Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Purchased (Hardcover)
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.
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!