Hart
The Light Jar Lisa Thompson
The Secret Seven: Mystery of the Skull – Pamela Butchart

BEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK:

I Was Born For ThisAlice Oseman
To Kill a KingdomAlexandra Christo
LegendaryStephanie Garber
Sunflowers in FebruaryPhyllida Shrimpton
The Exact Opposite of OkayLaura Steven

AND THE WINNERS ARE…drumroll please!

oscar the hungry unicornBEST PICTURE BOOK
Oscar the Hungry Unicorn

death in the spotlightBEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK
Death in the Spotlight

to kill a kingdomBEST YOUNG ADULT BOOK
To Kill a Kingdom

OVERALL WINNER
The Truth Pixie

A massive congratulations and thank you to all of the authors who’s books made it to the shortlist! All of these books are so incredible and I’ve loved reading them in 2018!

kayleigh

 

My Year of Audible: 2018

It’s scary to think that I’m already over halfway through Blogmas 2018! Today I am going to share with you some of the audiobooks that I have loved this year; although I’ve not listened as frequently lately, I have got some brilliant audiobooks this year!

The Goldfish Boy – Lisa Thompson narrated by Leon Williams

The Truth Pixie – Matt Haig narrated by Matt Haig

Notes on a Nervous Planet – Matt Haig narrated by Matt Haig

The Kissing Booth – Beth Reekles narrated by Cynthia Holloway

I Was Born For This – Alice Oseman narrated by Aysha Kala, Huw Parmenter

The Exact Opposite of Okay – Laura Steven narrated by Laura Aikman

Legendary – Stephanie Garner narrated by Rebecca Soler

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo narrated by Jacob York, Stephanie Willis

Daughter of the Pirate King – Tricia Levenseller narrated by Marisa Calin

Although I haven’t got around to finishing listening to all of these, I have loved the freedom of having an Audible membership and having some wonderful titles added to my audiobook library!

Have you listened to any of these, or are there any you’d recommend?

Young Adult Books for Christmas

With Christmas fast approaching, I’ve been looking for some YA Christmas books to read, and was happy to discover that there are a few that I needed to add to my TBR! For day 16 of Blogmas, I thought that I would share those with you!

Almost Midnight – Rainbow Rowell

My True Love Gave To Me – Various

Let It Snow – Various

 

 

 

The Chaos of Standing Still – Jessica Brody

What Light – Jay Asher

All Wrapped Up – Holly Smale

 

 

 

Have you read any of these? Are there any YA Christmas books that I’ve missed?

kayleigh

 

 

 

Cover Buys of 2018

There have been so many beautiful books come out this year, and I saw a post the other day on Matilda’s Library where she showcased some of these and I thought that I’d love to have a think about my favourites! Below you’ll find a selection of these beauties, a mixture between books I’ve bought this year, have come out this year, or requested this year!

Okay, so it’s pretty evident that I buy a lot of books based on their covers! What books have you bought this year because of a pretty cover?

kayleigh

 

Bookish Advent Calendar 2018: Week 1

So, over on my Instagram, I’ve been hosting a bookish advent calendar where I am showcasing some of the best wintery and festive books! Each week, I am going to round up the doors that I’ve opened and show you which books I’ve discovered!

Week One:
the story orchestra the nutcracker
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I wonder which books I’ll discover next week!

kayleigh

Picture Books for Christmas

It’s getting closer, and it’s definitely time to start to thinking about Christmas gifts and Christmas reading! Some of my favourite gifts to give people are picture books, and at this time of year there are lots of brilliant picture books to choose from! I think that beautiful hardbacks and christmassy paperbacks are wonderful to share with others. Here are my top picks!

Grandpa ChristmasGrandpa Christmas – Michael Morpurgo, Jim Field

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Dr. Seuss)How The Grinch Stole Christmas – Dr Seuss

Sproutzilla vs. ChristmasSproutzilla Vs. Christmas – Tom Jamieson, Mike Byrne

 

 

Ollie's Christmas ReindeerOllie’s Christmas Reindeer -Nicola Killen

The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker: Press the Note to Hear Tchaikovsky's MusicThe Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker – Jessica Courtney-Tickle

The Night Before the Night Before ChristmasThe Night Before The Night Before Christmas – Kes Gray, Claire Powell

 

 

Last Stop on the Reindeer ExpressLast Stop on the Reindeer Express – Maudie Powell-Tuck, Karl James Mountford

The Worm and the BirdThe Worm and the Bird – Coralie Bickford-Smith

The Fox and the StarThe Fox and the Star – Coralie Bickford-Smith

 

 

The Nightmare Before ChristmasThe Nightmare Before Christmas – Tim Burton

The Queen's Present (The Queen Collection)The Queen’s Present – Steve Antony

Penguin ProblemsPenguin Problems – Jory John, Lane Smith

 

 

kayleigh

WWW Wednesday: 14th November 2018

It’s been a MyKindaBook week – I got approved on Friday on NetGalley for three of 2019’s most exciting titles so that threw all my murder mystery plans out of the window!

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What are you currently reading? 

I expected to like Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds, but I didn’t expect to be as hooked as I am! It’s such a good YA contemporary with a little dash of time-travel, which made me a bit hesitant at first, but I’m loving it!

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What did you recently finish reading?

FIERCE FRAGILE HEARTS BY SARA BARNARD. AND YES, IT’S GOING TO LIVE UP TO THE HYPE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING. I’m just glad that I have other good contemporaries to read otherwise I think I would’ve been left in a massive book hangover from this one!

I also read The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty this week – it’s my favourite in the series! It’s just a stunning book that I would highly recommend for everyone who loves music and fairytales, and it would make the perfect gift.

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What do you think you’ll read next?

Last but not least from my NetGalley recent approvals is Enchantée by Gita Trelease. I’ve been so excited for this ever since I saw the image of the proof on Twitter (it’s STUNNING) – France, revolution, YA…what’s not to love?! I can’t wait to get stuck in.

FIERCE FRAGILE HEARTS – Sara Barnard

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So…as I write this review it’s 2018. I’ve already decided what one of the top books of 2019 is, and it’s this one – the sequel to the equally wonderful Beautiful Broken Things.

I was so desperate for a copy of this book, and I’m so glad that I was approved on NetGalley to read it early! The only reservation I had was that it was so long ago that I read Beautiful Broken Things that I thought I wouldn’t remember anything about it and would struggle to get into the new title, but how wrong I was! It’s a testament to how brilliant Sara’s writing and characterisation is that I was thrown straight back into the world with some of the most wonderful characters!

img_3606A key factor that makes Sara’s books so popular and loved is that her characters are real. They’re perfectly flawed, relatable and diverse. For example, as we’ve previously seen in her books, mental health is a key theme that she gets right – in Fierce Fragile Hearts, whether or not you have experience of anxiety, depression or bipolar, there’re parts of Suze (our main character) that are highly relatable to all readers on some level. However, the thing that I love is that those heavy topics that in so many books you have to put them down, such as abuse and mental health, don’t define the book and overshadow the story. I guess what I’m very badly trying to say is that a subject that could be incredibly triggering is presented in a way that doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of the book.

I could witter on about how much I love this book for ages, and as the day has gone on the intensity of that feeling has grown, along with my feelings for Matt *swoon*. Yet again, a five-star read that I urge everyone to get their hands on!


Thank you to MyKindaBook via NetGalley for the eBook of this title!

Six for Sunday: 4th November 2018

Hello and it’s a very early morning (for me) welcome to this week’s Six for Sunday (you can find the prompts here)! This week’s topic is:

Dream panels/events

I actually found this prompt a little tricky to think of, especially as I’ve just woken up. So, I’m going to put a slight twist on it and go for the six authors I’d most love to meet!

the goldfish boy1.  Lisa Thompson

I feel so bad for how much I have tagged Lisa in all my fangirling over The Goldfish Boy, and am so grateful to her for sending me the beautiful French and Spanish editions, that she’s top of the list of authors I’d love to meet!

2. Stephanie Garber

The Caraval series is just amazing, and Stephanie seems like such a lovely person that I’d love to have the chance to meet her!

3. Robin Stevens

I’d love to go for bunbreak with Robin Stevens and chat all things murder mystery!

sunflowers in february4. Phyllida Shrimpton

Sunflowers in February has been one of my favourite books this year, and Phyllida seems so lovely on social media that I’d love to get to meet her!

5. Maz Evans

Admittedly I haven’t read her books yet, though I recommend them…but she seems hilarious and like she’d be good fun!

6. Giovanna Fletcher

Who wouldn’t? She’s adorable and everyone says how lovely she is to meet!

Which authors would you most like to meet? Have you met any of the ones I’ve listed?