Author: Leila Sales
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: I actually had a very difficult time deciding on a rating for this book. The appeal of it is apparent. Elise is such a real teenage girl who is dealing with problems that many will experience in their life. Her voice is strong; you could feel her depression in her low points and you could feel her hopes in the high points. Her story is one of hope: it is the author reaching out to young girls like Elise to remind them to never give up. It takes time, but soon it can be possible to find something that you love and to be able to speak to others about the pain you feel inside. In that respect, I believe this book is a successful one. It was not the story of DJing that matters, it is the fact that this girl was able to find self-worth no matter how hard others would try to bring her down, and that was inspirational.
A detriment to this book, however, comes from the secondary characters. Most of them are important since their treatment of Elise pushes the paths she is forced to travel on. Yet while Elise is a character that develops the others in her life remain very one-dimensional. I saw no character development in Char, or Pippa, or any of the teenagers that Elise went to school with. Was this because the story was so focused on Elise that we were not allowed to see the growth of others? Or is this the author’s way of conveying her belief that people do not change? Also, I believe that the relationship subplot was weird. Something within that did not click or sit well with me no matter the point the author tried to make with it. Then, Elise’s transition into such an extraordinary DJ was a bit too quick to be believable, but what can you say?
Despite it all, I enjoyed this book and I read through it in one sitting. It is a story for any lost teen out there, and even for the ones who have managed to find themselves.