December 1, 2012

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti {Review}

Publisher: Viking JuvenilePublish Date: May 31, 2012Source: Library
Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the way her mom neglects her. Noelle's kept so much about her life a secret for so long that when her longtime crush, Julian Porter, starts paying attention to her, she's terrified. Surely it's safer to stay hidden than to risk a broken heart. But when the antagonism of her classmates takes a dramatic turn, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself -- and for the love that keeps her holding on.

When I read the description for Keep Holding On I couldn't help but think I'd be left annoyed by Noelle and her decisions. Sometimes I did just want to grab her by the shoulders and tell her like it is, but she had a friend that did a pretty good job of it, so I understood where she was coming from in those instances even more. Instead of being super annoyed with Noelle, my heart went out to her.

I went to a small school that didn't really have any bullying. When I say small, I'm talking pre-K through 12 in one building. There was a few groups of outcasts, of course, but for the most part, everyone was either friendly or indifferent to each other. So, I've never experienced anything like what Noelle went through. I can't even fathom the cruelty she dealt with. She skipped lunches at school for fear of the torture that'd be inflicted on her because of how poor she was. And her home life was no better. I honestly hated her mother. She was cruel to Noelle in every way possible: yelled at her for simple things, blamed her or their poor situation, rarely fed her or kept any food in the house, and even stole her money. I was itching to call child services despite the fact that it was, you know, fictional...

And then there's Matt. Stupid, idiot Matt. Anyone could see how crappy of a guy he was, but after so many years of torture and being ignored by nearly everyone around her, Noelle can't help but be pulled in by all the attention. Well, the secret attention. Every time she explained his secrecy away I just wanted to go

It hurt to see her go through all that when she really wanted Julian anyway I hated seeing her push him away just because she was disappointed in her life and thought she wasn't worth it.

Keep Holding On is my first Colasanti book, but it definitely won't be my last. She handles bullying in a way that made me want to get up and do something to change it. I felt for Noelle so much and the thought of real life kids dealing with that stuff makes my heart hurt.

The Nutshell: Keep Holding On was not the story about a stupid girl who can't see what's best for her that I expected. Colasanti pulls out the big guns with bullying and really makes you feel for Noelle. If you're in for a story about a girl with a tough life and her journey towards loving and respecting herself then you'll love Keep Holding On.

Pages: 224
Series: No
Rating: Hit

1 comment:

  1. I have never read a Susane Colasanti book, but everyone tells me I would love them, so I guess I should get on that. :)
    This book sounds a lot heavier than I thought it was, but it still sounds great. I'll have to pick it up sometime soon.
    Wonderful review, Jasmine!


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