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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 ...
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.
* "What sets this apart from so many problem novels is how honestly and deeply Sales probes the life of a miserable 16-year-old, from her cringe-worthy attempt at ‘learning’ how to be popular to the observational, rather than emotional, look at what it feels like to be with a guy." —Booklist, starred review
Posted October 6, 2013
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This is a tough review for me to write. First, let me say what I loved about the book. It was well written, interesting, and addictive. I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Elise and her story and I just had to see how things turned out for her. I felt like she was a very believable character and I became very invested in her. I loved, loved, loved her interest in DJing and the way it affected her emotionally and socially.
I really enjoyed the way she tries to make herself over to fit in with everyone else, only to have it backfire. Then she remakes herself over again, but the time, as herself. She discovers who she is and realizes that she's known it all along. The writing, the plot, and the characters are all fantastic.
I love the cover. Brilliant, gorgeous cover. I want to make a poster out of it and hang it on my wall so I can look at it every day.
So why 3 stars? Language. I was shocked at how many F-words (among other words) were in these pages. I kept thinking, good grief, this is a teen novel? The other reason was the sexual content. It's not overly detailed, and "it" doesn't technically happen, but I don't have a better word for what does happen.
While I loved this book for many reasons, I still have to say that it contains too much adult content for me to recommend it to a teen audience. I would have doled out a whole-hearted 5 star rating if it hadn't been for the language and sexual content.
Content: graphic language and sexual situations.
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Posted September 17, 2013
Actual rating of this book? Infinity stars.
I’ve read a lot of contemporary YA novels, especially over this past summer, and I’ve loved most of them. Even in my late twenties, I find it easy to relate to the journeys that contemporary YA characters go through, as they struggle with finding their identity and their purpose, and the many other issues that come up in those pivotal years. But never have I come across one that has touched me so deeply as This Song Will Save Your Life. The synopsis barely touches the story held between this books pages. What sounds like your typical run of the mill, coming-of-age story is actually a powerful, deeply moving tale of overcoming the crushing hopelessness and loneliness that comes from feeling as if there is no place for yourself in this world by being brave enough to change and find your passion and realize that who you are is ENOUGH.
As much as I loved this story, it was not an easy one for me to read. It was a brutally emotional experience. I laughed and cried and raged, both at Elise and at other characters on her behalf. I felt her loneliness and her triumphs as deeply as she did. More times than I could count I found myself having to set the book down just so I could get control of my own emotions. the second chapter in particular was the most brutal chapter I have ever read in my life. It was horrific in it’s honesty, and brought on many a painful flashback. Sales’ writing is stellar. The story moves at a perfect pace and the characters are well developed and interesting and 110% realistic, as are the events that guide Elise’s journey.
Elise is a character I instantly connected with. So many of her thoughts, ideas, rationales and beliefs about herself and her life have passed through my head. At times being in her head was like reading one of my own diaries from my teenage years. I went through similar experiences of bullying in middle school, especially 7th and 8th grade, and throughout my freshman year of high school and it was so easy to understand her viewpoint on her classmates and the options she thinks she has. Kids are cruel and going through that kind of torment day in and day out is draining and eventually the hopelessness crushes you. But Elise is stronger than she realizes. She is smart and witty and her voice is refreshingly genuine. She’s also self-absorbed, naive and utterly oblivious to the truth of most things. As much as I loved, related, and wanted to protect her, there were just as many moments when I wanted to shake her and give her the much needed wake up call she doesn’t get til the ending.
I adored most of the secondary characters as well. Elise’s family was great, although I do wish they had played a bigger role, especially her younger siblings. Her new friends, especially Vicky and Harry were a huge highlight for me and I immensely enjoyed every scene they were featured in. As for the love interest, Char? HATE. While I could understand his character, and the purpose of his character, it didn’t stop me from cringing every time he was mentioned, from the moment he is introduced to Elise. I recognized his type from the start because he’s the exact type of guy I’ve always found myself attracted to and so of course I wanted to protect Elise from him. He was an interesting character, and the story was stronger because of his presence, but it didn’t stop me from wanting to strangle him. Repeatedly.
This is one of the stories that will effect every person who reads it differently. Not everyone will be able to relate to Elise’s circumstances, but I think they will be able to relate to her loneliness and being misunderstood. This Song Will Save Your Life is a well written story, with an engaging plot and well-developed, genuine characters that I strongly encourage you all to read.
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Posted November 29, 2013
I loved this book so much. As soon as i opened it and saw the lyrics to "Wonderwall" by Oaisis i knew tg,hat it was going to be great. I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite books ive read.
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Posted July 12, 2014
I really enjoyed this book and i think its a great story! There are points in the book where it does get a little boring. But overall I really liked the character development throughout the story, and i would definitely recommend for anyone who just wants a good book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 19, 2014
The first chapter made me want to go back to high school and hug everyone I know, just in case. The end made me cry twice. This book is really, really good, but more than anything, I'm just thrilled it exists.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 3, 2014
I had just took time to write a review for this book because I absolutely adore it but something went wrong and my review just disappeared and I am way too lazy to rewrite it. So, I'm just going to tell you a short version of what I wrote.
I didn't plan on checking out this book but I did and this book blew me away. I started the book today and finished it today. I really enjoyed the entire thing.. just everything about the story and the characters made me love it. Oh, also I read other reviews and apparently many people do not like Char. I don't see why but I absolutely loved him and the relationship he had with Elise. I kind of thought that the ending with this could have been better but it's all good.
10/10 (mostly). Would recommend!
Posted January 25, 2014
I just got this book at the library yesterday and im on chapter five already! Its a great book if u urself just want to escape from everyone else(: makes u realize u are the way you are for a reason...great read &heartsWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 31, 2013
This book is amazing. I was hooked from the very beginning, and felt as if me an elise were one. Not meing to sound weird but it is just such an inspirational book and is very movitating, heart wrenching and will keep u on the edge of ur seat.
Posted December 21, 2013
When this book released I had just come off a summer where I read nothing BUT contemps, so by then I needed a break. So I put it off until now when I had time to cheat and not read so many review books. And now I'm upset that I waited. I wish I had read this way back when because this book is full of everything that I've ever wanted in a contemp.
"'I had once thought that I wanted to get revenge by dying. But getting revenge by living, and living well, was much, much sweeter."
61% (Nook Book)
In this book I met Elise, a normal, awkward girl. She wasn't part of the "in-crowd" so in turn, the "in-crowd" put her through hell. Elise was a victim of bullying from fourth grade until sophomore year in high school. And then, she decided that was enough. She decided then that the best thing for everyone would be ending her own life.
"'I'll pretend to be anyone or anything other than myself, but the problem is, no one is ever fooled."
75% (Nook Book)
What I liked about this book, is the fact that it features music, but people who aren't music junkies will still enjoy it. And that it features a huge issue like suicide, but it isn't JUST about her suicide. This is like a coming of age novel in the way that she finally finds where she fits in. Finally finds where she belongs. Everyone and anyone will love this book and Elise. She was such an amazing real character.
"'Why are you letting your issues get in the way of your talent?"
80% (Nook Book)
I know I love a book based on the amount of emotions I have while reading it. And this one pulled out so many. When Elise was depressed, I was too. Teens can be so cruel to each other. And then when she got excoted about the DJ gig, I got excited too. I was so happy she had finally found somewhere that she fit in. And then when she felt a spark of something for Char, I felt that too. I knew she would like him when he took even the smallest interest in her. This book just felt so real.
"'Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don't know yourself, very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn't you. That isn't you at all."
86% (Nook Book)
I think I connected to this book so well because I'm a huge music head. So as the song names came up, I listened to them as I read the scene and it anchored me even more in the story. Some of them I had already heard of and others I am new to, but all the same it helped me enjoy it a little bit more.
"'There are dangers everywhere, I wanted to explain to her. On the shool bus, in the cafeteria, at Start, inside if me. No parent- no one at all- can step in and vanquish every one of them."
89% (Nook Book)
Just as the music made me closer to Elise, the music brought her closer to Pippa and Vicky. I was so happy that she found someone to be herself around and actually have a friend. And for it to be someone that actually understood a little of where she was coming from. Vicky had her own problems once upon a time, so her sharing her wisdom with Elise was something special. After reading this, I believe they found each other, to help each other.
"'People are who they are and, try as you might, you cannot make them be what you want them to be."
96 % (Nook Book)
In a unique and witty voice, Sales attacks the important issue of suicide and all the ways that friendship, love, and even music can help to not send you over the edge.I'm already thinking of the thousand and one ways to incorporate this into a Beyond the Book post. Be on the lookout for one soon!
Posted November 10, 2013
Being a fan of realistic fiction, I was excited to dive into this book. I have read a couple of great reviews before starting it, and I'm glad to say I was not disappointed! This Song Will Save Your Life talks about 16 year old Elise Dembowski, who has been a loner throughout her life. One summer, she was determined to learn "how" to become popular. Elise bought new clothes, learnt all the music, read all the fashion magazines, and so on. Too bad for her, things don't go as well as she expected when school started. What I liked about Elise is that she tried, and when it didn't work, she stopped. I did not want this book to be all about how she fits in, and gladly, it wasn't it. It was much more than that.Being in high school myself, I know how intimidating it can be. There are so many different people, and it takes time to actually find the people you click with. I understood Elise, and I was able to relate with her and understand her struggles. Elise is a brave character, and that's what I really liked about her. She had her music, and that's what kept her going. One night, she stumbles across a warehouse party, and that's when her world starts changing. It's great to see how you can change your life by doing what you love. Elise's passion and love for music was so strong, it was understandable that she only needed it to be happy. There were a lot of emotional parts in this book, but it just makes it much more realistic. I wasn't much a fan of the romance, but it wasn't much of a problem for me.Overall, This Song Will Save Your Life is a book about the teenage struggles, friendship, and doing what you love. I think it's a fantastic and inspiring book that all teenagers should get a chance to read. The characters were great, and there was no 'boring' part in the book. I will definitely be checking Leila Sales' other book, because I loved this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 14, 2013
This wasn't a bad book. It entertained and had nothing but interesting side characters. I found the protagonist a little exhausting, but I give the writer props for having her go through an emotional journey, not only regarding her treatment at the hands of others, but her treatment OF others. I would say she's probably one of the least likable characters in the book, nevertheless.
Although I wasn't at all wild about the resolution of the first romantic subplot, I liked the start of the second one a bit more.
There's a few moments of WTFery throughout the book, yet it managed to stay pretty realistic at the same time. Points for that, too. This book hangs together pretty well despite my criticisms. It was just interesting.
Posted September 17, 2013
No text was provided for this review.