Monday, September 30, 2013

YA Book #Review: Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti

Book Title: Keep Holding On
Author:  Susane Colasanti |WebsiteTwitterFacebook|
Publisher: Viking/Penguin Publishing
Genre: Young Adult
Series/Standalone: Standalone
Format: Hardcover
Cost: $17.99
Pages: 202
How I got it: BEA 2013 (Book Expo America) 
Purchase:Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Publisher
Shelfablilty: Must Have
Season: All Year
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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.
When I got this I thought this was just going to be another teen book, then I got into it and I was just so thrown. Holy hell, Noelle is so messed up, she's in so much need of help.  Her life was so beyond messed up. I'm not being articulate right now, because as I'm writing this I'm tearing up remembering different sections of the book.  Susanne wrote an emotional book about the effects of bullying, just amazing.

As I was reading this is what I was thinking about:
  • OMG Really?? Why is her self-esteem, so shyt?? 
  • What the hell happened to her friend??
  • Why don't the teachers care?? 
  •  Why didn't she run??
I was totally freaking out when I was reading this book.  This is seriously bad sign that when this happened that she didn't run. I'm glad it clicked for her then that she was in serious trouble. I'm glad adults began to care and to look into her situation. because had it gone unchecked it would have been really bad.  I just couldn't understand how it got so bad for Noelle, before they started picking on her she was just another kid with them, why was her self-esteem so bad that she wasn't willing to fight back??  Where are the teachers and why aren't they more involved??? How is it that Carly was able to run rampant on campus and no one said anything especially when she did it in front of them???

This book hit close to home because in school (private school with my mom as one of the teachers for other students) I was bullied and it seemed like for many months that certain teachers encouraged the kids who didn't do well in my mother's class to take their frustrations out on me, I wasn't physically harmed but being secluded from all the games when there are only 12 girls in the class and 9 boys means you're all alone.

Eventually, one of the girls stood up to the bullies and became my friend and then others followed along after but reading this makes me wonder what would have happened if I didn't have just one friend.  That's all that Ali Walsh was asking for, one friend who was going through the same thing she was, someone she could talk to, and Noelle couldn't even do that.

It's an amazing book and I highly recommend it. Not just for young adults either.  This is a book I think all those in education should read, something they would be able to recommend to kids in the same situation and it might even help them recognize some of the signs of kids in trouble.

I liked that this book discussed the effects of loss of income on kids, going from middle class to poor doesn't just affect the adults.  Can I just also say her mother is a worthless woman??!!! Yes I get that her life didn't go as planned, but ummm you made these choices, we are here because of your choices, you don't get to be mad about them now.
I highly recommend this novel. I cried, my heart ached, I wanted to yell, and I just felt so many emotions.  Be prepared but you should read it.  

Happy Reading

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