Tuesday, January 21, 2014

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

This Song Will Save Your Life
by Leila Sales

Genre: YA, contemporary
Published September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Source: Traded with Chyna
Local purchase: Fullybooked * National Bookstore

Blurb (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.

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.

My Thoughts:

Have you ever been bullied? Ignored? Avoided? Laughed at? Felt unloved and unwanted? Felt so wrong even if you're doing right? Elise Dembowski's been experiencing it all, that makes high school so hard for her. Apart from the obvious fact that this book is music-related, the 'making friends has never been a strong suit' and 'outsider' lines got me. From the little blurb alone, I can already relate to the book. So when I open the book, read the first chapter, I feel like I was reading my own life.

"You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not." Said the first two lines of the first chapter, followed by the story of being an outcast and unpopular, and trying to change to fit in life of the main character, Elise. It should be an easy read. I mean, it is, but it comes off emotional and realistic that I feel like nodding while reading. Like I understand what she's going through and makes me want to reach out to her and make her feel she's not alone, and she's not the only one. I've been bullied, yes (mostly through words), but not like she was bullied. I've also been ignored, avoided, unwanted, and sometimes, I even felt unloved. I've grown up used to being alone and doing things alone. The result, I felt more comfortable and myself when I actually do things alone. I even think I read more than talk in my life. I was fine being alone. My mind was set that I don't really care and it doesn't really matter if people won't like me or talk to me or just understand that I'm not like them. I don't care anymore, so I let it. Don't be silly, of course I have friends too! I'm like a normal person too, but there are just times that when I'd rather be alone or less loud, I would, and those times, other people won't get it. Some thinks I'm shy, I am, but that's not the very reason. Maybe other thinks I'm weird, but I don't care because I know I'm not. It's just that there's this part of me that people might not get, but I will never change just so people would like me. I would be fooling myself if I do. Anyways, someone told me things that made me feel more self-assured, to try to be more confident, and learn to improve as a better person. Even though I'm taking steps, I can relate to the story of Elise.

There are things in this book that Elise did that would make her look like mean, and I did think of her that. But there are also things she did that are understandable. For example, placing what kind of the person in front her is, and what does he/she wants. For a girl used to being ignored and bullied, it is normal for her to doubt the person who's actually talking to her and being nice to her. She'd assess if that person really wants to talk to her or just wanted something from her. The first half of the book is strong, but the fire that started to build weakened on the 3/4, but been back on the last part. I would appreciate it more if the fire blazed spontaneously.

I liked how Elise found herself in DJing. There are people who've always known what they want to do--what they're life is, but there are also people who's keep on searching. Searching even they're not finding something but they still do, and when they found it, they live with it. It becomes them. That's how I saw Elise. She's not the unpopular girl anymore. She's the music. She's the DJ. And she owns the crowd. That moment made me proud of her. I also liked how/where the title came from. I read it past the middle of the book, and I liked how the author thought about it.

Leila Sales wrote a story of an unwanted teenage girl, a girl who seeks place in this world, and she wrote it in a realistic way. This Song Will Save Your Life is not only relate-able, but also fun to read. This book is as colorful as the dancing lights and the emotions are palpable as the beat of the music pumping on a club. On Start (the club in this book was called). This Song Will Save Your Life is a book dear to me, it found home in my life, and I hope it would also find to yours too.



  1. I read this one a while back and absolutely fell in love with it! I found it so easy to relate to Elise and what she was going through. This was one of my favorite books of 2013, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

    1. Yay, I'm glad you enjoyed it too! I was so lucky to get a copy of this!

  2. I was initially turned off because of the aspect of DJ-ing as it wasn't really a world I was familiar with but seeing your review makes me want to read this book right now! Great review! :)

    1. Thanks, Kayla! :)

      I wasn't familiar with DJ-ing, either, but why not try? So I tried, and it turned out fine. Cool, even. Makes me wanna try DJ-ing as well. XD

  3. Reading the review just touches my heart... I've been bullied a lot throughout my life in different forms. The thing is half of the people who bullied me did it because it was fun for them. They didn't realize how bad words can hurt. I am addicted to reading, i have difficulty with speech and am very shy at first. I Love the TITLE.. absolutely LOVED it!!


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