This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your LifeThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Published by: Farrar Straus and Giroux on September 17, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Music
Pages: 288
Source: BookExpo America
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★★★

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.

Wow! This Song Will Save Your Life was such a powerful book! I have to admit, it had so much more depth to it than I ever imagined. I mean… so many plot summaries out there say things like this:

Invalid book: 0 is a super amazing book about identity and friendship and the power of [noun] to bring people together!

But how many times is that actually true? Usually it’s a bit of an exaggeration (at least to me), and I rarely connect with the book that much. This was so not the case with This Song Will Save Your Life!. This book did make me feel. It was about identity and friendship. And music truly did bring people together in that happy tears kind of way.

This Song Will Save Your Life starts off about bullying. Not just bullying, but a bit of depression, suicide, and struggling to get through high school. I really felt for Elise! It’s been a long time since I really and truly connected with a character. She made me feel ALL THE FEELS! She’s kind of the invisible, sometimes-bullied girl in high school. She doesn’t have any friends and certainly isn’t “popular”. Even when she did make friends, they weren’t really friends. They were the people you can sit with at lunch and have “filler” conversations with, but they weren’t that awesome BFF-type friends. I totally got that!!

I wasn’t bullied in high school, but I had the hardest time making friends. My problem was that I was picky. I didn’t just want any friend.. I wanted a friend who was like my soul sister.. someone who loved to read and loved video games, but could also still chat about boys and just whatever! I swear no one like that existed at my high school X_X And I didn’t want to have “fake”, “filler” friendships with people who weren’t interested in the same things I was. UGH! Anyway.. I totally got where Elise was coming from. She just wanted a BFF! Is that too much to ask for? Certainly not!

And I love how music was the thing that really changed Elise’s life. She stumbled upon music and friends totally accidentally, but they ended up grounding her and rocking her world.

There was kind of a meh half romance in This Song Will Save Your Life but it’s not really prominent enough to warrant talking about it in depth. I kind of wrote it off as a bad “let’s learn from this experience” romance. Lol. It was a bit of a bummer to not have a solid romance because I like having romance in everything I read, but the rest of the book was phenomenal so I’ll let it slide!

I definitely recommend This Song Will Save Your Life if you’re into books about fitting in and just making your way through the horrors of high school! Plus.. music. Music! Any music fans will love this! It’s so easy to breeze right through this book and it will keep you interested every step of the way.

The Verdict


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  1. I totally get that. I was bullied a lot in school. Grade school and high school. And I had a few of those ‘filler’ friends, but never a real BFF or a friend that also loved reading for that matter. So yeah, I get that. I think many people that love reading do. Until I found Goodreads and this book blogging community, I was sure I was the only one who loved reading so much. 🙂

    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted: {Book Blast} The Earth Dwellers by David Estes
  2. I want to read this one so badly!! I hadn’t read many bloggers’ reviews on it, so this is just awesome. ^_^ I’m a huge music fan too, plus I love a good high school contemporary. I really love it when books are deep too, not just “skim fluff off the top and have a good time” (though that has it’s awesomeness too). Yay for awesome books!

  3. Aww it would have been nice if the romance had been as good as the rest of the book! But other than the romance, the book sounds incredible! It sounds very realistic- I love it when you can really relate to the main character. And I’ve read so many other raving reviews of this, I might just have to buy it when it comes out 😀

  4. “They were the people you can sit with at lunch and have “filler” conversations with, but they weren’t that awesome BFF-type friends. I totally got that!!”

    THIS! I can totally relate, I always wanted a BFF but never have I been able to consider a friend a BFF simply because I don’t know if they would consider me one.

    Aw about the romance 🙁 But I love the focus on music, so glad you enjoyed this too Ashley! Not regretting preordering this at all haha

  5. I’m so happy that you loved this one so much! I think I liked this one a little less because the side characters felt a little off for me, but I was also in the middle of a book slump so I think that’s why I didn’t like it as much as you did, but I’m really happy that you found the premise of her needing to find friends so relatable! I definitely could relate to that, since so far I’ve always had trouble finding that perfect friend. Also, the fact that the whole book was so powerful and moving for you is fantastic.

    Fantastic review, Ashley! <33

    Eileen @ Singing and Reading in the Rain recently posted: Rogue by Gina Damico
  6. Oh this darn book. It made me cry so much and laugh and cry when I was laughing. I WAS bullied in elementary school (something I opened up on my blog about recently) and this book inspired me to talk about my experiences. Leila really created a totally genuine character in Elise, I think.

    The romance bugged me SO much. I was really happy with the way it all turned out, and I think it needed to happen for Elise to change but it was very irritating!

  7. I’m waiting on this book at the moment. What a great review! So simple and through but doesn’t give away anything to us :D. When I first came across this book I was quite excited, it’s not much that we see music play a big part in books nowadays unless of course it’s country or the main love interest in a “rock star”.

    I totally get where you’re coming from too about being picky about friendships and just wanting to find that bestfriend who is our mirrored self. I think it’s almost like finding our Prince Charming.


    Georgie @ What She Reads recently posted: SPOTLIGHT: TEARS OF TESS
  8. I totally agree that this really was a very powerful book! I was never bullied in school, but I couldn’t and still can’t stand bullying at all. I remember getting in a fight when I stood up for my cousin when someone said something about her so this book really brought out that protective vibe in me…I just wanted to jump in the book and take up for Elise.

    Great review!

    Christy @ Christy's Book Addiction recently posted: CBA Discussion | How Do You Blog?
  9. I really enjoyed this one too! I was surprised by how much I could relate to what Elise felt; not only because we have been through a few of the same things, but because she is written with a lot of depth and sensibility.
    Loved your review, too!

  10. I haven’t heard much about this one but I’m going to add it to my TBR because your review makes it sound so good! I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to relate to Elise but I’ll give it a try. I love book with romances too, but I don’t mind the occasional one that doesn’t have one. I’d rather have it left out entirely than be half-hearted.

  11. I agree – this was such an unexpectedly amazing read! I could really connect with Elise as well, though what she want through was a lot more worse than what I have, and YES. The music. Usually I’m not a fan of music/pop culture in books, but it worked so well in this one, and I loved how the author put her own personal spin on it by including DJ’ing, something we don’t usually see in YA books. So glad you loved this, Ashley, and great review!

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