Holding Up The Universe

Holding Up the Universe

How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin UK

Previously reviewed by the same author:
All The Bright Places

Synopsis:

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 in new and bad-ass ways, 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.

Thoughts:

I enjoyed Jennifer Niven’s debut novel, but not as much as everyone else seemed to. I still enjoyed it enough to want to read something else she had written, so when I had the chance to read Holding Up The Universe I jumped at the chance. I actually preferred Holding Up The Universe. The story had me gripped from the start and I loved to read from both Libby and Jack’s points of view.

Libby and Jack are both fantastic characters. They come with some issues. Libby was once called America’s fattest teen. She once had to be taken out of her house via a crane. Libby had reasons as to why she turned to food which we as a reader find out quickly. Jack is hiding a secret. He comes across as really confident, but he has a condition which means he can’t recognise faces. I found that utterly fascinating. Libby and Jack end up meeting and an event lands them both in group counseling and community service. They find themselves growing closer to one another and learning more about the person on the inside.

I thought this book was incredibly easy to read with some very likeable characters. It is clear that both Libby and Jack don’t have it easy and Jennifer Niven doesn’t beat around the bush. She explicitly tells the reader how horrific the bullying was for Libby. Libby is empowering though. She has a new found ‘don’t care’ attitude. She loves to dance and doesn’t mind that she’s not your conventional dancer.

This book has come under some criticism, but to be honest, I don’t really understand why. Jennifer Niven writes so well and I think this book represents a strong female character who wants to be seen for who she really is!

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A well written story which I think might give others hope to be who they really want to be!

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This Week In Books #42

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Click on the book title to get to Goodreads!

Holding Up the Universe Early One Morning Bone Complete Set, Volumes 1 9: Out From Boneville, The Great Cow Race, Eyes Of The Storm, The Dragonslayer, Rock Jaw, Old Man's Cave, Ghost Circles, Treasure Hunters, And Crown Of Horns

NOW- Holding Up The Universe- Jennifer Niven-  I am about a quarter of the way through Jennifer Niven’s new book. I’m enjoying it so far and hope I get some time tonight to really get stuck into it.

THEN- Early One Morning- Virginia Baily- I was sent this book as part of my reading subscription from Mr B’s Emporium. I very much enjoyed this book.

NEXT- Bone- Jeff Smith- This graphic novel is next on the Banned Books feature here on my blog!

What are you reading this week? Feel free to let me know or leave a link to your post! Happy Reading 🙂

Stacking The Shelves #146

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book image to get to the Goodreads page!

NetGalley:

Thanks to Penguin Books

Holding Up the Universe

I enjoyed Jennifer Niven’s debut novel, but her latest release looks like it’s going to be more of my sort of thing. It cetainly looks like another heart-wrencher that’ll explore important issues.

Oxford University Press

I was sent these two books by OUP not knowing anything about them. They are due for release in August! They look like fun middle grade reads. I’ll certainly give them a go.

My Embarrassing Dad's Gone Viral 

That’s it for me this week. I’m happy with a small haul… so much to catch up on!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by! Happy Reading!

All The Bright Places

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How did I get it?:
NetGalley- thanks to Penguin Random House UK Children’s

Synopsis:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him. Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the ‘natural wonders’ of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself – a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Thoughts:

Okay. I have to be honest…I was eagerly anticipating reading this book because it had turned up on a lot of blogs as the most amazing book to read in 2015. The hype was growing (and still is) and that always makes me excited but at the same time, incredibly nervous. I have had so much trouble with hyped books. Most of the time I build them up to be much more than they actually are and find myself in for a let down. All The Bright Places was then linked/compared to The Fault In Our Stars. A book that I enjoyed, but not as much as I expected given that pesky hype monster. So, it was with much excitement yet trepidation that I started this book…

All The Bright Places is a book about Theodore Finch and Violet Markey who are both broken individuals. They meet unexpectedly on the top of the school’s bell tower. Both of them are contemplating jumping but they manage to ‘save’ each other. A school project brings them together. They find themselves growing closer and realise that they need each other, because it is when they are together that they can truly be themselves or begin to let go of their pasts.

As you might expect from the synopsis, this book isn’t a light hearted read. It covers some incredibly heavy going topics like suicide, mental illness and grief. I love that Jennifer Niven didn’t shy way from covering those topics. She covers with them in such a real and raw way. She doesn’t hold back. I think that’s brilliant, as so many individuals have dealt or are dealing with these issues and it’s important to represent that in literature.

Violet is such an amazing character. She’s damaged, but desperately wants to heal. Violet is dealing with the aftermath of her older sister’s death in a car accident. Violet and her sister Eleanor used to run a website, but she hasn’t been writing for it since. She’s also given up cheerleading. Everything that used to define her now stands still as Violet suffers with the loss she has endured. Theodore is also a powerful character. He’s known for getting into trouble at school. He has a secret though, he’s suffering from something that affects his life and his outlook on the world. With Violet by his side, he feels happy.

I don’t want to say too much more as I’m not one for spoilers in a review. Although this wasn’t a five star read for me, it was still an incredibly powerful, honest read which I think will become a firm favourite in many collections this year.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

A beautifully written, emotional read!

5th Annual End of Year Survey

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Again,  I’m linking up with one of my favourite bloggers, Jamie, from The Perpetual Page Turner. I can’t believe it’s time for another end of year survey! This year has been packed full of good reads, which I’m looking forward to sharing with you. Of course, it’s not technically the end of the year, yet, but if I read a book this month which HAS to go into this list I shall edit!

2014 Reading Stats:

Number Of Books You Read: 125
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read The Most From: YA

Best In Books:

1. Best Book You Read In 2014?

Okay, this is hard. Starting with a very hard question! Hmm… I would have to say either Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo or Something Real by Heather Demetrios.

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

 To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I enjoyed it, but expected it to be much better than it was!

3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read in 2014? 

Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin. I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was!

4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did) In 2014?

 Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. I will forever push that book on everyone that asks for a recommendation!

 5. Best series you started in 2014? Best Sequel of 2014? Best Series Ender of 2014?

(These are just from books I’ve read this year, they may not necessarily have released this year…)

Best series: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, Best Sequel of 2014: Dead Silent by Sharon Jones, Best Series Ender: Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi.

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2014?

Sarah J.Maas! Looking forward to reading more from her!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

 Say Her Name by James Dawson

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

 Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson. I couldn’t put it down!

 9. Book You Read In 2014 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I’m not a big re-reader if I’m honest!

10. Favourite cover of a book you read in 2014?

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11. Most memorable character of 2014?

Max Walker from Golden Boy.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2014?

 Bird by Crystal Chan.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2014?

 The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2014 to finally read? 

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

 15. Favourite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2014?

“It takes strength to be proud of yourself and to accept yourself when you know that you have something out of the ordinary about you.”- Golden Boy, Abigail Tarttelin

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2014?

Shortest- The Snow Queen-a novella at 80 pages.

Longest- Take Me On– 544 pages

(How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this year that was the shortest and longest).

 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

The twist at the end of Knife Edge by Malorie Blackman.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

(OTP = one true pairing if you aren’t familiar)

Haley and West from Take Me On– Katie McGarry

19. Favourite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Reagan and Dee- Open Road Summer

20. Favourite Book You Read in 2014 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

The Girl Who Walked On Air by Emma Carroll

21. Best Book You Read In 2014 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Sorry to say it again, but Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin!

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2014?

Matt from Open Road Summer

23. Best 2014 debut you read?

Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

 Ravka- The Grisha Trilogy

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

This Book is Gay– James Dawson

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2014?

Lies We Tell Ourselves– Robin Talley

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

Half Bad– Sally Green

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

 A Monster Calls– Patrick Ness

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2014?

A Kiss in The Dark- Cat Clarke

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

Dear Killer– Katherine Ewell

Your Blogging/Bookish Life

1. New favourite book blog you discovered in 2014? 

I have so many favourite blogs, but to name one of my favourites… is Katie from Sherlockianbooklover!

2. Favourite review that you wrote in 2014? 

 A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

Religion in literature

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

The Young Adult Literature Convention in London!

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2014?

Keeping up with my blog considering how busy I am with my postgraduate course!

6. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

You’re The One That I Want– Giovanna Fletcher

7. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

The Drowning– Rachel Ward. Only so more people can see it and hopefully want to read it!

8. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Mr B’s Emporium in Bath!

9. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I completed The British Books Challenge, The 2014 Debut Challenge and by the end of December, I will have completed Luna’s Picks, Beth and Chrissi Do Kid-Lit 2014 and hopefully my goals for the 14 series I wanted to finish/start!

 Looking ahead

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2014 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2015?

There are so many! I’ll go for… Stolen by Lucy Christopher!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2015 (non-debut)?

Half Wild-Sally Green!

3. 2015 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Everything That Makes You– Moriah McStay

4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2015?

Winter– Marissa Meyer

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2015?

Put less pressure on myself!

6. A 2015 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:

Eek, unfortunately I haven’t read any yet. Using some of my holiday time in December to do that. I’m looking forward to All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.

So there it is… my answers to Jamie’s End of Year Survey. Please make sure to visit Jamie’s blog to see her answers and link up your post if you have completed the survey. Feel free to link your surveys for me to visit too. I love to see all of the answers!

Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2015

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely The Broke and The Bookish. Each week they come up with a list for us to complete. This week the list is the Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward To In 2015.  I can’t believe we’re thinking about 2015. This year has completely flown by! It’s scary…

Winter- Marissa Meyer– No cover as yet, but I can’t WAIT to read it. I’m loving The Lunar Chronicles.

November NineColleen Hoover– I can’t wait to read more from Colleen Hoover!

Nowhere But HereKatie McGarry– I will read anything that Katie McGarry brings out!

18460392All The Bright PlacesJennifer Niven– I already have this book waiting to be read. I’ve heard great things already.

23454354Love Hurts Edited by Malorie Blackman–  This is another book that I have in my sticky paws already. I’m looking forward to diving into this book.

16096824A Court of Thrones and RosesSarah J Maas– I may have only read Throne of Glass so far, but I know I want to read more from Sarah J Maas!

17285330The Last Time We Say GoodbyeCynthia Hand– I really enjoyed Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly trilogy. I’m intrigued to see what this book is like!

22429350The Start of Me and YouEmery Lord– I loved Open Road Summer and can’t wait to see what she writes next!

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Vanishing GirlsLauren Oliver– I adore Lauren Oliver, but was a little disappointed with some of her recent releases. I’m hoping this book changes that!

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The Fill-In BoyfriendKasie West- I adore Kasie’s writing and can’t wait to read more from her!

What are you looking forward to reading in 2015? Feel free to leave a link to your posts and I’ll stop by…probably adding to my TBR list!

 

Stacking The Shelves #93

Click on the image to take you to Tynga’s blog!

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

As ever, click on the book Image to get to the Goodreads page!

Bought:

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I can’t wait to read The Retribution of Mara Dyer. I’m intrigued to see how the series finishes! I have definitely jumped on the Throne of Glass bandwagon and can’t wait to continue to the world for Crown Of Midnight. My True Love Gave To Me is packed full of short stories from some of my favourite authors. I can’t wait to read them! The Year I Met You is by Cecelia Ahern, an author I used to insist was my favourite, but I unfortunately haven’t adored her recent books. I’m holding out for a great one again though, so I’ll always buy a book from her!

NetGalley:

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All The Bright Places looks so intriguing. I’m a bit wary about it being compared to The Fault In Our Stars, but I’m going to give it a far chance. I’m also intrigued by the synopsis of Sarah Alderson’s Conspiracy Girl. It looks like it could be very fast-paced and exciting! I was so happy to be approved for Love Hurts which is another series of short questions edited by an author I adore…Malorie Blackman!

What have you added to your shelves this week? Let me know! Feel free to leave a link to your haul and I’ll stop by!