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Most Helpful Favorable Review
26 out of 26 people found this review helpful.
This book was just beautiful. It was sad, but really uplifting t
Noelle is one of those characters you just really ache for. At some times I did feel a bit angry at her, but I totally understand why she did or didn't do certain things. High school is rough and it's a shame that she was embarrassed, but the fault really lies on her mother. It's sickening that her mother just kind of gives up and Noelle is basically trying to take care of herself. He mom is embarrassing, she is ashamed that she is poor and has nothing. I remember how horrible some kids can be to the people who didn't have as much. She isn't the only one getting picked on, but what is sad is that she is too ashamed to even hang out with another girl who is being bullied too. She is afraid that it will make things worse for her. She keeps saying how she wishes that people would do something, stand up for others, whatever, but then she won't do it either.
I loved Julian. He is such a great character. He is plenty well off, but he doesn't act all high and mighty like the other kids do. He isn't ashamed to talk to people who get picked on, or stand up for them. He doesn't feel the need to be in the cool crowd. He like Noelle because of who she is, not because of what she has, or more accurately, doesn't have. There needs to be more Julian's in this world. He is a good example of how people should treat each other and act. Is he perfect, no. Nobody is perfect, but he is pretty close.
The bullies made me so angry, but besides them, the teachers and others made me angry too. Like, how can the teachers just stand by and let people be treated so badly. Warren I totally wanted to punch in the face...repeatedly. And Carly too! Ugh! Just the things that they do and say it so horribly sad. They treat people however they want, throw food at people, push them verbally attack them, I could go on and on. My heart was aching through so much of this book.
I loved that Noelle still had a good friend to stick with her through things. Sharae was really awesome and always reassured Noelle that she was a great person. Noelle had still hid a lot of stuff from Sharae, but her are Sharae have a great heart to heard and tell each other about the secrets they have been hiding and how they feel. Sharae has her own issues in this book to that are very serious too.
This book was just very real. I have seen these things happen for real. This book brought out a lot of my emotions, mostly anger, anguish, and disappointment. So many of the characters really, really disappointed me, but that's realistically how it is. I also did feel very happy at a lot of moments. I liked the strength that Noelle eventually found in herself with the help of Sharae, Simon and Julian. I also loved how brave Sharae was. She not only stands by Noelle, but she stands up for herself and what is right where a lot of girls wouldn't. I highly recommend this book to teenagers and adults. The message in this book is just so heartbreaking, but wonderful. You can overcome bullying, don't let it define you. Find your inner strength.
posted by Amabe421 on May 31, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.
posted by 11358448 on June 3, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 25, 2012
Not the best book out there.
This is a difficult review for me to write because I feel strongly about bullying in schools. I feel that there is no excuse for it and it needs to be stopped. It's one of the most disgusting things one human can do to another, in my humble opinion. I also feel that it is important to talk about the bullying problems in schools and open up a dialogue in order to solve the problem, and Colasanti is attempting to do just that. For that reason and that reason alone, I am giving this book a higher rating than I would have otherwise. I did not like the narrator/main character, Noelle, and Colasanti did a lot of telling instead of showing. Furthermore, there are many inconsistencies between the picture that Colasanti is trying to paint and what seems to be the reality of the situation.
Noelle is bullied because she is supposedly extremely poor. However, I've seen people who were extremely poor, and they aren't too proud to take a free lunch because that's the only meal they'll be getting that day. They would not turn down a free meal that they are qualified for because it would embarrass them to eat it. They are more focused on survival than what other people think. On the weekends, these people are unable to eat anything again until they get to school to get their free lunches. THAT is the poverty that Colasanti seemed to be hinting at, but Noelle's actions and words were in stark contrast with that. Noelle wasn't as bad off as she thought she was, in my opinion. At least not with the money issue. She was poor, yes, but she was not impoverished. There is a difference.
Also, Noelle makes fun of a teacher for wearing the same pair of pants twice and on a schedule, however she's supposedly so poor that she doesn't have enough clothes to wear either. Hypocritical much? Then when she sees others get bullied, she turns the other cheek, yet she complains with others do the same to her. Seriously, do unto others and all that, Noelle. Look into it.
My biggest pet peeve about this whole novel was the fact that Colasanti doesn't show us anything. I couldn't relate to Noelle, and this was a first person narration. I did not feel what she was feeling. Furthermore, I couldn't "see" what was going on. Noelle just told the reader what she wanted them to know. Considering how I feel about Noelle's character, I obviously didn't trust what she told me very much. Needless to say, if Colasanti had shown instead of told and Noelle had been a likable character, I would have enjoyed this book much more.
Regardless of my irritations with this novel, the message in Keep Holding On is extremely important. It lets people know how people who are bullied feel. I doubt bullies are the most empathetic people in the world, but I think that addressing a problem and opening up a dialogue about it are the first two steps in solving it, and at least Colasanti did that. If nothing else, this novel should be read simply for the anti-bullying message that it portrays. Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone who is strongly opposed to bullying, but I would suggest checking it out from the library before buying it.
4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 11, 2013