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Keep Holding On

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  12,347 ratings  ·  969 reviews
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 t
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published May 31st 2012 by Viking Juvenile
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  12,347 ratings  ·  969 reviews

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Aj the Ravenous Reader

“If I’d stopped believing that my life would eventually get better, I don’t think I would have survived high school.”

If you can survive high school, you can survive practically anything. It probably sounds too much but for someone like Noelle, neglected by her own mom and bullied by half of the popular kids in school, high school life is indeed a test of faith and patience. For her to keep holding on despite everything takes much courage, hope and strength of will.

“In case you haven’t
Apr 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own
School was the most difficult time in my life. I didn't have it as bad as Noelle. I have a great family who gave me everything I needed, but my school life was terrible. I was picked on and laughed at for being little. I had a hard time approaching people to make friends. I was even bullied by a teacher who made it a point to humiliate me. I was too young to realize this back then, but I will never forgive her. This all made me lash out and act in ways that made myself unapproachable. Being from ...more
Jun 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
This may be the most rage-inducing book I've ever read. EVER. I've only said this once before, but if I could give this book no stars, I would.

Keep Holding On is about Noelle, a girl who is bullied at school for being poor. It's clear that Ms. Colasanti has experienced bullying and I'm sorry that she has.

It's also equally clear that she has no idea what it's like to be truly poor, and as someone who grew up poor, and who works as a librarian in a town where there are teens in the same situation
A digital copy of this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley for review. 

I read the first of Susane Colasanti's book, When It Happens, in 2008, and I loved that book. That was the first one and I've never read any more of her books after that, but When It Happens gave me the impression that she must be quite a good writer. (Although later on when I tried to re-read the book in 2010, I got so annoyed I just gave up, and I couldn't recall why I loved it in t
Rachel Maniacup
Aug 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Rachel by: Aj the Ravenous Reader
This book broke my heart,not only because of the sympathy I felt for Noelle Wexler,the main character here,but because I got frustrated by the fact that this is supposed to be about surviving the bullying at school,and in addition,being bullied at home..How infuriating,right?(I did cry plenty of times here) but then,it took so long for Noelle to realize that she herself,can stop the bullying.(view spoiler)

Julianna Helms
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: those with a heart
Quick Reaction: This book was so real that it plagued me like the bubonic. A drastic comparison? Not really.

Honestly, I've been through what Noelle's been through. I still am, sometimes. But I'm more like Simon--I don't give a darn. I really don't care what others think of me. And that's what I love about this book--Noelle's character transformation is so believable and complete that I can't point out a single flaw in it.

This is the book to read if you hated high school. This is the book to read
Keep holding on tells the story of Noelle; whose had a tough life. Once she had the stable family lifestyle; a big house in a nice neighbourhood, she could invite her friends over when she wanted, a mother and a boyfriend who loved her, friends who wanted to know her and her mother was happy. But suddenly things spiralled out of control, due to unexpected circumstances, her and her mother were forced into a dingy apartment with hardly any money, and just had to live off what they could scrape by ...more
This is a difficult review for me to write, probably on a few levels because I don't think there is a person who isn't touched by the subject of bullying and how damaging it can be to anyone subjected to it, whether they're young or older. I have to applaud Susane Colasanti for reaching out to kids/teens who are bullied or abused, and writing a book that focuses on the life of a teen who feels that her world's crashing down on her.

Unfortunately, I wish I could say that this was a better book to
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 23, 2011 marked it as to-read
Why do I always dislike the covers for this author's books? Hopefully the story makes up for it:) ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book is not an easy read nor a light read, but it is a fast read. Maybe it was fast because I could not put it down. I started it one a Tuesday and finished it very early Wednesday morning. I needed to know what would happen and I felt completely invested in the characters. The audience targeted for this book is definitely young adult and the subject matter is mature young adult. But I think it still can appeal to adults, it appealed to me. This book rocketed me right back to my high school ...more
Melannie :)
Very cute,but very expected. Not saying that "expected" is bad, though. The book is all about standing up for yourself and dealing with your insecurities and accepting you for who you are, weird and all.

I think it’s a great book for tweens. The writing is easy and fast-paced. Although I have some complains because this book might as well be called a series of unfortunate events because that was all it was, a range of situations in which a teen girl was bullied and the correspondent expected reac
I had higher hopes for Keep Holding On then what the book delivered. I was hoping for something more along the lines of Saving Francesca, Life Without Friends, Fat Kid Rules the World or Feeling Sorry for Celia. All of these books deal with tough life stuff without meandering into after school special territory. Celia cooked herself dinner which Noelle desperately could have learned to do for herself. I grew up in a "whatever you want to fix" childhood. I was also nicknamed "laundry girl" by my ...more
nick (the infinite limits of love)

Read more of my reviews at Nick's Book Blog

Tackling a subject such as bullying is like walking on hot coal. Such books need to be able to evoke strong emotions in the reader and at the same time spread an important message. I finished reading this book yesterday and my feelings for this book are still very conflicted.

Noelle is a poor girl going to a school with rich kids. She is bullied on a daily basis by students at school and no one really knows the extent to which the bullying goes to. Thing
Apr 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
This read so much like an after school special. The last chapter made me cringe a bit, even, since none of the words felt like the things Noelle would say.

Noelle is a poor girl in a small town going to a rich school. Her mom is terrible, she has no friends (except Sherae, sometimes), and she's bullied at school because of all of these things. The problem is, though, this story is all tell and no show. I never felt anything for Noelle because she never gave me much to feel for. Her situation suc
I have to say I had seen some great reviews of this and was really looking forward to a gritty read.

But unfortunately that is not what I got.

Noelle the main character was not likeable at all. She is, in my opinion, shallow. The things that she worries about like the fact that her hair isn't straight enough or her clothes aren't the nicest are pretty normal everyday teen problems. Or at least they were for me.

Yes she has a crap mother. Yes she is poor and yes the kids in school are mean to her. B
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti was an unbelievably heartbreaking and moving book. I was not bullied back in high school, and I didn't really know anyone who was, so Keep Holding On was also definitely an eye opener for me.

Through out the entirety of Keep Holding On, I just could not believe what was happening. People are truly this terrible to other people in high school? It was shocking and upsetting. Keep Holding On is defin
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
From the Author
“When I was a teen, I would have been mortified to admit that I was being bullied at school. My junior high and high school years were the worst time of my life. Kids picked on me for being a science nerd. They picked on me for not wearing the expensive sweaters and jeans everyone else had. They picked on me for doing weird things like writing song lyrics on my sneakers (this was back in the day before writing on your sneakers was cool). I was embarrassed by all the ways I didn't
Oct 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book broke my heart in a hundred and sixty-five different ways. It’s the first book I’ve read that’s shown the emotional and the physical effects of bullying and it really got to me.

Noelle is constantly bullied at her school. Whether it’s because of the outfit she wore that day or the sandwich she packed, there’s always this punk ass kid, Warner, there to make her feel like crap. She’d much rather avoid lunchtime humiliation and I can attest that when you have no friends in your lunch peri
Katie G
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I was never really bullied in school, but I know what it's like to have no friends and sit alone at lunch, so I had high hopes for this book, even if I hadn't enjoyed the last one that I read by Colasanti. I will give her credit for not having the same romantic plotline as in the last two books that I read. There were also some parts of the book that I enjoyed.

As a whole, though, I felt like this book was lacking. The first three quarters of the book is practically n
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it
This book was a bit heavier than I was expecting. I was prepared for a sad book that would tug at my heart, but this book was just downright depressing.

I think in a way, Colasanti does a pretty good job of showing what some kids go through in school. However, some of it was a bit too extreme. I know some kids have a really difficult life at home and in school, but I kind of wished Colasanti had made it just a tad less because it would have been more realistic. Bullies have their targets, but it
- ̗̀ bibliophile ̖́-

This novel shattered my heart and left me crestfallen. This book follows Noelle who lives a horrible life and has to face numerous hardships. This book resolves around bullying and first love. Noelle felt humiliated and thought that she did not fit in with everyone else. Being the daughter of a single mother was very difficult for Noelle as she couldn't afford most things that others could and had a mother that did not treat her well. She was very much insecure about her
Rachel Finney
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
After reading The Girl on the Train, I needed a fluffy YA contemporary to calm my nerves. I'm not going to lie, it was incredibly cheesy at times and a little unrealistic, but it was a fun read. The ending wasn't the best, but I flew through this book. Susane is always an author I turn to when I want a smile and I will continue to do that <3. ...more
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, library

Bullies suck!!
Sarah {Literary Meanderings}

♥ Find my reviews on Blogger ~ Reviews by Bookish Sarah

- - -

Noelle has been the victim of bullying for awhile now. When her stepfather passed away, Noelle and her mother had to move to a small apartment and cut down on the luxuries they'd previously been used to. Living in a wealthy area, this didn't go over so well for Noelle at school - where fitting in is the key to being popular and liked. Almost everyone is the same: rich, spoiled, snobby, and dressed to the 9's in their name-brand clothin
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya-bks-i-ve-read
I didn't like the MC. I know what it feels like to be bullied, I've been there and it was hard to stand up for myself. But this girl, she didn't stand up for herself until the very end. Most of all, the good things that happened to her was pure luck. Good luck was on her side but I keep thinking, what if she didn't have that good luck? how would she have fared then? She had a best friend who was there for her, people who cared about her who helped her without seeming to. But she just kept her he ...more
Jun 16, 2012 rated it liked it
The core of KEEP HOLDING ON on is solid. Noelle is being bullied because she eats and wears the wrong things because she's poor. She needs an adult to get involved or to find a way to stand up herself to stop the bullies. Reading about the bullying is pretty brutal and you can tell why Noelle is reluctant to trust people.

Meanwhile, the only thing she really enjoys is making out with Matt and hanging with her best friend Sherae. But Matt keeps her secret and Sherae has her own boy problems. (I fe
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it
I have a bad habit. And that bad habit is not talking about the books I read in between the YA and middle grade fantasy that I mention in reviews. Oh, I’ll do it now and then – hey look, I reviewed a Sarah Dessen book…once! And I really like Brendan Halpin and Julie Halpern, now that I think about it. But usually I don’t write those reviews of contemporary YA. And that means that you don’t hear the Sarah Dessen and Susane Colasanti books that I gobble up as if they’re cotton candy. Or the George ...more
Jan 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Part of me wishes that I had this book when I was in high school, and part of me is glad that I didn’t.

“Keep Holding On” is the story of Noelle, a girl who has a pretty horrible life. When Noelle’s stepfather died, her mother was forced to move out of his gigantic house and into a small apartment. Being the only poor family in a town full of extremely wealthy families is rough, to say the least. Noelle’s mother spends all of the time she isn’t working complaining about work and how hard it is to
Amanda (Good Choice Reading)

There is a big part of me that doesn’t even want to write this review, because I appreciate what Colasanti was going for, and I wish bullying was something that was addressed more often in YA. Not even necessarily as a central theme, but it would be great if it was touched on in some of these books that are nothing more than romance. It’s a big issue with teenagers and we simply do not see it addressed often enough. That said, I had many issues with Keep Holding On, some that kept me from enj
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Q&A with Susane C...: Writing the Book 78 129 Sep 25, 2012 11:06AM  
Q&A with Susane C...: Keep Holding On 42 158 Jul 23, 2012 07:05AM  
Q&A with Susane C...: Never Give Up 6 52 May 18, 2012 12:35PM  

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Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, Now and Forever, and the City Love trilogy. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author in 2007, Susane was a high school science teache ...more

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