Audience/Genre : Young Adult/Contemporary.
Publication : May 31st 2012 by Viking Juvenile.
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.
This book is very different from the rest of Susane Colasanti's books, she doesn't focus on romance as much here and that's in a good way.
To say that I enjoyed this book wouldn't be right but I have to say that it definitely made an impact. I don't know what I expected but it wasn't this. I thought the book would be about a girl who's a loner in high school and boy who gets her out of her shell and makes it all better but boy was I wrong. Noelle finds her own way in this book. It isn't about a boy and a girl, this is completely Noelle's story.
Noelle's high school experience is brutal. She gets bullied, made fun of and avoided by most of her peers and the sad thing is, they don't even really know her. I think the writing in Keep Holding On beats all the other books written by Susane. Noelle's voice is unique, strong and holds your attention, despite what happened to her, making it really hard to stop reading. The whole time, I kept flipping the pages wanting to know that those kids get it back in someway for being so cruel.
I'll admit that a few of the incidents were a bit extreme and I don't see that happening in reality and adults shutting up about it. It's also a little hard to believe that after Noelle was put through so much hell throughout high school and all of a sudden, because of one major incident, she has a moment of clarity that changes her entire life and personality. It's just not something that can be done immediately, emotional/physical wounds can't heal overnight no matter what happens, at least not without the right support system but since this is a book, I can appreciate that this was written bearing in mind message the author's trying to get across - things will get better.
Once you get past the little flaws in the story, I've to say that Keep Holding On is Susane Colasanti's best one yet. The writing's riveting and the plot is powerful. Noelle's story is one that's just waiting to be heard and anyone who has been bullied or is against bullying would definitely want to read this.