Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Genre: Young Adult, Music
Publication Date: September 17th, 2013
Paperback: 236 Pages
My Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads Summary: Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
This story focuses on the subject of suicide very well and very strongly throughout. Be prepared.
Leila Sales tells the story of Elise who isn’t very good at making friends and can’t seem to prevent being bullied at school. Elise is struggling with finding happiness until she discovers an underground warehouse party (Start) one night when taking a nightly walk at her mother’s house.
Elise has to juggle many issues being a sixteen year old: having divorced parents meaning her living situations on a schedule or an Elise Calendar and dealing with the good and bad at school.
The dialogue and descriptions are written extremely well between the characters. We are able to really see/feel Elise’s emotions, when she’s in pain when she’s being told cruel things by her classmates or if she is getting angry or frustrated. I was able to picture the words being said which I think made the story feel more realistic.
I could relate to Elise’s experiences in school most of the time because of my own experiences in High school. I was trying to make friends and I couldn’t seem to find the right people I fit in with until the end of my senior year. I was also bullied throughout my freshman/sophomore year mildly and some of my senior year because of social media.
Elise was always second guessing herself thinking that she would just be laughed at or unwanted. I could relate to her on so many levels because I also have this mindset; I am constantly worrying about if I’m being stared at or laughed at or just judged if I see a group of people (particularly girls) doing one of those things.
Elise meets a new group of people at Start; Vicky, Pippa and Char. They teach Elise some valuable lessons and show her that not everyone is the same. They can relate to her interests: The Smiths.
Elise discovers DJing for the first time when she watches DJ Char which was described beautifully. I felt as if I was experiencing it with her. I am a very passionate person especially when it comes to my two favorite things; hockey and books. I loved that I could feel her passion and connect with Elise.
I really enjoyed Vicky’s character, she has excellent friendship traits. She really tries to help Elise with lifting her self-confidence. She is a genuine friend and I am very glad Leila Sales included her character.
I liked that Elise was able to experience new people other than the ones at school because it gave her another perspective, a positive one. She was able to learn about being accepted, what it is truly like.
Family is another aspect of this story, Elise has a life at her mother’s home that consists of routine and sibilings & another at her father’s home where he is content and very caring of Elise.
I loved the music references involved in this story. The characters are named after songs! I even listened to some of them when they were mentioned here: (Spotify Playlist)
This is a book that everyone can relate to either they were a victim of bullying or not.
I devoured this book, literally! I read this in a span of a day then just recently re-read it! It was still as amazing as the first time! Definitely a book that I recommend to everyone!
“Sometimes you just have those days where everything goes wrong. But sometimes, and totally unexpectedly, something can go right“.
“Since discovering Start, I had felt, for the first time in years, like good things could happen to me. I felt happy“.
“I do want to believe that there’s some place in the world that’s more mature than high school“
“But, I also felt like an eggshell that had gotten a tiny crack. Yucan’t repair something like that. All you can do is hope that it sticks together, hope that the crack doesn’t grow until all your insides come spilling right out“
“I didn’t know. I feel sometimes like…there are all these rules. Just to be a person. You know?“