Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Release Date: May 31, 2012
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.
I'm not going to lie, and I'm probably the only one who feels this way, but it's kind of hit or miss for me with Colasanti's books. There are a few that I really liked and some... not so much. I was really hoping to like this book. And I did... kind of. Some parts I really liked and some... again, not some much.
Despite the cover, Keep Holding On is not a light and fun read. Keep Holding On tackles a topic that I don't feel is dealt with enough in YA (especially considering it's a big conflict for the age group). This I do appreciate about the book. I have to say, parts of this book was just heartbreaking to read about. Especially since Noelle's life wasn't good at home or school. However, even though it was hard to read at times it never went over the top. This is one of the most real books I think Susane Colasanti has written.
And Noelle. Like I said, she deals with a lot. I think most of us will be able to relate to her at one point or the other. Even though in the beginning I would wish that Noelle would do something, if not for herself, than for others, I understood why she didn't. I was proud and glad when she finally was able to grow and stand up for herself.
Now, what I didn't like... The writing. Almost every sentence were as short and as simple as they could possibly be. I'm not opposed to variation in sentence length. In fact, I encourage it. And there were so many fragments. Now, fragments can be a perfectly effective tool when used right. But not when they are used every other sentence. The writing just kept distracting me from the story and it really bothered me.
So, all in all, it was a good story. But I just wish I could have enjoyed it more than I did.