15777621

 

This Song Will Save Your Life

By: Leila Sales

Released: September, 2013 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)

Length: 279 Pages

Genre: YA-realistic contemporary mental illness-suicide attempt

Rating: 4 and a half stars

Acquired: Gift

 

Elise Dembowski is used to being the outcast. Bullied in High School; friends with two girls she has nothing in common with nor wants to find out if they can. After a rude encounter, she decides she can’t take it anymore. After a failed attempt, it isn’t until a friendly catcall one night on her late night walks, she discovers Start, an Indie night club that turns out to be possibly everything that she needs.

 

There weren’t many things going for Elise. She had two friends, but she didn’t have many things in common with them and often used them just for the company at lunch. Then Start comes into the picture and everything changes for her. After the DJ, DJ Char, from the Smiths’ song “This Charming Man” leaves her in the DJ booth so he can chase after their friend, Pippa, Elise discovers her true passion, garnering a new attitude on life, friends she actually trusts, and a fuller life.

Leila Sales writes a realistic novel about how hard it can be finding your voice in High School and the surprising ways we can find it. What starts off as a shaky novel with a problematic suicide scene that is more of a cry for help, Sales novel quickly develops into a fun, catchy novel about finding friendship and love in an upbeat indie club. But, the love isn’t necessarily with a boy–or a person. The music in the novel is great. The trope of Elise finding herself through music and DJing is perfect. It was nicely developed and written. There was DJ Char as a love interest, but he was more forgettable compared to the true love she felt with DJing. That was really what was home for her.

There were some little problems I had with the novel, particularly with her suicide attempt and her pseudo relationship with Char, but she remained mature and true to herself throughout the whole novel which is very difficult to do. I thought her new friends were excellent characters, particularly the bouncer Mel and her friend Vicky. They both brought life to the pages they were featured. The parents, when featured, weren’t the greatest of parents nor were the fully developed in my eyes. I did think, however, as much as I disliked Char, his characterization was spot-on.

I truly loved this book. I think because it was so heavy with music I normally listen to on a daily basis. I knew a lot of the songs that were referenced. I enjoyed the playlist at the very end of songs you would hear at similar clubs. I would highly recommend this book. It was a quick read. Something fun, and mostly read. Very engrossing and entertaining. I couldn’t get enough of it. Definitely one of my favorites for this year.

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