I went into Keep Holding On with only the knowledge that it was a book about bullying and that Susane Colasanti wrote it. I was expecting it to be a light read, like some of the other books I have read by her. Quick and easy to get through. With a heartwarming ending and a life lesson.
I've never read a book focused mainly on bullying, especially one that is so heart breaking. Well, unless you count a Courtney Summers book, but I expect that going into one of her books. (It’s why I read her stuff! Make me cry, Courtney!) At some parts of this book I was cringing, and felt like I couldn’t read further. It was deep and rough, and Noelle made me hurt like crazy.
Let me say this, I have never been a victim of bullying. There was also never any bullying going on at the high school I went to, that I could see anyways. It was an extremely small school. I graduated with 56 people in my class. And I do not live in an “expensive” town like the characters in this book. If you didn’t like someone, you just ignored them. Easy as that. Even now, 3 years after high school and we still ignore each other when we see them on the streets or at the grocery store. Some things never change.
But this Carly chick in the book is fucking crazy. I have never witnessed someone so openly vile, especially not in real life.
I wanted to scream at Noelle to just say something back to her. When she finally does, it is way over do.
Personally, I do not think they handled that situation the right way.
There was no need to call Carly out on her drunk ass mom. That’s almost just as bad as what she was doing to Noelle. And Carly was right; Noelle was not the only one with problems.
But, Carly’s actions are in no way justified just because her home life is bad. She should just needs to find another place to put her pain. Another medium. Throw it into something productive instead of bullying.
With that being said, I hate that some of the characters in this book (and outside of it) are affected by their home life. Something that they really have a limited control over. It’s not fair that they let it define how they think of themselves. It really breaks my heart into a million pieces.
That’s why this book was so hard to get through. I felt helpless to any of the fictional characters. But Susane gave me that life lesson at the end; it’s why I finished reading. I knew things had to look up.
So, my last words are this. Surround yourself with people who care and you can depend on. Sherae, Julian, and Simon are the perfect support group. Don’t judge someone by what you see on the outside. Everyone is going through their own struggles, and you just really don’t know how bad it could be for them. Something you say could be the last thing they need to push them over the edge. Just Keep Holding On.