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 picks up at a very difficult phase in Elise Dembowski’s life. As a sophomore who tried to bleed herself dead only seven months ago, she’s left to deal with the consequences her peers are serving up, one by one. What follows is a beautiful, laugh-out-loud read about what a girl will do to fit in before she realizes being herself was the only real option she ever had.
The central focus of accepting yourself among others who may or may not be okay with your individuality is a long pressed subject, but handled in such a way that it still felt original. People will find This Song Will Save Your Life easily relatable to on so many levels. So many reviewers who’ve already had the pleasure of reading Sales latest are swearing by it’s ability to tug at your heart and bring back all those high school memories that have never hurt so much before. Elise’s will to want to fit in while still keeping true to herself and seeing the way she suffered due to that want was heart wrenching and highly realistic.
Elise’s character had a fresh spin to her that I couldn’t quite put a finger on, but I loved her with all my heart. Her determination to prove something of herself was at times admirable, though not run-of-the-mill. Her overall bravery throughout her situation is what had me rooting for her and I really enjoyed having a YA heroine who wasn’t overall heroic and might have needed saving herself, for once.
This Song Will Save Your Life was painful to read from time to time, but that’s imaginable when the situation Elise is in is so undesirable. There were moments where I found myself skipping over paragraphs and little flashbacks and I’m honestly not sure if it was because I might have actually been bored or if I was trying to keep myself from reliving her pain.
What really makes this one fun is all the different music. Being a novel about DJing and the works, there’s a lot of notable bands that are mentioned and I loved seeing them played tribute to. I’d find myself humming along to songs in my head as I read and it was something new, but enjoyable.
I wish This Song Will Save Your Life had been longer, and due to it’s length I felt that there wasn’t enough depth covered and in result, didn’t feel as connected to the characters as I should have. I wanted to get under the skin of the personas, but was only given small bits and pieces of their underlying stories so it just quite didn’t do it for me, unfortunately.
**Thanks goes to Leila Sales for an advanced copy**