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 Girls. This 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!