Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

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this song will save your lifeTitle: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)

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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.

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Hype books, like I’ve said in the past, are always treading a dangerous line with me. ESPECIALLY ones where it seems like everyone is loving the book. In the past, I’ve picked up some of these books on a whim, read them, and HATED them, only to vow that I would never buy a hyped book again unless I really, really wanted it.

With This Song Will Save Your Life, I was in the bookstore with Jenni from Alluring Reads and I saw this book and just HAD to get it. The only thing I really knew about it (besides the fact that everyone loved it — including Jenni, and we NEVER agree on books) was that it had something to do with music. Being a musician, a book with any kind of music is usually a selling point for me.

Right off the bat, I wasn’t sure. It seemed a lot heavier than what I was expecting and we were in the main character’s head quite a bit. In fact, there’s one part at the very beginning where it turned super serious and hit a little close to home for me.

Let’s just say, I was never the popular one. I was always the friend of THAT friend. You know, the one who was always getting asked out, the one who was always hanging out with the popular people. I never really felt like I fit in. It wasn’t until high school after a bout of seriousness AND some friends who decided drugs were the way to go that I said that enough was enough. Having no friends was better than being friends with some people who were taking a wrong turn.

Had none of this happened, I would NEVER have discovered music and the piano. It was so nice to have that outlet, where I could just be me and no one would judge me. I met some great friends through music (some of us don’t talk anymore, but it still made the journey worthwhile) and I never wonder what would have happened had I just followed that crowd in high school.

I could really relate with Elisa in this story. I knew what it was like to be picked on, to be an outside, to feel like you just didn’t belong. I could feel her excitement when she found her underground club and, thus, her passion. I could understand her frustrations with matching up the songs to the crowd as she had to “read” the crowd and play the perfect set. I understood her home struggles and just basically wanted to hug her throughout the book.

While the synopsis makes this book sound like it’s a ride all the way to the top, it’s really not. Elise’s life still maintains its rollercoaster trajectory and like most peoples’ lives, it still has its ups and downs. But that’s just life. We love it when something good happens and we learn from the bad. Not everything can be perfect. I felt like the story was told just right and was so true to life. It was full of emotion and plenty of awe-inspiring moments. If you were like me in high school, I can say that you would definitely relate to Elise and her story.

In the end, I’m so glad that I ended up buying this book because I absolutely loved it and could see myself reading it again in the future, as well as recommending it to other people. Definitely highly recommended!

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Author Links:

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25 thoughts on “Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

  1. I finally read this one recently in one sitting after hearing all of the hyper and I loved it, too!! While I did think some of the things were a bit far-fetched, I was able to suspend my disbelief enough to love it! Like you, I related to it in many ways. I’m glad you enjoyed it, too! Great review!

  2. I’ve only read the first few chapters of this book on an ebook sample but even with those I felt myself relating to the main character, I think the way the bullying and feeling like an outsider is pretty honest and hard hitting and while that’s hard to read in a way it’s pretty amazing too

  3. *the way the bullying and feeling like an outsider is written is pretty honest
    sorry I’m terrible at typing 🙂
    great review!

  4. It makes me extremely happy to see that you enjoyed this one! I love that you were personally able to relate to the story, and that it really struck a chord with you. It was certainly a powerful, truthful YA novel.

  5. I feel you on hyped books and this is one that everyone has been raving about. It’s not my usual kind of read, but I have a feeling that this one will resonate with me, as well… thanks for sharing a bit of your past and how you were able to relate to Elisa because of it. I do think parts of it might hit too close to home for me, as well, but in a way books like this are worth reading because of that.

  6. Yayy for us actually agreeing on a book! This never happens! I loved Elise’s story too, and like you mentioned I liked that it wasn’t just her rise to the top, there were definite bumps and valleys throughout. I see that you’re reading In Honor now, that one didn’t work for me as well as it did most people… Let’s see if we can be 2 for 2!

    • Here’s your original comment! 🙂 It wasn’t eaten!

      Bumps and valleys are necessary … it really makes a story seem more realistic. It kind of bugs me when things go way too smoothly in a story.

      I’m only about 90 pages into In Honor … definitely not as good as Golden, but not bad. We’ll see how I feel when I hit the end!

  7. Oh I am SO SO SO SO glad that this hype booked lived up to it for you! I always feel the same way – hesitant because the hype usually means I’ll feel let down. And this one? So not that way! (In fact? You have me thinking I should re-read!)

  8. I’ve been realy interested in reading this book as well. I guess I was kind of that person in school as well. Once popularity and making the wrong choices became what my friends decided to do, I kind of back out and was a loner for a bit. I never really put any energy into a skill during that time, but eventually it let me meet people more like myself and we became good friends and could be who we wanted to be without feeling like we were going to lose each other.

    I’m glad you enjoyed this one so much!

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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