May 30, 2012

Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Title: Keep Holding On
Author: Susane Colasanti
Publisher:  Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: 5.31.2012
Pages: 224
Genre: Contemporary
Series: No
Source: ARC from swap

Rating: B+

Summary (from Goodreads):
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 know Susanne Colasanti is a favorite YA author, but I had never read one of her novels until now. And now I need to read the others to see if they’re this good. Keep Holding On is a great story that not only gives a sweet love story, but also exposes the dark side of high school—bullying.

What attracted me to this novel first was the idea of bullying. It’s such a prevalent issue; the media is saturated with stories about kids bullying other kids and the ramifications of those acts, but it doesn’t seem to be stopping. This is one issue where there can never be too much awareness. Putting it into fictional form may help a teen down the road, so I applaud Colasanti for tackling this subject.

My heart broke for Noelle over and over throughout the book. While I was never the target of bullying in school, reading about it in this way was enlightening. I cannot believe how needlessly cruel people can be, and watching Noelle react and then grow into a stronger person from it was fantastic. Even Noelle’s mother was horrible to her. This poor girl could never seem to catch a break, except when it came to Julian.

I have mixed feelings about Julian. While I’m all for Noelle having a love interest, Julian just felt off to me. I never really got behind them as a couple. There was something about him I didn’t like. Aside from Noelle, Sherae is the character I adored. Sherae is the ultimate best friend, but she’s dealing with her own trauma and issues. I wish there had been a better resolution to what happened with Sherae.

As a whole, this is a great novel. My own minor issues aside don’t detract from the important message this book conveys: Bullying is wrong and needs to be stopped. Colasanti does a great job shoving this hot topic into the light and making it something everyone can relate to.


  1. YA is a new genre for me. I have a few on my kindle to start reading. The reviews I read definitely help me decide which ones to pursue. Thanks.
    Mel B

  2. Definitely interesting. I usually read paranormal or dystopia. I will have to check this out. I don't usually like to read such a heavy topic. But this may be ok.

  3. Susan Colasanti is one of my favorite YA Contemporary authors, so I'm pretty excited to read this book. It sounds right up my alley, but i have to admit I'm a bit disappointed that you didn't like the love interest. I guess I'll just have to read the book and find out for myself. (L

  4. YA is not my usual preferred reading genre but I do enjoy the occasional well-written story. Bullying (or teasing as it was called in my) has gotten to be so prevalent in today's society because of the access to cell phones, texting, FB and Twitter. Vicious people can take it to a much higher level. It used to be a behind the back gossipy comments on the school yard but now a hateful video can go viral and make a person's life totally miserable. Adults are not taking this issue seriously enough IMHO. OK, I'm off my soapbox for now. Thanks for your honest review of this book. I think I'll add it to my TBR shelves.

  5. I'd never heard of Susane Colasanti until I came across your blog. This book sounds very interesting especially as I was bullied in high school...well all of school really.

    I'm not really into romance books, but the fact that it deals with bullying makes me want to read it.



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