Release date: September 17, 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Reading level: Young adult
Links: Author's Website/Goodreads
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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.Review:
Leila Sales has been one of my favorite authors ever since I fell in love with her debut, Mostly Good Girls, a few years back. If you're looking for well-written contemporary novels with strong, female characters then her books are definitely for you. This Song Will Save Your Life was unique in so many ways and I will be recommending it to everyone I know!
The characters were what made this book for me. Elise Dembowsi is a character I think every teenager can relate to in some way. She was bullied and tormented by her peers and she has no idea what it takes to be "popular". Elise doesn't know what to do to make people like her and she is close to giving up. It was sad to see how desperate Elise was for a friend and how not one person would be that for her. Luckily, she found a secret warehouse party and finds a place where she actually belongs.
Elise makes her first real friends at Start, the underground dance party, and they show her a side of herself she never knew existed. I liked how independent the two girls Elise befriends at Start are. Pippa and Vicky show Elise how important it is to be free and not worry about what other people think. The disc jockey is the one who truly turns Elise's life around when he helps her uncover her love for DJing.
I have always been a fan of old music and I loved hearing about Elise's knowledge of bands and artists that most teenagers wouldn't ever be able to recognize or appreciate. On the other hand, DJing is something I knew nothing about. It was fascinating to read about how challenging DJing is and about what each DJ brings to the table. Elise is a fast learner and I loved seeing how passionate and dedicated she was to DJing.
This was a fast-paced and engaging read and it has easily earned a place on my favorites list. This Song Will Save Your Life has a ton to offer and it stands out from some of the more light and fluffy contemporary reads I've encountered lately. Elise experiences real issues and faces realistic situations when it comes to boys, school, and family. I am eager to see what's next for Leila and I definitely recommend everyone go out and read this book if you haven't already!