Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Title: This Song Will Save Your Life Author: Leila Sales Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) Release date: September 17th 2013 Pages: 288 Genre: Young Adult contemporary Source: BEA - I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks! Add to Goodreads | Purchase from Amazon
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.
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars I loved this book so much. Leila Sales's style perfectly balances laugh-out-loud moments with more meaningful, insightful ones. Yes, this is a book about a suicidal girl, but it's also incredibly entertaining; I laughed out loud more times than I can count. Just as many times, though, the writing made me pause and think about the very serious issues presented here. Leila Sales's writing flows so nicely, and it works really well with Elise as our main character. There is something about Elise that I loved so much. She is sarcastic and fun but also honest and refreshing. I loved every second of this novel. The bullying storyline is one I was not looking forward to. Books about bullying usually make me hate basically everyone involved, which in turn makes me feel like a horrible, insensitive person, meaning I end up hating myself too. And stories relating to popularity are usually cliched and plain annoying. But in This Song Will Save Your Life, it totally works. Characters in stories like this one often feel one-dimensional and cliched to me, but there are no villains in This Song Will Save Your Life. Emily, Amelia, Sally, and Chava are all relatable and seem like real people. Even more than the school storyline, I loved the whole clubbing and DJing scene. Elise's passion for music really shines through, and every scene at the club had this certain energy to it, conveying the glamour of it all and making the reader feel alive and vibrant. The characters at the club scenes are great: Vicky and Pippa are so much fun to read about. I really liked reading abut Elise's relationship with Char, too: it doesn't follow the typical YA romance storyline pattern, and it might not work for some readers, but I for one loved this refreshingly different approach. I don't even know what it is about this book that made me love it so much. There is something about Leila Sales's writing that just works. Equally entertaining and insightful, This Song Will Save Your Life is a story of love: romantic love, love between family and friends, and most of all, learning to love yourself. I loved it, and I can't wait to read more of Leila Sales's books.
Hi! I'm a 21-year-old college student originally from Germany going to school in the US, studying English Literature, Spanish, and Queer Studies. When I'm not reading for school, I mainly read Young Adult books, especially contemporary, which is mostly what I review here. I also contribute to Feminists Talk Books (http://www.paperbacktreasures.blogspot.com).
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