Book Twirps's Reviews > Keep Holding On

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
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's review
May 04, 2012

really liked it
Read from May 04 to 06, 2012

Bullying is a hot topic these days, and a topic I take very seriously. Like many, I was bullied in high school, and it pains me when I hear news about young kids taking their lives because of the cruelty of others. It’s just so hard for me to fathom how cruel and judgmental people can be.

In Keep Holding On, Susane Colasanti gives us Noelle, a shy, awkward teenager who keeps a calendar at home that she uses to count down the days until the end of school, is endlessly picked on, and wants nothing more than to just be left alone. Noelle is so humiliated by the bullying, she doesn’t even tell her best friend the extent to which a lot of kids go. It also doesn’t help that her mother is about the most selfish woman on earth. I seriously wanted to smack her.

I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to jump through the pages and make Noelle fight back, but at the same time I knew exactly why she felt the way she did. I know why she didn’t step in and help other kids when she saw them being bullied, and I know why she didn’t rat anyone out — she was afraid of getting it even worse. I could also understand why she didn’t want to get involved with Julian at first when he showed a genuine interest in her, and why she avoided him, even though she had a major crush on him.

Speaking of Julian, I didn’t see the attraction. It wasn’t that he was a bad character, he just wasn’t fleshed out enough in my opinion. I felt like I knew most of the other characters very well, just not him. I wanted a bit more there. It was almost like he was an afterthought and I wanted to know him better.

The book also deals with other hot teen issues including suicide and rape, and they’re handled well, but I almost felt like the rape storyline was unnecessary. I think the story would have been just as good without it. The situations, though tough to read at times, are realistic and gut-wrenching and really made me feel for Noelle, and root for her to find something good. In the end, this was a good read, but the ending didn’t carry a strong punch for me. It just seemed abrupt, and while positive, I wanted a bit more. It just felt like it was tied up a little too perfectly. Still, it’s a good read.

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Reading Progress

05/05/2012 page 111

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