Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life CoverBook: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Expected Publication Is September 17, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux|Expected Number Of Pages: 287

Series: None

Genre: YA Contemporary

Goodreads|You Can Find Leila Sales on Facebook or Twitter

This Song Will Save Your Life is an E-ARC from, which has not influenced my review in any way.  

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.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales’ THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

I absolutely loved This Song Will Save Your Life!  This is such a special book and I am so glad I read it!

This Song Will Save Your Life is about more than Elise’s unpopularity at school.  She finds something she loves and she finds a pretty eclectic group of friends at Start.

There was a point early on in the book that was really hard to read: Elise’s suicide attempt.  We do see Elise cutting herself and realizing she doesn’t really want to die after all.  While it was hard to read, it was also handled with a lot of care, and really well done.

I loved Elise, and she is my favorite character of the whole book.  But I do have a soft spot for Vicky and Mel.  It was really easy to relate to Elise (even though I’ve never been bullied), and I feel like we could totally be friends in real life.  Also: I think we all need a Vicky in our lives.

I loved Elise’s walks and how she stumbled across Start and had this whole other life that only she and her new friends knew about.  She really found a great friend in Vicky and even Pippa seemed pretty cool.  Until she wasn’t, but they seemed to be sort of okay by the end of the book.  I also liked Char for most of the book, and how he became Elise’s mentor.  But his unhappiness at her getting offered Friday nights even though she’s younger and not as experienced as him…I just couldn’t like him after that!

Speaking of music/becoming a DJ…I really liked how important music was to Elise and how being a DJ helped boost her confidence.  There are so many songs referenced throughout the book, and now I feel like checking out all of them, because they’re songs I’m not familiar with at all.  I also like that each chapter had song lyrics at the beginning.

As much as I loved This Song Will Save Your Life, there is one thing I didn’t like.  For most of the book, Elise is bullied quite a few of her classmates.  There’s this one girl Elise calls during her suicide attempt, and that girl calls 911.  So, this blog appears one day, and even though Elise knows it isn’t her, and she tells a couple girls she’s friendly with that it isn’t her, the entire school thinks it’s Elise’s blog about how suicidal she is. And it turns out that the girl Elise called told someone, who used it as living art project or something.  The girl gets suspended but Elise doesn’t want to say anything about it.  Until her parents find out, because there’s this one post that makes it seem like she was going to kill her self, and when her parents realize she’s not at home, they naturally find out about the blog, and go to the school to talk to the vice principal, and that particular thing gets taken care of.

The part I didn’t like?  Elise, all of a sudden, seems awfully friendly with the people who have bullied her for most of her school life.  It did happen after she appeared in the local paper for her new gig as a DJ.  For me, it happened a little too fast, and even though I’ve never been bullied (and I can’t even begin to imagine what that’s like), it seemed a little too weird for me.

Final Thoughts:

Other than the moment I just mentioned, I just loved This Song Will Save Your Life. It’s such an amazing story, and I found Elise to be a character I could completely connect with.  I loved her journey, and there’s something very, very special about This Song Will Save Your Life.  This Song Will Save Your Life gets 5+ stars.


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