Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
Don't look up.
Lunch is the worst, but there's no safe place at school for Noelle. Keeping her mortifying home life a secret and trying to ignore the kids who make her life miserable are Noelle's survival strategies. Her emotionally distant boyfriend, Matt, isn't the one she really wants to be with. But there's no way she could ever be with Julian Porter.
When Julian starts talking to her, Noelle is terrified. It seems safer to stay with Matt than risk a broken heart. But when the bullying of a friend goes too far, Noelle realizes it's time to stand up for herself - and for everything that makes her keep holding on."- summary from Amazon
I love Colasanti's books; she just has a way of writing that is so realistic and keeps me turning the pages. This book was no different. She did a really good job dealing with the whole bullying and home life aspects and showing Noelle's change throughout the book. The reader is definitely rooting for Noelle to reclaim her life, her voice and get the boy. It was shocking to read about what she went through and it's sad to know that this stuff does really happen.
I did feel like there wasn't enough there in the romance area to make it believable. It just felt very rushed and the short length of the book contributed to that, I think. For the first half, she's with the bad boy then on her own, and then starting to get with Julian. It's a lot to pack into 200 pages when you're also including Noelle's home life and school bullying. Julian and Noelle are very cute together, but I just wish there had been more between them.
I also really liked Noelle's friendship with Sherae. They're a good pair and I liked reading scenes between the two of them.
Overall, this is a book that really needs to be read by everyone. I really hope it brings some positive change to the world.
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.