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 netgalley.com, 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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Things That Make My Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

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Top Ten Things That Make My Life As A Reader/Book Blogger Easier & Better

There are so many things that make my reading and book blogging life better and more fun.  There’s so much out there to make reading and book blogging more fun and more organized, and there really is something for everyone.  Here are the things that make blogging more fun!

  1. Goodreads.  I cannot imagine life without Goodreads.  I’ve apparently been on goodreads since 2007, but I didn’t start using it regularly until 2011.  I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t have goodreads to help me keep track of everything I’ve read, am reading and want to read!  Also: we should totally be friends on goodreads!  If you want to, of course!
  2. Netgalley/Edelweiss.  I think it’s cool that I can request books before they come out, and I’ve found some really interesting titles through netgalley.  I haven’t used Edelweiss, but it is cool that I’ve been able to request some books I’ve been looking forward to reading, and that I’ve found some interesting books I wouldn’t have heard of otherwise.
  3. My Nook.  I mostly stick to e-books these days, and it is a life-saver in so many ways.  I read a lot and I have a tendency to read 5 or 6 books at once, so it’s nice to be able to carry everything I’m reading in my purse without falling over.  Also: I still live at home, so it’s nice to not have to worry about my books taking over the entire house.
  4. A calendar.  To keep track of when new releases are coming out and for scheduling posts when I’ve finished 3 books in one day and have 3 reviews to write.
  5. The library.  I don’t use the library as much as I should, but I do like that I can download audiobooks and e-books when I’m too lazy to go to the library…which is pretty much all of the time.  But still.  Libraries are great places.
  6. Speaking of audiobooks…audible is pretty freaking awesome.  I’m not the best at listening to things right away, and I only listen to audiobooks sporadically, but there are some books that I’m glad I listened to!  Also, it’s a great way for me to get some “reading” done at work.
  7. Twitter/Facebook.  I totally admit that I’m kind of horrible at keeping up on some of my favorite authors and other bookish things on FB and twitter, but it’s nice to know that there are ways to keep up with what’s going on in the bookish world.  And talking to all sorts of people, of course.
  8. Excel.  I have a spreadsheet that is specifically for the series I read, so it’s nice to have a separate thing for which series I’ve finished, have no interest in finishing or the ones that I’m currently working my way through.  I start so many series that it’s nice to have something to keep track of all of them.
  9. Other bloggers!  I’ve found some great books through reading other bloggers, and it’s always fun to see what other people are reading.  It’s also cool to see how other people review books.
  10. Podcasts: As for podcasts, I don’t listen to many bookish ones, but the few I do listen are pretty awesome.  I love the general bookish news and book recommendations from the Book Riot podcast, the random awesome that is the Dear Bitches, Smart Authors podcast (which is totally focused on the romance genre) and the fun and interesting discussions on the Alohomora and Mugglenet Academia podcasts.  I also like The History Chicks, who take on a different woman in history in each episode and the book recommendations they have at the end of each podcast.  I also like to listen to podcasts when I’m reading!
  11. A Musical Bonus: I’m always interested in what authors listen to when they’re writing, and I love it when they share what they’re listening to.  I’ve found some great music this way.  Like, I love Muse, all because of Stephanie Meyer mentioning she listened to them.  And I love that Rachel Caine has a playlist at the end of most of her books.  Like podcasts, I also like having music on in the background when I’m reading.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own top ten lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top Ten Tuesdays here.

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Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books

This is a cool topic!  There are some great beginnings, and also some great endings…but apparently, how books end are much more memorable, as there’s only one beginning that stands out.  And…I apparently cry at endings a lot.  There were a couple where I couldn’t remember if I cried at the end, but I think it’s safe to assume that I cried at the end.

Awesome Beginnings:

  1. Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone: Such a memorable opening paragraph!  This one was the first one that came to mind, and it’s such a great start to a completely awesome series.

And The Endings That Are Just As Awesome:

  1. Requiem by Lauren Oliver: I have mixed feelings about Requiem, but the last few paragraphs were so beautiful that I was crying at the end.
  2. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green: I almost put this one on my favorite beginnings lists, but I had a change of heart.  Besides, I love the ending much more: “I do, Augustus.  I do.”  Totally trying to not cry just thinking about it.
  3. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: It’s totally another book where I found myself crying at the end.
  4. Hate List by Jennifer Brown: Another one that came to mind automatically.  Five minutes after finishing Hate List, I was still crying on the couch.  
  5. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: I’m having trouble deciding which line I like better: “I’ve had enough trouble for a lifetime” or “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years.  All was well.”  Both lines are equally memorable…you know what?  I’m going with both!  Rest of the epilogue aside, it’s a pretty memorable ending.
  6. The Breathing Series by Rebecca Donovan: I honestly can’t pick between the 3 books!  Reason To Breathe had an ending that had me looking at my Nook in a moment of WTF…which led to immediately buy and start reading Barely Breathing so I could know what happened.  And that ending led me to anxiously waiting for Out Of Breath, which is, overall, a great ending to this series.
  7. With All My Soul by Rachel Vincent: Overall, it’s a great ending to the series…but it was the last few pages that did me in.  it was bittersweet, but everyone got their happily ever after, so all ended well.
  8. Beautiful, Dark And Deep by Amy McNamara: I was still crying a few minutes after finishing it, Such a beautiful ending.
  9. Destined by Aprilynne Pike: Because David’s letter is the end of the book for me, and it’s absolutely beautiful.  It should be no surprise that I was crying a little at the end…
  10. Bonus pick: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa: Because I love Meghan and Ash and how he sacrificed his immortality for Meghan.  And that makes The Iron Knight the perfect ending to The Iron Fey series.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke And The Bookish.  Every week, bloggers from all over are invited to share their own lists based on the topic of the week.  You can find all Top 10 Tuesdays here.

Top Ten Tuesday Graphic

Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

This is a great topic!  I’ve come across so many great authors, and there are so many that totally deserve more recognition, because I love their books so much.  It was hard pick just 10, but these are the 10 that are on my mind right now.

  1. Wendy Higgins.  I love her Sweet trilogy, and can’t wait to read the last one, even though I’ll probably be sad it’s over!  I love her take on angels.
  2. Rachel Caine.  Her books are so fun to read, and I can’t recommend her enough.  Especially if you’re a big fan of paranormal.
  3. Laurie Halse Anderson.  For me, her books are YA classics, and her books are pretty freaking awesome.
  4. Jennifer Brown.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve read Hate List, but it’s a story I still can’t get out of my head after first reading it almost a couple years ago.  Even though I have yet to read her other books, I think she deserves a lot of recognition for Hate List.
  5. Cynthia Hand.  I totally love her take on angels, and while there is a battle between good and evil, it’s pretty subtle.  I totally think everyone should read Unearthly because she has a pretty unique take on angels.  Anyone who can create an entire world around an angel trying to find their purpose in life and make it hard to put down while crying tears of happiness and sadness at the same time deserves all the recognition she can get!
  6. Aprilynne Pike.  I cannot talk about Wings enough.  Fairies being similar to plants is an interesting twist on fairies, but also one that is super-believable.
  7. Kiersten White.  Never have I loved a character more than the way I love Evie.  Paranormalcy is such a cute series, and she totally deserves more recognition for it.
  8. Rebecca Donovan.  I absolutely LOVE her Breathing series, and I hope to see more amazing books from her.
  9. Katherine Longshore.  For some insane reason, I haven’t read Tarnish, but I really liked Gilt, and I love that she writes YA historical fiction.  I think she deserves recognition just for that, but she also makes Tudor history really interesting, and easy to relate to.
  10. Maria V. Snyder.  I bought pretty much everything she’s written after reading only a couple of books she’s written.  She’s definitely one of my favorite fantasy writers.

Crazy World

I came across Anna Graceman while browsing the music section in iTunes.  For some reason, her album jumped out, and that led me to the couple of singles she has on iTunes.

Crazy World is my favorite of the two- but I still like Showtime.  The video is cool, and it has this “I totally filmed random stuff while out and about” feel to it.  Be sure to check out Anna Graceman at her website.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the video!

Fun Times

So, over the weekend, I listened to the Pride48 marathon.  And while I didn’t get to listen to every single podcast, I still listened to a lot.  It was so fun listening to all the different podcasts- from the ones I love to the ones I don’t normally listen to.  I’ll definitely miss it, and I can’t wait until next year.  It was so fun to listen to!

Over the weekend, I went shopping for a bedspread.  And I really need to complain about this.

So, my old bedspread had this really big hole in it, so I was in desperate need of a new one.  I kind of, sort of, but not really looked at a few places online, and didn’t really find anything, so I figured it was time to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a bedspread or comforter for a twin bed?

Pretty impossible in the store I was out.  Mind you, they have a great selection of bedding, and I did find one that I really liked.

But I didn’t have much to choose from, because…having a twin bed eliminated most of my choices!  If I didn’t know any better, I’d swear that most people who sleep in a twin bed are either 10 year-old girls or in a college dorm.  That also eliminated most of the remaining choices.  Nothing against the  dorm-room bedspreads, but I just didn’t like them, and the 10-year-old girl ones…let’s just say that’s a bit too young for me.  It’s been a while since I’ve been 10.

I did manage to avoid bedskirts, and the more I see my new bedspread, the more I love it, so it’s cool.

I am curious as to whether it’s just this particular store or if it’s just in general.  I get that certain age groups need twin-sized bedding more than others, but a more varied selection would have been nice.

And now I have this need to go to different stores and check their bedding section just to see what they have.

Not much is going on right now…but I am going to an alpaca farm on Saturday! I am so excited, and there will definitely be a post about it!  Although I’m slowly starting to get ready for NaNo- I can’t believe it’s almost that time again. Hopefully it’ll go better than last year…I just need an idea!  Or 5, or something.

I honestly think that’s it for today, so happy Wednesday!

Pride48!

So, this is weekend is Pride48!  It’s 48 hours of live podcasting, and I’m super-excited.  I can’t believe I didn’t mention it before, but there’s still today and tomorrow, if you want to check out any of the podcasts, and I’m sure most (if not all) of the podcasts will go up on the Pride48 website.  And probably through each podcast.  Maybe I’ll find some new podcasts to listen to!  Because 57 aren’t enough.

There are more than a few I’m excited about, like Cocktails And Creampuffs, Greetings From Nowhere, What Some Would Call Lies, the Satyrsphere and Game Night Guys…to name a few.  Also a bunch I’ve never of, or have heard of but never listened to.  Sadly, I didn’t make it out to Vegas this year, but maybe next year.  It’s been fun hanging out in the chat room though.

Big Fatty’s show was great.  I have no clue why I *don’t* listen to Big Fatty, but since I’ve subscribed, I’ll be able to listen to every single episode!  Cocktails and Creampuffs was great, and hilarious.  And Greetings From Nowhere was great as usual.  I missed the first 5 to 10 minutes for the Satyrsphere because I turned off the stream and it took forever to connect!  But…it was a great episode!  It’s just fun to hear some of my favorite podcasts live.  And a whole weekend of podcasts just make it more fun!

There’s really not much else to say…at least for now.  But I’ll probably talk about some of the other podcasts next week.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

I’m super tired, since I’ve been up for a really long time.  I think I’m off to bed!  Have a happy weekend everyone!

Closing Ceremonies

The Olympics are officially over, and now I don’t know what to do with myself.  Sleep, I guess.  My interest definitely dropped off the second week, but I still found myself watching track and field until all hours of the night.  It’s been fun, and Rio seems like a long 4 years away.

I love Closing Ceremonies.  They’re a lot more fun, and a lot less formal than Opening Ceremonies.  The music was great!  Our House is a great song.  One Direction!  I really wanted to sing along…I should have because my grandma’s the only one who would hear me.

Stomp!  Definitely cool.  It feels so much more random.  I love random, so it’s cool.

I love how they’re all walking in together.  It feels like a lot of people are sticking with their respective countries and aren’t really hanging out with anyone else.  Then again, it’s hard to tell a lot of the uniforms apart.  It’s still early, so that could change as it goes on.  Although it’s weird to me that there are athletes who go home after they’re done competing.  Why wouldn’t you stay and get the whole experience?

Loved the Lucha Libre masks.  So cool!

Random question: for the long distance running events…why do they run in a single-file line?

The actual events felt a lot more U.S.-centric than in previous Olympics.  It’s like the rest of the world didn’t matter.  Except for China.  I think they’re the exception.  Like, “oh, we’re only showing these other countries because they happen to be competing against us.”  And it felt like the other athletes/countries we did get to see were the ones that are super-dominant in their respective sport.  It’s disappointing because I LOVE seeing everyone compete.  Not just the U.S. and whoever really good at running, swimming and gymnastics.

Not that it stopped me from watching, because I just couldn’t seem to turn it off.

Bohemian Rhapsody?  They did that during the Opening Ceremony!  Stop recycling music!

John Lennon!  Loved the children’s choir singing.  And George Michael!  His performance was just okay though.

You know what happens when you don’t pay attention?  You miss a fashion show.  Or a more cheerful look at fashion.  Annie Lennox coming in on the ship was really strange.  From Willy Wonka to Russell Brand…wow, they’re really trying to be as random as humanly possible, aren’t they?

Loved the person getting video with their iPad.  And the really bright colors.  Fatboy Slim!

Taio Cruz?  I didn’t know he was from Great Britain.  And what the hell is Jessie J wearing?

Spice Girls!  I am so excited about this!  I think that’s my favorite part.  That old guy dancing to the Spice Girls was really amusing.  Oasis, oh my god.  This is almost as exciting as the Spice Girls.  And Wonderwall is one of my favorite songs EVER.  Totally sang along.

So…when are they handing things off to Rio?  I’m enjoying it and all, but they’re going to get there eventually, right?

Monty Python!  I’m so glad Monty Python made it in!  I don’t watch Doctor Who, so I don’t know if that made it in…because the tardis is the only thing I’d recognize, and I didn’t see it.  Anything else would go over my head.

They’re really big fans of Jessie J, aren’t they?  Was Adele unavailable or something, because you’d assume she’d be there performing.

Seriously.  YOU HAVE JESSIE J, ONE DIRECTION AND THE SPICE GIRLS, BUT YOU DON’T HAVE ADELE?  What kind of closing ceremony is this?  Maybe she couldn’t perform or something.

Rio!  Finally!  I was curious about what they’d do.  It was interesting, but I was definitely expecting it to be more festive and loud.  Where’s the fun and frivolity?  They don’t have to get all crazy, but something a little more festive.  Maybe they’re saving the party for the actual Olympics.  I’m so not going to remember this in 4 years.  It just didn’t stand out.

Cool fireworks though.  And I can’t believe I didn’t mention the stage before!  Very cool that it’s the shape of GB’s flag.

I liked Closing Ceremonies but I thought the Opening Ceremonies were a lot better.  Wasn’t The Who supposed to perform, or did I miss that?  I wasn’t paying attention to parts of it, so I probably missed stuff.  But I don’t remember seeing The Who.

I’m going to miss watching the Olympics.  It’s too bad I’m not a big fan of the Winter Olympics.  But maybe I’ll tune into that.  At least I can watch Gilmore Girls in the meantime…

I LOVE The Olympics!

Summer Olympics!  They’re here!  I’ve anxiously been awaiting the Olympics, because it’s one of my favorite events ever.  Here are my thoughts as I watched the Opening Ceremony.

I loved that there were children’s choirs singing songs from Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and that each country had something special.  Seriously cool.

I also loved the homage to WWI.  And seeing the stadium change as England changed?  Also cool.  Forging the rings was pretty amazing.  It’s one time I wish I were there.  And that smell-o-vision existed.

I loved that entrance!  Very cool.  Seriously, James Bond and the Queen teaming up?  I wonder how they got her to agree to that.  The Peter Pan tribute, and actual doctors and nurses…a very nice touch.  As was the tribute to the military.

I LOVED seeing J.K. Rowling reading, and I screamed.  Seriously.  It confused my grandma, who I think figured it out a couple minutes later.  And a big balloon Voldemort!  And Mary Poppins!  I really should watch Mary Poppins again.

Loved the video with Rowan Atkinson- it made me giggle.  And then I laughed.

Great music choices.  Bad time to make cookies, but a great time to paint my nails.  Pink sparkles are awesome people.  Maybe I should take a picture…

The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks…who’s next?  Oh, I know, Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen!  Air guitar!

Spice Girls.  They should play them.  Rap and the U.K.?  Interesting.  Loved the bit with the internets.  I am slightly disappointed by the lack of Spice Girls.  Maybe they’re trying to forget them?  Oh, and I’m surprised it took this long for David Beckham to make an appearance.  You’d think he’d show up earlier in the ceremony.

I don’t get why Ryan Seacrest is interviewing people.  It’s just weird.  And honestly, doesn’t one of his 50 million other jobs need him for something?

Parade of nations!  It’s always cool watching it because of all the different countries and their outfits and stuff.

81 countries of 200+ have never won medals.  Interesting.  Argentina is a sea of blue but nothing spectacular about their outfits.

I love that all the flags are hanging out at Glastonbury Tor.  The people from Bermuda wearing Bermuda shorts?  Ironic.  Djibouti is a nice name for a country.  You’d think France would be better dressed.  I like what Guam’s wearing.  Very flower-y.  The independent Olympic Athletes seem to be having the most fun.  Seriously, they danced.  Everyone else seems kind of solemn.  Jordan and Kazakhstan had some pretty cool outfits.  Marshall Islands look pretty festive.  Mexico also had some colourful outfits.

I’ve never heard of Tuvalo.  That’s the cool thing about the Parade of Nations.  All the countries I’ve never heard of and all the countries I don’t think about…except for during the Parade Of Nations.  It’s going by so fast…and yet it’s taking a while.’

I still don’t like our Opening Ceremony outfits.  They’re a bit too sailor-ish.  Then again, they were designed by Ralph Lauren…And is it just me, or is it weird that pro basketball players are in the Olympics?  Because I think that’s a little weird.

And seeing the UK athletes enter was really cool.  The Queen doesn’t look too interested but maybe she’s tired or something.  Anyway, it’s always cool seeing the athletes from the host country come in.  You’d think they’d look more excited.

Fireworks were pretty awesome.  And you can’t forget about the flag, the cauldron, the torch relay.  It’s just so fun and exciting and I love the ceremony of it.  The lighting of the cauldron was just so cool, and I got goosebumps watching it.  Paul McCartney’s performance was just okay for me.

The final verdict: Pretty freakin’ awesome.  It was fun and quirky and I loved every minute of it.  I loved the literary references (the ones I caught anyway) and it made me even more excited about the Olympics.  Yes, that is possible (in case you’re wondering).

It’s going to be a fun 17 days!