Title: Keep Holding On
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 31, 2012
Source: ARC from Publisher
Lunch is the worst, but there's no safe place at school for Noelle. Keeping her mortifying home life a secret and trying to ignore the kids who make her life miserable are Noelle's survival strategies. Her emotionally distant boyfriend, Matt, isn't the one she really wants to be with. But she's sure there' son way she could ever be with Julian Porter.When Julian starts talking to her, Noelle is terrified. It seems safer to stay with matt than risk a broken heart. But when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself--and for everything that makes her keep holding on.
Before reading Keep Holding On I had only read one other book by Susane Colasanti but I had been meaning to read more. And Keep Holding On was a really fantastic book and one that was special in more than just one way.
Noelle is counting down the days until she is done with high school. If she can just survive until it's all over, then she'll be free to leave everything behind. No one knows just how bad things are for Noelle. At school she is constantly being bullied and at home her mother completely neglects her. But when Julian starts paying attention to her, Noelle thinks things might be looking up a little. But at the same time, she can't help but think that maybe it's too good to be true. Now Noelle has decided to stand up for herself, and that it may be worth it to keep holding on.
Keep Holding On was a special book in more than one way. Susane Colasanti has said that this book means a lot to her because she drew a lot on her own high school experience to write the book. While reading I could definitely see it. The story is deep and powerful despite it's short length. If anything, the short length only serves to make the story deeper and more powerful. Susane Colasanti definitely hit the mark on how damaging bullying can be to teenagers and how others tend to be blind to it. Bullying is definitely an issue that deserves a lot more attention than it has been getting. Keep Holding On does a great job telling people who are getting bullied that things do get better and that if you're willing to let them, there are people who will help you. Keep Holding On is definitely a book that needs to be read by everyone.
A lot of the powerfulness of the book comes from the main character, Noelle. Right from page one, I could tell she was suffering. It wasn't even like it got better for her when she came home because her mother was constantly neglecting her. But the great thing about Noelle is that she eventually did something about her situation, showing people that things can get better. I also loved her support system, even if she didn't know she had it. Without Noelle really realizing it, she had all these people who cared and who were willing to step in and help her. I felt like the characters in the book really made the story and were fantastic to illustrate Susane Colasanti's message.
Keep Holding On was definitely a special book, and in it Susane Colasanti wrote an even more special story. It deals with a subject that deserves more attention than it has been getting and it's a book everyone should read. Especially if you think it just won't get better. But it does and Keep Holding On will show you how it does.