Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publishing Date: May 31st, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 224 pgs
ISBN: 9780670012251
Source: Review copy received from Razorbill for honest Review

Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:
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 Review: 
I wasn't sure what to think going into this novel because I have never read anything by Susane Colasanti. My first impression, if I'm going to be honest, is that the book would probably gloss over the issue of bullying. My reason for this is because the novel is so short but I have to say that Colasanti surprised me in a good way. This book follows Noelle who is living with a neglectful mother and she also lives in poverty. For these reasons, Noelle is bullied by a few girls.
It was heartbreaking to read this book. I kept wanting to jump in and help her out. I just couldn't believe the way some people treat each other. I realize that this is fiction but I have seen some people acting similarly in real life.
As a teacher, I have witnessed my fair share of people being mean to their peers. I also wonder about the things that I don't see. If they are acting this way in front of me, what are they doing when I am not there to see it?
I really enjoyed the writing in this book. Colasanti writes characters that you become invested in. You want to know what is going to happen and you want to be there to read about their accomplishments. I will definitely be reading more from this author. While the book is short, it really packs a load of information and a load of action in its pages. I really enjoyed this novel and I think it is an important novel for teens to read. Bullying needs to stop and people need to start treating each other with respect and tolerance. We are all different and we need to start appreciating our differences rather than ostracizing people for them.
Overall, I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5. My only complaint is that it wasn't a little longer. I would have liked to see a little more in the conclusion of this novel.

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