Noelle is bullied, by her classmates and by her mother, but what can she do? At least she has Matt, her kinda-boyfriend, except he won't tell anyone they're together. And she has her best friend, Sherae, but she doesn't know the full extent of Noelle's problems, plus she has her own issues. Then there's Julian Porter, the boy she truly wants to be with, even though she knows she can't be. Noelle wants to make things better, but she's not sure how she can, not when all the odds seemed to be stacked against her.
I think every teen can relate to this book. Even if your home life is fine, or you're not hurting financially, if you are a teen you will connect with Noelle. This book isn't so much about romance, like most of Susane Colasanti's books, but about a girl coping with bullying. Noelle's story is so compelling that the little romance that is featured is really just a nice bonus.
What Colasanti does so masterfully is that she makes an important point: not only will it get better, but you can make it better now. The bullies in your life don't have to determine your happiness because, at the end of the day, it's your life and you can make of it what you will. And there are good people in the world who can help you.
Keep Holding On choked me up more than a few times. It's touching and true and, most importantly, inspirational. I really felt that Ms. Colasanti poured her heart into this book and I wish I could give a copy to every kid who has been bullied or is being bullied. The characters contained in its pages are reflections of the teens walking through the halls of high school today, so true to life that, in all likelihood, you'll recognize someone you know.
I sincerely hope you take the time to read this book.
A Quote from the Book: "Happiness is not limited. There's enough for everyone."
How do you think we can stop bullying in our schools?