Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Quick Facts

My Rating: 4 stars

Series: N/A

Date Read: December 6, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: September 17, 2013

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Genres: Young adult, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): 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.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
Elise is a teenager who has never had friends. Before her sophomore year begins, she decides to make people like her. She throws herself into this new project, researching things from psychology to pop culture. If you smile more, people like you better. If you wear expensive clothing, you fit in.

The thing is, nobody ever liked Elise. They declared her unpopular in fourth grade, and she still cannot determine why. She doesn't know why she can do the same things as them, but she's the one who gets picked on when she sits in the middle of the bus, rather than sticking to the safety that is the first row.

I did not expect Elise's story of being bullied and excluded. I did not expect to watch her attempt to find her place in the world. Bef*ore reading, I did not read the summary - which is typical for me. The cover made me think I was going into a cute romance about music. Even after reading the almost-one-chapter sample, I thought the book was going someplace different.

I have to say I'm incredibly happy that my expectations were not met - they were exceeded. I loved Elise and related to her from the very first page, and I believe her voice is needed. Especially for young teens still finding their way, especially for teens that feel excluded themselves, Elise is an important character.

At the beginning, one thing that did let me down were the mean girls. Elise had not one, but two girls who seemed intent on destroying her life. In her mind, they only thought about putting her down and being bullies. But that was what made it feel more realistic to me than your usual "mean girls." Elise thought they focused solely on her, yes. She thought everyone focused solely on her, but they did not. These girls did not actually show up in that many events. So while Elise thought their main purpose was to harass her, I feel like this was proven false - while still showing that they were bullies, and did think about harassing her sometimes.

Another point I have to make is that Elise sounded very young. I believe it fit in with her character, but I feel like it's a fair point to make for anyone who is yet to read the book. At times, this read almost like a middle grade to me. Perhaps it was because I myself would have related more to this book during those ages than I would have by the time I reached high school.

Anyway, I began this book late at night and stayed up until two in the morning reading, then continued and finished the very next day. It hooked me in and kept my attention throughout, so that I did not feel bored even once. So, despite my criticism (that, looking back, isn't really criticism at all), I really enjoyed this and definitely recommend it.


  1. I just got this one in the mail the other day, so I'm glad to see you liked it! I can't wait to read it!

    Erin @ The Hardcover Lover

    1. I hope you enjoy it! It was such a quick, great read for me.