This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: September 17th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Hardcover)
Genre: YA – Contemporary
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 (aka TSWSYL) easily becomes one of my favorite books of the year, one of the best contemporaries that I ever read. Everything in this book is so relatable and believable I could even see a movie playing inside my head when I was reading.
The MC Elise is such an amazing heroine. Sure she has her own flaws but her voice is so realistic and I had no trouble relating to her. I haven’t been through as many things as Elise, but there were times that I agreed with her points, understood her feelings. There were sentences and paragraphs that made me stopped reading for a while and stared at my laptop screen and read them over and over again because I couldn’t stop myself from comparing to my personal experience.
“I was not going to give up. This was a new year, I was a new girl, and I was going to use the next thirty-five minutes to make new friends.”
(Yes. I seriously thought that too on the first day of middle school. On the first day of every term actually. I’ve always been a naturally shy person so yeah… expect me not to make friends easily in real life…)
My social problem isn’t as big as Elise, definitely not so big that I ever think of suicide, but Elise’s attempt of committing suicide seems pretty reasonable to me. In my opinion, when you see it from the outside, it’s so easy to say that suicide isn’t the answer. But this time around, we get to see it from the inside – a mind so desperate – a girl who is facing a problem so big, a girl who feels unloved and rejected… And Leila Sales manages to depict Elise’s emotion genuinely.
I don’t see this book as an entertaining read, I see this book as an emotional read but occasionally, Elise’s funny side makes brief appearances.
“I mean, yes, I wanted to look like a cool person, but I didn’t want to become impoverished in the process.”
“Furthermore, if I tried to overdose but didn’t succeed, then I would run the risk of living, but being severely brain damaged. I am already socially disabled; I didn’t need to be mentally disabled on top of that.”
This isn’t an unpopular-girl-gets-a-hot-guy typical kind of story. While there’s also romance, This Song Will Save Your Life is more like a journey-to-find-and-accept-yourself kind of book. Elise is an outcast in her school. She tried committing suicide once but she failed and some time later she discovered new friends and her passion for DJing. Elise’s character development is brilliant, the story itself is brilliant, asdfghkl everything was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. I could just talk about how amazing this book was and quote every passage that I found extremely relatable but then this review would be too long cause I might end up quoting the whole freaking book. YES IT’S THAT GOOD.
Okay now my review is starting to get a bit uncontrollable.
I loved every single character in this book. I loved Vicky, Harry, Mel and even Char and Pippa – they all play a part in “changing” Elise. I loved how the romance turns out and that made me admire Elise even more. Oh my gosh and the ending is perfect too. I cannot ask anything more from this book. It was such a perfection and I cried several times and I tell you what – I DON’T usually cry when I read and I didn’t cry when I read TFIOS (just got a bit teary). But This Song Will Save Your Life was such a touching book I got tears all over my face on the last 100 pages. Everyone should read this book – it was inspirational, realistic, extremely relatable… I think I ran out of adjective to describe this fantastic read.
Wow. Now I’m craving for more Leila Sales’s books.
Thank you so so much, Macmillan, for giving me an opportunity to read and review this magnificent book. But trust me, this doesn’t affect my opinion at all. And note that the quotes are taken from eARC edition so no guarantee that they won’t be altered or removed from the finished copy.