Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Source: ALA Conference
Age Group: Teen
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...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. 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.
There are authors that you have an auto-buy list. I know for me, personally, I have a few. Can I truly explain to you why I have this list? Not really. But if I was to try the best reason I could give would be that these authors write a story that I can connect to in some way or another. That these authors write a book where I may not necessarily see myself but where I can see someone thus making the story feel more realistic. Jennifer Niven is an auto-buy author for these reasons and for so much more.
In a split perspective book we follow characters Libby, the girl known for having been cut out of her house due to her weight, and Jack, who has the secret of not being able to recognize faces but doesn't allow himself to not fit in. When a prank goes wrong and both Libby and Jack find themselves in an after school program, these characters pasts and secrets will be exposed but the more time spent together the less alone they begin to feel.
I am not going to lie when I say that at first I really wanted to smack Jack for who he hangs out with, the girl he finds himself in this constant on and off again relationship but most importantly the game he finds himself becoming a part of. yes, he is that student who has a social circle, has what seems to be a normal life but he definitely fits in that idea of how sometimes who we see as popular or having what we think a good life is the one who is suffering the most when people are not looking.
Libby has a past that has basically set her story and no mater how far she has come since the day, she will always be known for her past. But throughout the novel she becomes this insanely strong, confident, beautiful girl who is not afraid to stand up to her enemies nor is she afraid to look past everything and she the person she is inside.
Jennifer Niven writes a captivating emotional read brilliantly notes some struggles not only high school students but people in general face on a daily basis. Hitting the core to ask you the reader what self-confidence means to you but most importantly what it means to the people who we interact with on a daily basis.
This was an important book for me to read as it should be for a lot of people. Jennifer Niven is a brilliant author who captures the hearts of many with her words. Telling stories that hit home with some and allow for some to feel seen in this world. The perfect read for someone in the new year!
I give this book 5 souls!