Jul 15, 2012

"Keep Holding On" by Susane Colasanti (ARC)

Title: Keep Holding On

Auhor: Susane Colasanti

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group (USA)

Imprint: Viking

Publication date: June 14th, 2012

ISBN: 9780670012251

Pages: 224

(Book read from July 11th to July 15th, 2012, from an e-copy acquired through NetGalley from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.) 

My rating: 5 of 5 


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.

My Thoughts on the Book:

The first thing I have to say about Keep Holding On is that it's a book about bullying, it's not a romance. Yeah, there's a little romance, and that romance is really great & sweet (I'm not talking about Matt), but I think the description above is a little bit misleading. I didn't expect a romantic novel, because I read that it's more about bullying, so I knew that & I'm not usually annoyed with that kind of details, but I am now. I just had to mention that ;)
 Anyway, back to the more important things - Keep Holding On is amazing book, a book that every teenager should read, maybe even should be part of the school program. Susane Colasanti has written something incredible & unforgettable. 
Noelle is bullied & made fun of non-stop (as well as some other characters in this book), but even with all of that - she keeps holding on (yeah, Keep Holding On is a perfect title for this book). I won't go into details, but her life is definitely not an easy one... 
The writing is really good, everything Noelle was feeling, I was feeling - I couldn't help but feel sorry for her, I got teary-eyed (even cried) so many times, it's just so sad & heart-breaking. I won't say what exactly happened, but when it did, I didn't expect it & I burst into tears right away about it, and cried so much, it was just so sad (ok, I got teary-eyed again thinking & writing about it). 
But there were also some beautiful moments in it, and some really likable characters, too. Julian was pretty great & sweet, and the moments with him near the end were so romantic - I loved them. But, my favourite character was Simon - he was totally unexpected, but so cool & sweet & I loved him as a character almost from the moment I met him. He's amazing & such a great friend. I also liked a lot her physics teacher & that thing she said about the colours & everyone's perception of them was amazing & one of my favourite parts. 
As for Noelle as a character - I neither liked her or disliked her - I did feel for her & sympathize with her. I've never been bullied, but I could put myself in her shoes & understand why she acted the way she did. So, yeah, she's not a strong character, but after that I-burst-into-tears thing happened, she decides to stand up for herself, and slowly she does that & they have an awesome idea about stopping bullying & helping those that get bullied to keep holding on, so yeah, she finds a place for herself & something more to keep her holding on. I keep using the title, but I love it.
Other thing I love it - the cover. I usually don't comment on them, but Julian has a messenger bag with an orange star just like on the cover. I wonder if that detail was written first, so they put it on the cover, or the author add it after the cover was revealed. Either way, I love it! 
I know I would've loved to read a book like this one when I was a teenager. 
Keep Holding On delivers a strong & important message, so that's why I highly recommend this book, and I think it's a must-read, especially for teenagers.       



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