This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
Release Date: September 17th, 2013
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.
It's not often that a book can just get it right. Truly right. But This Song Will Save Your Life hit everything perfectly. The perfect read in so many ways, I'm glad that I picked this one up despite some of its flaws. It’s one that so, so many people are going to be able to relate to.
The thing I adored most about about this book has to be its gorgeous voice. Sales breathes life into Elsie, so much so that I feel like she could go to my school, be a real person. There's just so much emotion present in Elsie's narration, emotions that I've never seen depicted in YA books before, at least not as well as it's done here. It captures the teen voice so well, and that's what I truly appreciated: that this is book for teens. All of us, the teens living in today's society, go through stuff like Elsie did. Sales never shies away from the hard emotions, instead, embracing them, making a character teens across the globe will be able to relate to, no matter their situation.
Moreover, I adored the secondary characters present throughout the novel. Even the small characters who supposed to be playing a minimal role had a lot of personality, and I could see them as real people in Elsie’s world. There was huge amount of depth within them that was just flat-out unexpected, but totally welcomed, especially with Elsie’s parents. Most of the time in YA it’s more of a Missing Parents Syndrome thing, even in contemp novels, but Elsie’s parents were an integral part of the story almost all the time. I enjoyed seeing her rocky relationship with them, because that’s how it is with teens so much of the time.
However, I felt as if the ending was just too rushed. This book wasn’t even long in the first place, although it certainly wasn’t a fast paced novel. So I couldn’t really understand why the ending was rushed in the first place. Mistakes are made and made-up for rather quickly, and things just came together a tad too easily a tad too quickly. I’m all for building better relationships and learning from your mistakes, but that takes a while, so I couldn’t fully appreciate the ending because things happened far too quickly and the development that I was hoping for just wasn’t there.
Overall, this book managed to hit so many right notes. I’ve finally found the perfect contemp that really speaks to me as a reader, because at least for me, it’s hard to find a novel that really gets that teen voice. This Song Will Save Your Life did that and so much more, breathing life into all the characters and making me think I was right there. Even with a rushed ending, I can’t recommend this one enough, contemp fan or not. If you’re a teen, then this is basically a must-read for you. Even if you’re not, this one will inspire all the emotions and most definitely have you thinking about your life in a new light.