November 8, 2014

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

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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.

Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

I didn't know what to expect before I read This Song Will Save Your Life. On the one hand, I've heard lots of great things about it, but I've been burned by much-hyped books before. Also, contemporary fiction isn't exactly my favorite genre.

Let me tell you. Once I started reading this book, I was instantly hooked.

I was fortunate that, when I was in high school, I wasn't as big a loser as Elise Dembowski, the protagonist of This Song Will Save Your Life. (Lest you get the wrong impression, I wasn't popular or cool, but I had the normal ups and downs that I suspect most teenagers have.) Yet, Elise's life really resonated with me, and I attribute that as much to the author's writing skills as anything else. Whenever someone treated Elise poorly, I felt like standing up for her, and whenever something made her happy, I was happy too. That doesn't happen very often when I read a book.

The musical aspect of the novel was a bonus too, because I actually knew and liked most of the songs mentioned. It was another connection to the story and Elise's character that I shared, making my enjoyment of the book even greater. Aside from a short lull in the middle when (spoiler alert) Elise and Char get together, this was an awesome book that I recommend to everyone.

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