Thursday, June 7, 2012

Book Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

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

Summary: A romantic and empowering book about bullying

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.

Review: I'm so sad I didn't enjoy this one as much as I wanted to. Susane Colasanti is one of my favorite authors and after seeing the cover for this one, I was so excited to be able to finally read it. When I was reading it, though, there were just too many things I did not enjoy.

The story was such a good and inspiring idea about a high school girl who lives with a neglectful single mother and gets bullied in school. She feels like she'll never fit in and is always embarrassed about her life. And that's where my annoyance starts. Yes, I feel bad for Noelle, but she just whined for the ENTIRE BOOK. I get that's she's poor, can barely buy clothes or food, and faces nasty bullies at school, but she doesn't even try to make it better. When she's basically attacked at school, she just goes home and cries instead of actually telling someone about it. And she's OBSESSED with how people see her. Really? She's being the shallow one if all she cares about is material items. I couldn't imagine if my life was spent obsessing over what people thought of my hair or clothes every second of the day. And Noelle was SO hypocritical! If there were other people sitting alone or being bullied, she would just sit there and say what a loner they were. But then she would whine and moan when people wouldn't step in and help her or befriend her when they saw she was a loner. So basically the main character was annoying and whiney and I just really couldn't stand her.

The message in this book, however, is very powerful. People really are bullied every day and it's important to realize that everyone's different. Maybe I just don't get Noelle because I never really was bullied and even if something bad happened at school, I would have my parents or my sister to tell all about it. But Noelle had friends. And other people in the book tried to be friends with her, but she would push them away and ignore them. She whined about not having friends, yet she had a best friend and at least three people asked her to hang out and she flat out denied them. Everything Noelle did just made her situations worse, so I had a hard time feeling sympathetic towards her. And Julian was really sweet, but why did he like her??? Just because she's the ONLY person in the school who isn't fake or wears designer clothes?? Oh please. I hate it when people overgeneralize, especially because I go to a school that's labeled "J Crew U" because of the "preppy" students. Pretty sure it's not like that at all and I've met amazing people there. So reading a book where the guy likes the girl because she's the only real person at the school is just annoying.

So basically the main character was not likable and the storyline was too exaggerated and cliched. I'm really sad I didn't like this book because Susane Colasanti chose a topic close to her heart that has affected so many people around the world. But I just couldn't like this book as much as I wanted to.


  1. I do not agree, I think that Noelle was just too self conscious, she was not a hypocrite. She was just to scared to stand up for herself in worries of making her problems worse.

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