Thursday, June 28, 2012

Keep Holding On

Keep Holding On

By Susane Colasanti

Viking, 2012. 202 pgs.  Teen fiction


Noelle's entire life is pretty much miserable. With her mother working a minimum wage  job, they're living on food stamps and barely able to pay their rent, never have enough to eat, and can't afford the sort of clothes that the rest of the kids at Noelle's school can afford. Her mother constantly complains about how Noelle ruined her life, and the kids at school aren't any better, having dropped her when her family's financial troubles started. For years, she's been bullied and teased, with only one friend standing by her. Now her secret crush Julian seems to be interested in her, but Noelle doesn't think she's good enough for him and is content to keep making out with her "boyfriend" Matt, who refuses to be seen in public with her. However, when tragedy strikes, Noelle decides enough is enough.


Colasanti has tackled an important topic here and this book is one that both those who are being bullied and those who do the bullying should read. She takes readers inside the pain and humiliation and hopelessness that Noelle, and anyone being bullied, feels, which would hopefully lead bullies to rethink their actions. But she also shows how Noelle chooses to rise above the bullying, which is an inspirational message for anyone being bullied.I thought the romance angle was actually a little weak, since we didn't really see much of the developing relationship between Julian and Noelle, but I recommend putting this one in the hands of just about any teen that you could get to read it.

4 stars. Some language, but it's not excessive. Also some making out, and a reference to if a guy ever got under Noelle's clothes to see her bra.

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