Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life is an original story that those who love music will thoroughly enjoy.

Elise has never fit in. She' been ignored and made fun of her entire school career. She works all summer before her sophomore year to do what popular kids do. When her desperate plan to become popular fails, she goes home one afternoon and slits her wrists. Then she calls one of those popular girls who has never paid any attention her.

Elise recovers from her attempted suicide, but still doesn't fit in anywhere. She forces herself to sit with two girls who are "friends" during lunch, but that's about as far as she will go. She takes long walks in the middle of the night. During one of these walks, her life changes. She meets two older girls and they take her to a secret overnight dance party in a warehouse. This party occurs every Thursday night. Elise begins attending regularly, sneaking out of her house. She gets to know the DJ, Char, and becomes interested in learning to DJ. She already has an extensive knowledge of music, and her dad belongs to an old band that was a "one hit wonder." So, when she asks for DJ equipment, he's happy to oblige.

This Song Will Save Your Life also contains some other dramatic elements. Elise's parents are divorced and she's part of a blended family on her mom's side. She stays with her dad about half the time. There's romantic tension (but I won't tell you who.) And, Elise really has difficulty figuring out who she is, and what this all means. She's leading a double life and while she loves her secret one, it's causing a lot of stress. And, there is really the only problem I had with the book. It's impossible to believe that Elise regularly sneaks out of her house that many times without being caught. I just can't buy the "dumb parent" scenario. But, with that said, you just have to let it go...

This Song Will Save Your Life flows well. The story moves along, and Elise's struggles are portrayed realistically. You really root for her and want her to be happy, but she goes through some really awful low times on the way. The story ends on a hopeful note.

There are a lot of song titles mentioned in This Song Will Save Your Life, so music lovers will enjoy it. (But you have to like older music, because that's what Elise is into.) There's also a suggested song list at the end of the book for reference.

Teens who love contemporary novels about the struggles of adolescence will be drawn to This Song Will Save Your Life.

Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013
Copy obtained from the library
276 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. This is on my TBR list...very, very high on it. Heh, plot holes. I can see why the dumb parent thing requires suspension of disbelief...But hardly any book doesn't these days :).

  2. I loved this book particularly the theme of self discovery. I like how Elise is responsible for her own growth rather than give credit to others. Glad you enjoyed this one too!

  3. I love when stories can tackle such serious issues realistically. So glad to hear you enjoyed this, and that this is a music friendly book. I always enjoy finding a playlist in a story. :-) Lovely review!

  4. I am going to read this next week and I'm now pretty excited even more after reading your review! I think it's great how there's a lot of music in this book, because I just love music. Great review!

    -Kimi at Geeky Chiquitas

  5. This sounds like a great read, Annette. And I love that it'll reference older music - I'm always so lost nowadays with popular music references. :)

  6. I can't tell from your review what you really think of the book. Did you like it, enjoy reading it?

    1. Yes, I enjoyed it. I gave it a 4 out of 5. I don't think the book is for everyone, but if you like contemporaries about teen issues, this is a good one.


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