Friday, August 3, 2012

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Release Date: May 31, 2012

Noelle's life is all about survival. Even her best friend doesn't know how much she gets bullied, or the ways 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 the pain of 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.  -

This was one of those books that's alternately painful and empowering to read.  What Noelle goes through at school, and the way her peers treat her is unforgiveable.  But anyone who has ever been to high school can tell you just how authentic this story is.  This is exactly how it can be and is in high school, with kids bullying other with words on a daily basis. 

What Noelle lives through is so sad, and so many times in the story, you want to just take her by the hand and tell her not to put up with it, tell her stand up for herself...that these people don't matter.  But it's so easy to look back from an adult standpoint and know this, say this, but completely different when you're actually there, when every tiny little thing seems like it's going to matter and be the end of the world.

I loved her as a character, despite the fact that she's beaten down a little bit by what's going on around her.  Julian was a very sweet character, and I loved the way he treated Noelle.  The only problem I had with the story was that I wasn't sure how realistic their romance was.  In real life, a guy like him wouldn't be interested in a girl like her.  He's popular, and she's bullied.  Those two just don't mix.  Perhaps if they'd met in college, I would have accepted it better, but in high school, you go out with whoever your crowd deems as acceptable.  So although it was great for the book, for my personal entertainment, it just wasn't realistic to me.

As ever, Colasanti's writing is great though, entertaining, and very engaging.  All in all, it was a good story.


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