Keep Holding On

Keep Holding On

by Susane Colasanti


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142426333
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/23/2013
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 567,223
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

About the Author

From the author:

When I was a teen, I would have been mortified to admit that I was being bullied at school. My junior high and high school years were the worst time of my life. Kids picked on me for being a science nerd. They picked on me for not wearing the expensive sweaters and jeans everyone else had. They picked on me for doing weird things like writing song lyrics on my sneakers (this was back in the day before writing on your sneakers was cool). I was embarrassed by all the ways I didn't fit in.

I am not embarrassed anymore.

Writing Keep Holding On was my way of turning a negative experience into something positive. I want this book to reach out to teens who are going through hard times. I want this book to help people feel less alone. And hopefully, this story will encourage readers in need to keep holding on.

Susane Colasanti is the bestselling author of When It Happens, Take Me There, Waiting for You, Something Like Fate, So Much Closer, Keep Holding On, All I Need, and Now and Forever. Susane has a bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master's degree from New York University. Before becoming a full-time author, Susane was a high school science teacher for ten years. She lives in New York City.

Connect with Susane at and follow her on Twitter @SusaneColasanti

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

Praise for Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti:

"[Keep Holding On] ... will give readers plenty to think about and a list of resources to tap into if they need them." —Publishers Weekly

" dialogue, quirky characters and richly layered plot. Emotionally satisfying from beginning to end." —Kirkus

"Noelle's situation will resonate with teen readers. Her struggles are those of real teens—trying to fit in, feeling left out, searching for love, making hard choices." —VOYA

"This novel could be recommended to those who enjoyed Sonya Sones's What My Mother Doesn't Know (S & S, 2001) or Courtney Summers's Some Girls Are (St. Martin's, 2010)." —School Library Journal

Customer Reviews

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Keep Holding On 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 94 reviews.
Amabe421 More than 1 year ago
This book was just beautiful. It was sad, but really uplifting too. It is a touching and emotional story about overcoming bullying. I don't even know where to start with this review or even where to go with it really. I have been reading much more contemporary lately, but I still find it hard for me personally to review. This book broke my heart, but also made me smile. It's definitely a very emotionally draining book to read if you are a sympathetic reader. 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.
desert_warrior13 More than 1 year ago
it took me a while to finally decide to buy this book. Considering I'm a 17 year old guy it didn't really catch my attention at first. After reading more about it, i came to the conclusion that it would be worth the money. It definitely was. Like Amabe421 said in her review, this book will break you down if you're a sympathetic reader. i found myself on the verge of tears throughout half of the book, and the other half teansing every muscle in my body ready to throw the book across the room because of how angry some of the characters made me. although this book is very emotional from a negative aspect, all of that energy is then focused on creating an inpspirational thought process from the main characters point of view. this positive thinking that Noelle later gets a hold of changes her life for the better, as well as the lives of those around her. she goes from a poor, rejected loser and bully victim to a courageous girl who learns to make the best out of her life. This book tought me so much on how important it is to make every second count and enjoy life with the ones you love, and how there is always hope no matter how bad your situation is - life will always get better. It also tought me that there is ALWAYS something to eat in the pantry and fridge. This is a must read for EVERY teen whether you have been bullied or not. it will teach you how valuble life is and how to not let a barricade(s) completely block you from your hopes and dreams. Defintely one of the best books I've ever read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was good the first tike i read it, but when i tried to read it again it was so sad i just couldnt get past chapter 4
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking and moving read, Keep Holding On deals with the all-too-current topic of bullying. Though at times it seemed to go just a bit over the top, overall it was a book that can definitely give hope to all those teens out there who feel that they just don't fit in (and really, isn't that just about every teen, at one time or another?). For adults, it's a disturbing and eye-opening look at what really goes on in the world today--just in case they've forgotten junior high and high school, or somehow went through them both with complete blinders on. Although most of what Noelle faces daily is "real world" bullying, technologically-enhanced bullying is touched on briefly in the book as well, and Colasanti provides readers with a wealth of resources at the end of the novel where they can go to get help or at least feel like someone else out there understands what they're going through too. Susane ends the book with a personal message--that she too was bullied, and that there is a point in one's life where most of us really do come to find that we really don't want to be just like everyone else and that our differences are to be celebrated, not hidden. Unfortunately, it usually doesn't happen until after high school--all those adults who try to tell you that high school years are the best of your life are for the most part dead wrong. I think this book can do a great job of reaching its target audience, and am definitely planning on adding it to my classroom library for next September.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No offense, but this is for REVIEWS. Not effin summaries. We will read the author's summary to find out what it's about. Or maybe even...the book?! Yeah, this book was fascinating. A wonderful read. But ya'll are starting to piss me off, k?
Falln2books More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was pure AWESOME. I seriously love susane colasanti! I cried, laughed, and sang my heart out to this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so touching. I felt like the author wrote this book amazingly. It was something that people can relate to. Noelle is bullied. Every single day she wishes her life was better. She is neglacyed by her mother. Every single day there isnt enough food. She so hungry in class her stomach is always growling. Her mom never talks to her like a real mother should. All her mom does is complain about how Noelle ruined her life just by being born. Her mom was a pregnat teen. Her best friend is the only person she talks to and she doesnt even tell her everything. Her crush starts paying attention to her. But all she does is push him away. She thinks she's not good enough. This book reveals the struggles of her life. They show how things get better no matter how much you get bullies. I recomend this for anyone who is bullies. It will really help you get through all the bullying. Bullying is an issue around the world. So just know you are not alone amd things WILL get better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i love this book so so so much you have to read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am one of susane's biggest fans! Ever since i read something like fate she has become my favorite author!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is the best i rwad it like 10 times already!!! Everyone should read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keep Holding On is well written. Emotionally, it takes a toll on your heart. The story isn’t for a day at the beach. But, it’s highly recommended. Susane Colasanti does an excellent job of relating to the intended young adult audience. KHO tells the story of a high school girl, Noelle, who’s struggling to fit in and find acceptance. She is constantly bullied because of her low household income. Often times, I found myself screaming at the bully’s words on the page. It has that type of effect on you, whether you’ve been bullied or not. Mutual respect for other human beings calls for outrage for destroying lives.  Luckily, when Noelle was kicked AFTER being knocked down, she had moral support from her best friend, Sherae. Sherae is almost essential to Noelle’s salvation (unlike her neglectful mother). Every one deserves a Sherae. Then, there’s Julian, the typical rich popular  boy with a heart of gold. I wish I saw more of their romantic relationship. He doesn’t care that Noelle is poor. He doesn’t see her as a loser. He sees her as a sweet, gentle person with a lot to give. I love that he wants to take care of him. As much as I adore the supportive  architect, I wish I could manifest Simon! He’s confident, intelligent, well-dressed, and a good friend.  Every chapter of KHO is interesting. I read it in just over 3 hours and could not put it down. Still, there are times when you get upset  because it takes quite a while for the physical and emotional abuse to stop. It’s tragic, really. This is both impactful and a serious eye-opener. To think that things can get this bad or worse is heart-breaking. The connection that Colasanti to her story is evident. She speaks from the heart and experience.  I have a few problems with the book. The first is with the summary on the book jacket. By mid-mark, Warner and Matt are somewhat  irrelevant. It should mention Carly as her tormentor. It exaggerates the term “friend” for Ali.  The second is the loose ends. Carly just walks off without being punished? Do Simon and Sherae get together? Does Noelle still stay with her mother or does she rely on Julian? I’m the type of reader who’s always looking for an epilogue. Overall, this is a quick read with a nice flow. I encourage others to read to find themselves in it! 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome. It tells of how an outsiders life is and how people feel bout themselves. Bullying is something that needs to be stopped. This book had had me stronger and made me see that no matter the bad that had happened or is going on in your life that hope,love, and friendship is always there and will help make you stronger. All the pain makes you stronger,therefore your still standing. That is how this awesome book made me feel. Read this amazing book "Keep Going On".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WoW! This book is a great read. From begining to end it had me hooked. I loved the charecters and how the heroine stayed strong. DONT GIVE IN TO THE ABUSE! like...who cares what ppl think. Its your you like it? If not change. :)
HippoHero18 More than 1 year ago
I really like this book because it addresses the subject of bullying with grace. It has had a huge impact on me and helped me open up about my own bullying experiences. If you have ever been bullied or known someone who was bullied I suggest you read this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is my last book from susan ! CANT WAIT !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i luved this book. its sad and made me cry
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
This story is really good. I mean so good, that I want to re-read it again. What I adore most about this book is how great the issue of bullying is written. The reader meets Noelle, a young girl who has been bullied for a long time. Builled by not only her peers but by her mothers. I adore the tough life that is painted out for the reader. Noelle is poor, in a single parent home and doing her best to survive and get the heck out of there. I loved her ambition to work, save money and go somewhere, where she is not a prisoner. The love interest in this book is exactly what I wanted. Nothing to fast, but a slow friendship that forms with trust and then love. I like that Noelle trust is hard to earn. He gave her the space that she needed and is there as a friend when the time came. The plot wholy captured me. I adore reading each new plot twist as well as the build up to Noelle buring strenght that she has gathered all these years. To finally stand up for herself. *fist pump* That part totally felt good. Like "Booyah! In your face" good. Keep Holding On paints a dark image of what bullying is like. It's not something pretty or documented with facts. It's raw and edgy with hope that anyone can hold on to. Masterfully written with a dark tale turned beautiful, this book you will need to read.
azkashaykh More than 1 year ago
incredible piece of work. simply awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book portrays a life in high school that luckily not every one has to face. But the pride and courage shown my noelle is one everyone should want. Colisanti did a great job showing the true world of high school without becoming fake. This is a must read for any hopeless romantic or bully hater.
renkellym on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Keep Holding On is one of the best bully books I¿ve read. I think this is due to the fact that it never tries too hard to be an issue book. It¿s a realistic presentation of a terrible situation, and that¿s it. It doesn¿t try to push a theme or lesson¿it just tells a story and assumes that the reader is smart enough to learn from it on her own. This is what makes me want to read more of Colasanti¿s work; if her other books are written like Keep Holding On, then I¿m probably going to be a fan for life. Contrary to the cover, Keep Holding On isn¿t about a boy. It¿s not about romance. It¿s about a girl, and her ability to survive. Cute Boy doesn¿t come in and rescue Noelle from the bullies¿she rescues herself. I loved the girl-power vibe of Keep Holding On; it¿s refreshing, especially with contemporary YA, to see the romance sidelined in favor of spotlighting a girl¿s ability to stand on her own. This isn¿t to say that Noelle doesn¿t have any help--in fact, the book demonstrates that adults can provide assistance, contrary to popular belief¿but she¿s on her own most of the time, which makes her psychological strength all the more admirable. And okay, fine, Noelle does end up deliberating over a cute boy¿a boy whom readers will absolutely adore because of his thoughtfulness. Colasanti does a great job of weaving the romance in subtly, keeping it in the back of our minds until its climax. I should offer a few words of advice to readers: first, that Keep Holding On is a very short book, and a gripping one at that, so be prepared to devour it in one sitting (you¿ll find it difficult to do otherwise). Second, some of the characters in Keep Holding On are infuriating (and they¿re supposed to be), so if you find your heart pounding a bit faster than normal due to their awfulness, do not be alarmed. The author is working her magic.
foggidawn on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this book from the Early Reviewers program. I had heard of Colasanti before, but this is the first of her books that I've read. It won't be the last!Noelle is at the very bottom of the high school social ladder. Caught between bullying at school and a miserable home life, it's no wonder that her self-esteem is at an all-time low. When the cute boy she's been secretly attracted to starts paying attention to her, Noelle is sure that she doesn't "deserve" anything good in her life. However, through a series of events that unfolds over the course of the novel, Noelle finds that she has both inner strength and the support of friends that she needs in order to Keep Holding On.This story struck a chord with me. Like Noelle, I was the target of bullies in my school years. In an Author's Note at the beginning of the book, Colasanti reveals that she, too, suffered through hard times in high school. The tone of that note, and the entire book, is ultimately hopeful.
peptastic on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I had higher hopes for Keep Holding On then what the book delivered. I was hoping for something more along the lines of Saving Francesca, Life Without Friends, Fat Kid Rules the World or Feeling Sorry for Celia. All of these books deal with tough life stuff without meandering into after school special territory. Celia cooked herself dinner which Noelle desperately could have learned to do for herself. I grew up in a "whatever you want to fix" childhood. I was also nicknamed "laundry girl" by my mom because that was my chore. I speak from experience that this is a needed skill. It was terrible her mother neglected her, and I understand the tension she felt but, still her expectations reminded me of the book Coraline. "Why don't you go ask your other mother if you want pancakes?"I hate to be unsympathetic but, you have to suck it up and fend for yourself. By sixteen you should start learning life skills.Noelle, please go buy your own tampons. You are sixteen years old. You even had a previous embarassing experience of bleeding on the seats. Periods come once a month. This story might have been better served had it been set when she was younger. It explained her low self esteem problems that her mother treated her that way but, it did not help the general helplessness in other areas.Keep Holding On resembled the film Pretty in Pink with shades of Seventh Heaven mixed in with a Sweet Valley High book where Elizabeth helps a girl from the wrong side of the tracks.I get that low self esteem and depression are frustrating issues. From the outside looking in people appear to have better lives than they do. This is an aspect we did not miss from Noelle despite reading the book from her perspective. She was wholly self absorbed throughout. This is exactly what her mother's problem was. They were clearly a lot alike if Noelle bothered to consider things from another point of view.The best part of this book is when Noelle's counselor gets her to see her mother's side of the story. Every guy in the school had a crush on her. She had the lit paper and a best friend. Her outlook on life was negative just like her mother's. The storyline about poor Ali was heartbreaking. She kept trying to reach out to Noelle who cruelly didn't want to be made fun of. This reminded me of that horrid film Welcome to the Dollhouse. Geeks are far crueller than popular girls were to me in school. I hated Noelle for this. She lost most of the sympathy I had for her. Noelle was a character whose entire problem was needing to fit in to the exclusion of all else. For an example, she doesn't take advantage of school lunches because she was embarassed. When I was a youngster I was socially awkward and ignorant about things like social class. I bragged that I did not have to pay for my lunches and got them for free. I was a pretty stupid kid. I'm more like Haverchuck from Noelle's favourite show Freaks and Geeks going through my life oblivious and doing what I want to do. This girl watched this show obsessively, and didn't remember that awesome scene of Haverchuck and the grilled cheese sandwhiches? Do your own thing. People will always hate and will always try to stop people from doing what they want. You can't make them happy.She did think the 'Lady L" song was meant to be romantic. That was not how I took Nick and Lindsey's relationship at all. I did like the Freaks and Geeks shoutouts nonetheless.If I could I wish I could give each adolescent the gift of perspective. 1] If no one likes the bitchy girl terrorising the school then she isn't actually popular. [I got this from my older brother when I was in school. He was right on.] Popular means well liked. 2] If they don't want to be seen with you in public then dump them. 3] If someone threatens to kill themself if you dump them just be glad you got away from that manipulative control freak. Who knows what else they'd do? [Also advice from my brother]4] No one is paying attention to you because everyone is too busy t
Liz_S on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I received this book via Library Thing Early Reviewer. I completely fell in love with this book from page one! The style of writing was fantastic! I loved how the author made every chapter like a diary entry! The characters were wonderfully thought up and believable as well as individual! The story is sad on, but told through the eyes of a smart witty funny teenager! I also like how the author put in helpful resources at the end! I am totally going to be looking for more books from this author! When this book does come out in June 2012 I strongly recommend you run to get you a copy! I read it in one day! Could not put it down!
ReginaR on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book is not an easy read nor a light read, but it is a fast read. Maybe it was fast because I could not put it down. I started it one a Tuesday and finished it very early Wednesday morning. I needed to know what would happen and I felt completely invested in the characters. The audience targeted for this book is definitely young adult and the subject matter is mature young adult. But I think it still can appeal to adults, it appealed to me. This book rocketed me right back to my high school years. Susane Colasanti has a talent to put the reader directly in the main character's shoes and make the reader feel -- feel the torment, pain and joy that Noelle is going through. Noelle is a neglected child. The neglect leads to serious grooming problems and this causes her to be a bully target at school. Colasanti captures perfectly what it feels like to be bullied, what it feels like to be helpless. Many times in this novel I was on the verge of tears for Noelle.My only complaint about this novel is that in a way it read like an after school tv special. I do understand the author had an agenda when writing this book and that agenda is a good one. But the after-school-special-like feel of the book, pulled me out of the story occasionally. My other complaint is the tying together of the neglect and the bullying. I do see the connection, particularly in this book and it was done well but parental neglect is not the only cause of bullying. Children can be targets for a variety of reasons, but I don't feel like the author was saying this was the only reason Noelle was a target. Noelle's victim situation is clearly tied to her mother's neglect, which is a heartbreaking situation in itself without the bullying. One last thing about the book, I found it unrealistic. I know Colasanti was trying to instill hope and pass a long a message that things get better -- which they definitely do! I am just not sure that things get better while still in high school. In the end, the messages of not backing down, seeking help, reaching out to friends and teachers, not giving up and not surrendering power to bullies are excellent ones. This was a quick read, an inspiring book and emotional connection. I recommend this book for all high school kids and adults who are interested in this subject matter.