Farrer, Straus & Giroux (imprint of Macmillan Teen), 288 pages
US Release Date: September 17, 2013 (today!!)
Format/Source: ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
Challenges: SARC 2013, Contemporary Challenge
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, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and 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.
It’s hard to review a book that strikes so close to your heart, that seems to pull at every cord and chord ever anchored to you. This Song Will Save Your Life spoke to me on every level I’ve ever found with books: personal, impersonal, as a reader, as a person.
One of the things that struck me most is that Elise seems to be a generally normal person. There isn’t anything particularly terrible, or mean, or different about her, and therefore her being the outcast at school seems so…odd. Unfair. Wrong. And it’s that mindset that makes you get a little more invested, that makes you care just a little more. All you can ask is why, and the more you see about her, the more you really wonder and try to figure out her life.
It also makes you love when she finds DJing more, because you feel like there’s hope. Like there’s a chance for her, like she’ll be ok. And it’s such a rollercoaster through each chapter – something takes you way high up, and then it comes crashing down and breaks your heart just a little; until the next when something breathes new life into Elise, and suddenly you’re gasping for air again. Leila Sales has created a master plot of back and forth, and it’s breathtakingly wonderful.
Is it weird to say that one of my favourite things about this book are the lessons you can learn from it? I don’t mean to say the book is preach-y, but it’s just done so well that I love what we can pick out from each character, the growth and tragedies and struggles they all go through. There’s so much that a person goes through in life, and I feel like somehow, it’s all here in this book; and it all works amazingly well! There are a few heartbreaking realizations too, that just wrecked my heart and made me cry because I’ve felt all those feelings before (the castle thing and Elise’s reason for it…*sob*) and had that same hopeless void just begging to be filled.
I want to mention Leila Sales’ writing as well, even though I don’t have much to say about it, really: it’s beautiful. It’s simple but meaningful, and there’s something about it when you read that seems to feel like the words are coming from your own soul.
Part of me wants to say that this book is for anyone who feels a little out of place, who is searching for that something in life that gives you purpose – but really, it’s for all those people and everyone else, too.
and beats and beats of more.