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

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This book contains potentially triggering content and/or content that may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.

This Song Will Save Your Life

by Leila Sales

Publication: Farrar Straus and Giroux, Macmillan on September 17th 2013
Genres: Coming of Age, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
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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.

[dropcap]I[/dropcap] read this book during a difficult time in my life, and maybe that made the difference, but I like to think that this book would have resonated with me just as much any other time.

Though never to the extent of the View Spoiler » or her lack of any friends whatsoever, I never quite fit in in school, and I was bullied, too. I understood a lot of the emotions Elsie felt, and the way that she looks at the world and her “voice” were so authentic and true that you couldn’t help but grow to care for her character as you read.

What was most important to me about this book, though, was that in the end, Elise wasn’t defined by her relationship with View Spoiler ». She didn’t feel like more or less of a person because she was or wasn’t dating someone. That isn’t the kind of “love” this book is about. It’s the kind of love a human being shows another that proves that you don’t have to wear all the right clothes or watch all the right movies for people to love you. More than that, it’s finally being able to love yourself, too.

Admittedly, This Song Will Save Your Life isn’t the kind of book I usually pick up, but I’m so glad I decided to give it a chance when I saw it at my local library. It’s a no-holds-barred heartbreaking and raw journey, but it’s full of hope for things to come, too, and the great importance of learning to love yourself exactly the way you are.

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