The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.


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2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Renee Alexis has read 0 books toward her goal of 30 books.

You Are Wanted. - Libby Strout

Holding up the Universe Review by Renee Alexis

I have finally finished reading one of the books I featured in my Books to Read blog post recently - Holding Up The Universe. This novel is probably one of the most eye-opening books I've read. I love how it has a lot of moral lessons imbued in it. I love the complexity of each character. It's a YA novel, but it isn't shallow like any other. This book is a must read for anyone who is struggling to find their place in the world, and for those who are having a hard time to love their selves.
Holding Up The Universe
Let me tell you a little bit something about this book. Libby is one of the main characters who is physically large and is being ridiculed because of it. She has majorly suffered from depression because of the sudden death of her mother whom she loved very deeply. Because of it, she stressed ate and grew heavier and heavier until she was dubbed as "America's Fattest Teen". After 3 years of recuperating, Libby was finally ready to attend High School. Here, she meets Jack Masselin, someone who has a neurological disorder called prosopagnosia or what is commonly known as face blindness. She wasn't aware yet but Jack is someone whom she will be entangled with and someone whom she wasn't expecting would be a big part of her life.

From what seems to be an ordinary YA novel judging from its book cover, I didn't expect that this book would let me dive in too deep with reading in each character's perspective.

My sympathy, respect, and love for Libby Strout greatly increased as I got to know more about her personality, her way of thinking, and the blooming tiger within her. If there is a real life Libby Strout, she would be a major inspiration for me as she embodies what a true person is. After all that she has been through, she learned how not to take shit from just anybody, she knows her worth, she does her best to love herself more by the minute, and she doesn't let anybody trample her even if that means she would lose face in society. She believes in equality and even when she almost gave up, she thought about all the things she has struggled with so as not to quit the fight she is currently fighting.

Come Jack Masselin, who's one of the cool kids and who has a demeanor of being a jerk. I found Jack's character interesting and if it wasn't for this book, I wouldn't have known about Prosopagnosia. He is one of those characters that you would root for because it wouldn't be easy to be in his shoes. I like how he was already involved with Libby from the very beginning. I like how they met again and I like how they developed feelings for each other in the end. Their story is unlike any other and that is what makes them unique.

Overall, this read has given me a lot of emotions (I didn't cry, though) and had me really thinking. And for the record, I found myself relating to Libby Strout as some of her struggles have once been mine. I cannot emphasize enough how developing a strong love for oneself is truly very essential to survive society today. Nothing's more important because if you, yourself, do not know how to love yourself, how will anybody else do?

YOU ARE WANTED. Big, small, tall, short, pretty, plain, friendly, shy. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise, not even yourself. Especially not yourself.

I will be reading more from Jennifer Niven, this book wouldn't be the last. 😉

Rating: ❤❤❤❤❤


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