Google+ YA Romantics: Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life
by Leila Sales
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
on September 17, 2013

Source: e-ARC from NetGalley. Please see my full FTC disclosure on the right sidebar.

Connect with the author: website | Twitter | Facebook.
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
My take: I have been excited about this book for nearly a year. I've read and enjoyed both of Leila Sales prior books -- Past Perfect and Mostly Good GirlsThis Song Will Save Your Life was my Waiting on Wednesday back in March.  It's a little scary when you anticipate a book for so long.

I usually caption my reviews "just finished reading," but I didn't do that with this book because  I read This Song Will Save Your Life almost three months ago, and I'm just writing this review now. Why? Because this was the kind of book I just wanted to enjoy and love  -- not have to analyze.  But then I realized that it would be selfish of me not to take the time to tell you why I think the book is great.

Here are some of the things I loved about This Song Will Save Your Life:

I loved the fact that the book did such an amazing job portraying loneliness and social isolation. A lot of YA books deal with bullying, which is an equally important issue. But I loved the way this book tackled a less dramatic issue, painting the picture of a girl who just can't figure out where she fits in. Everything Elise does socially seems to be the wrong thing, and the harder she tries, the worse things get. I think anyone who's every felt awkward, out of place, or lonely will really relate to Elise.

I loved the way the book portrayed female friendships and family relationships. Like most people, Elise does have more of a support system than she realizes, and she also has much more to offer than she realizes.

I loved the romance, which was not storybook perfect, but more like the kind of relationship that teaches you important lessons about yourself and what you need to be happy.

I loved the way that This Song Will Save Your Life pointed out that the secret to happiness is spending time doing things you love. (That's not the same thing as doing things that are enjoyable -- like watching Real Housewives and eating Cheese Nips. I call that decompression time…)

Doing things you love should be a little scary at times, but ultimately make you feel smarter, stronger, more capable, and more like a person who matters.

I loved the music. (This goes without saying, as my musical taste is still stuck in the 80s and 90s, after which I got too busy with life.) I actually made a playlist for Elise, but I can't find it anywhere!  I am heartbroken! f I find it, I will add to this post. Until then, here's the official playlist for the book.

Here's one of my favorite quotes from the book, a lesson about dancing, but also about life:
Basically, just throw your arms around a bunch and take big steps, so everyone knows which part of the dance floor belongs to you. People are not going to make room for you. You have to make room for yourself.

Don't miss out on This Song Will Save Your Life! 

32 comments:

  1. Yay for this book! I'm really glad you reviewed it in the end because you summed everything up perfectly. I especially loved this:

    "Doing things you love should be a little scary at times, but ultimately make you feel smarter, stronger, more capable, and more like a person who matters."

    Yep. Nailed it:)THIS was the overriding message of the book in my eyes as well. And this is what makes it such a wonderful coming of age/ journey of self discovery YA read. I really would love to see Elise in about 10 years time--see what else she has triumphed over in her life:)

    Oh, I hope you find your playlist and can share it with us. Putting mine together for my review was such a blast:)

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    1. I am SO upset. I had it in the back of a notebook and it's missing. *cries* I must have torn it out and put it in a safe place...

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  2. Happiness leads to success. And yes, doing what you love and not what everyone think you should do is the best. Loved this review.

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  3. Well as you know this book was an emotional read for me.

    I can understand why you wanted to keep it for yourself. I find myself conflicted about that these days too. It's rare to find a really special story and you don't want to ruin it by over analyzing but you did such a good job pointing out what maked it so special.

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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    1. I kept putting off the review, so finally I asked myself why I was doing that….

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  4. You make a good point about people not always realizing how good of a support system they may have. I like that this book points that out.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

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  5. OMG, I love that quote! That alone would make me read this book. Too bad I let my galley expire. :( Wahwahwah.

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  6. I'm really looking forward to reading this. I didn't even see you had posted your review when I posted my match for your challenge. I will be seeing this author on the 30th and having her sign my book. :) I'm hoping I really like it too!

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    1. I think you'll like it…
      Enjoy the signing :)

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    2. Thanks! You didn't want anything, right?

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  7. There were soooooooooooo many things that I loved about this book, which really took me by surprise because it's not my typical read. I loved the way the author handled being a social outcast, and of course the passion that drove Elise's DJing. But I hadn't thought of the way the female friendships were shown in this book and you are absolutely right. So often in YA there are frenemies, but in TSWSYL there was a strong, supportive friendship that I really enjoyed.

    I also love what you said about the romance. Elise wasn't out looking for The One (she wasn't really looking for Any One) but she found her first romance, and it played out very realistically. The kind of relationship you learn from.

    Anyway! Fantastic review!

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    1. I loved that romance -- or perhaps I should have called it a relationship. Or something. But I loved the way that felt so real, as opposed to the "OMG we're soul mates" that I read so often..

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  8. Great review. I have been wanting to read this for some time. I really need to jump on and search through my TBR shelf more thoroughly. I will place this higher up. THe quote you chose is great.

    -indiereadergirl0329
    indiewritergirl0329.wordpress.com

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  9. I've heard so many good things about this book. Every time I read another review that says how good it was, I want it even more. And that quote is pretty impressive. I'm already in love with the voice!! :)
    I definitely hit those books I just want to read and love and not review and analyse. It's tough to squash "why I love" into a blog post sometimes!

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  10. I'm glad you shared because I thought this book was amazing too-definitely a fave read and one that I so personally identified with in a lot of ways.

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  11. I have yet to read a Leila Sales book, but this sounds like a great one to strat with. Doing something you love is imperative for happiness, as I've learned with my own life, and I love stories that bring attention to this in any way.
    Lovely review, Jen!

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  12. Oh, I love that quote! It's so perfect in life too. When I heard about this book, I didn't think it would do it for me, but I feel like it is one of those reads that makes you feel stronger and better about yourself. That makes you want to do better in life. I don't know if that made any sense, but I'm soo looking forward to buying this book and experiencing all the feels. Fabulous review, Jen! :)

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  13. I am really looking forward to reading this book- the MC and family relationships are main point that I'm particularly curious about.

    Brilliant review, hon! <33

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  14. I am all about some well done female friendships!

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  15. I love that quote and I'm so glad to hear how great this book is. I'm really looking forward to reading this!

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  16. I very much want to read this book, and honestly the title alone sealed the deal. So glad you liked it though, that makes it easier to justify getting it! ;)

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  17. Great review! I loved this book sooooo much. I agree about the romance - not every romance is going to be THE ONE but you can learn so much from them.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

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  18. Okay, I'm ordering this book. I've heard so many great things about this book, and I have to read it for myself.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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  19. Fantastic review!! I really loved this book too. I loved the romance and how it wasn't perfect or super romantic and swoon worthy. It was real to their situations. I also loved the family aspect and how even though the parents are divorced, they are still united when it comes to Elise.

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  20. What a great review Jen! I love how it focused on the loneliness and social isolation and dealing with it. The realism of the book and cover is begging me to pick this one up! Great review :)

    Happy Reading!

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  21. I LOVE your review.. Doing things you love IS scary at times.. but nonetheless, you still love it. I finished reading this a couple of days ago, and I really loved it. Elise was a great character! Fantastic review!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  22. WHile you read and love this one 3 months ago, I've had the book at least as long and can't bring myself to read it because I'm anticipating it so much. EVERYONE has connected really well to this story and I'm anxious to do the same. Everything you said about this book makes it sound amazing!

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  23. I'm so glad you were able to share your thoughts on this one. I admit I originally didn't have this on my radar much but I do now and I must give it a read some time!

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  24. I've been dying to read this since I first saw it on GoodReads yesterday (yes, I'm a little behind at seeing what's coming out right now). Your review just doubled that desire. I need this to come out. . .right now.

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