Published by Straus and Giroux on September 17th 2013
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.
This Song Will Save Your Life ended up as being quite the surprise. I’d heard a lot about it from other bloggers and read quite some raving reviews online. So I have no idea why it ended up as a surprise for me that this book was WAY more then a just another fun contemporary read. It was a beautiful and amazingly written story, with characters that touch your heart and will stay with you for a long time.
Elise’s story is heart-breaking. She gets bullied and made fun off on a daily base, because she is different. She tries to change herself and the way she looks in order to fit in, but nothing seems to work. People continue to pick on her, and it makes her feel ashamed of who she is. I am not unfamiliar with the feeling of having to be ‘normal’ and the desperation in trying to fit in during high school, it is only later on that we realize and learn there is no shame in being different than others, being able to relate to the story is what made it all the more powerful. I genuinely felt so bad for Elise, the way she is treated and how lonely she feels is heart breaking. I can’t describe how many times I wished I could jump inside the story and shake some sense into her ‘tormenters.’ Elise was strong and smart, and she develops into the person that is proud of being different then others. I rooted for her along the way.
I loved the incorporation of music in the book. I was a bit sceptic about the whole idea of a ‘teenage-DJ’, but I was proved wrong the first time Elise walked into the warehouse party. I loved the vibe, the music, and the dance scene. Leila Sales wrote beautifully, I felt and lived the story through Elise. When she was excited or nervous, I was right along with her. The setting was described in a crazy great way that added to my growing love for this book.
A lot of the side characters were as incredible as the rest of the story. They were complex and real and I couldn’t help but love them! They made the story every much as Elise and the music mentioned did.
I absolutely loved this story. I loved the way I could identify with the story, the way I felt so strongly about it, ALL the characters, and the character development. This Song Will Save Your Life turned out to be such a good read. I love this book, its honesty and heart breaking scenes, to pieces! I should have read it in 2013 when I first heard about it, and I feel sad that it took me so damn long to read it.