This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. Then she stumbles upon a secret warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time, and finding her true passion – DJing. But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise? An irresistible novel about hope, heartbreak and the power of music to bring people together.'
I had heard a lot about this book on booktube and twitter, it is a Young Adult contemporary and I must say I am really in a YA contemporary mood at the moment. This is quite a new genre for me and I am really excited that I have been lucky enough to choose to read some really great books in this genre.
This Song Will Save Your Life is a story about a girl who never feels she fits in. I can put my hands up and say that I am sure that every girl at some point in her life has felt this; I know for sure I have. Whether it is at school, in a social group or sometimes even in your own family, I think it is a story everyone will be able to relate to.
Elise is sixteen and going through a hard time discovering who she is and who she wants to be, she cannot seem to fit in anywhere. She is fed up with being a loner and decides she wants to reinvent herself, starting with her first day back at school after the summer break. She spends time selecting new clothes, reading teenage magazines to help her swat up, into becoming one of the ‘cool’ people. She quickly discovers it’s not that easy to reinvent yourself when you have been going to school with the same people since primary school, they have already made up their minds about you and it doesn’t seem to matter how hard she tries but nothing can make her feel accepted.
I enjoyed this book as it was something I didn’t expect, it was not another typical teenage romance but more of a self discovery and acceptance with who you are. I think that every teenager should read a book like this; it helps you understand it is o.k. to be different and find something you are good at.
As you get older, things that are important to you change. As a teenager being accepted I think must be one of the highest priorities on your list.
I found this book to be such a quick read, I could have read it in one sitting if I had the time as the words just flowed so well. I found it emotional at times and really sunk deep into the story. It was a very vivid story, I could picture being with Elise and her ‘friends’, I enjoyed reading her development with her friends, I also liked how Elise changed her view on people throughout the story too, she came across as thinking she was better than others at times. I feel this also didn’t help her gain any friendships along the way, but she began to soften to the way she was thinking. I felt that her maturity level rose during the book and this also helped her see herself for who she truly was.
There are some very dark topics in this book, including suicide, which I agree make the book target older readers. There is also a lot of cyber bullying in this story which I believe is a true and real issue for teenagers today. This has clearly been researched well for the novel and I felt that it was handled well. It also covers separated parents and how this can have an effect on a child, we discover the type of relationship Elise has with them and how this can potentially affect Elise’s dream.
Overall I thought that this was a great read and I would definitely recommend this for teenagers and young adults alike. This is perfect if you want a quick contemporary read, it is a real page turner that will stay with you for some time once you have finished it.