Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading .. Keep Holding On by Susane Colisanti

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Just Finished Reading .. Keep Holding On by Susane Colisanti

Keep Holding On

by Susane Colisanti

Published by Viking Juvenile

on May 31, 2012

Source: received e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. Read my review policy/disclosure here.




My summary: Noelle is counting down the days until the end of high school. She's not doing the countdown because she can't wait to put on a cap and gown, or pack up for college. It's because she can't stand another day at school, can't bear another week of living with her emotionally unstable, neglectful mother. Noelle struggles with being bullied, with her feelings for a boy who only wants to hook up with her in private, and with her confidence. Can she keep holding on?

My take: Noelle has a lot of awful stuff to face. Her mom barely bothers to keep food in the house, a guy at school says he likes her but won't acknowledge their relationship in public, and she's relentlessly bullied by two classmates.

There are bright sides to Noelle's life, though: a caring physics teacher, a best friend who seems to understand what she's going through, and a new guy she'd love to go out with if she weren't so certain that he'd reject her if he knew the truth about what her life was really like. 

While the bullying Noelle suffers is terrible, I found Noelle's neglectful mother even more disturbing.  Noelle is lucky that some adults in her life do eventually stand up for her, which doesn't always happen in such situations. 

After reading blurbs of Keep Holding On, I was expecting an issue book about bullying. Now that I've read the book, I'd say that's not exactly accurate. Keep Holding On is more a book that advocates having the courage to be yourself, to change the things about your life that are in your power to change, and to tough it out through bad times. 

Other YA books like Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson or Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers definitely pack a stronger emotional punch in their portrayal of the life of high school outcasts.  Keep Holding On seems to take more of an inspirational approach, reminding teens that while high school might sometimes seem like endless torture, there's a whole wide world waiting on the other side.

Other books you might enjoy -- click on the covers to get to the Goodreads page:

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher


Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers Sweethearts by Sara Zarr Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

14 comments:

  1. I like the idea of a more inspirational approach for an outcast in high school. Although my days weren't the best, they weren't that bad because I was lucky enough to have a really awesome family and the knowledge that high school doesn't last forever and post-graduation, things will be better (thank God!)

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    1. High school was okay for me. I was kind of a nerdy kid, but I had some great friends. And things were more fun after high school -- I agree that is true!

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  2. I haven't decided whether I want to read this one yet, but you always make me want to give books a try. I'll let you know if I do.

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    1. Please do!!!
      Going to email you about this crazy idea I have....

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  3. I'm glad that you enjoyed this book. It was a very tough book to read. I felt so bad for Noelle. I do think that the message of the book was fantastic though and I really enjoyed it too.

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    1. It was hard to read. Her mother was pretty awful.

      I was reading that the title of the book was based on the Avril Lavigne song and now I can't get that song out of my head!!!!

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  4. I always love books that deal with these tougher issues. I think they are great for teens going through issues like this. To know that it gets better. And I loved how at the back of the book the author included refrences and angency's that would help teens in all types of situations. And I totally agree! Worst mother EVER!!! She reminded me so much of the mom in Jennifer Echol's Such A Rush. *shivers*

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    1. I haven't read that one yet, but can't wait.
      And I know how much you love your mom -- all moms should be as great as yours!!

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    2. THey really should! And it saddens me that they aren't. :(

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  5. One of our babysitters is going to college in September (We're going to miss her like crazy!) and we were just talking about high school and all the drama. She had some bullying issues from girls that you know knew better. Girls can be so mean and for really no reason. College is so much better!!! I've been on the fence about reading this one, but I think you've pushed me over, so on my tbr it goes.

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  6. I love books that are about issues like this one! Noelle's mom actually sounds a bit like how a friends of mines mom was before the situation was handled. I can't wait to read this one!

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  7. I love when authors take a bad situation and turn it into something inspirational. 13 Reasons Why was such an amazing book and I am definitely looking forward to reading Keep Holding On.

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  8. I loved High School, but then again different country, different times. I can't imagine how painful it would be to be bullied. The issues faced in KEEP HOLDING ON do make it sound interesting.

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  9. I loved high school but mostly I say that now. It's true what adults had always said, while your in high school it sucks, but later you wish you could go back and realize it was fun. Of course there were crappy times and I think everyone was bullied at one point. But I like that this book had an inspirational feel. Sometimes you do just have to suffer through to get to something better on the other side.

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