This Song Will Save Your Life
10th October 2013
Macmillan Children's Books
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.
It was probably kind of inevitable that I was going to love This Song Will Save Your Life. I love contemporary books, and I love them even more when they're about music and I love them even even more when they're about the kind of music that I like, and when that music is saving people's lives. So yeah. There was no way I was not going to like this book.
This Song Will Save Your Life did surprise me sometimes, though. I won't go into massive detail because I don't want to spoil it (not that there are loads of major twists and stuff to spoil because there isn't really, but I want to keep the mystery alive so that you all pick this book up and read it). I really liked the romance aspect to this book, because it wasn't like the romance I'm used to in contemporary (not a criticism on other contemps, by the way. I love that stuff) probably because it was less about a boy than it was about the music and DJing and Elise learning to love herself for who she is than constantly trying to change herself into someone she isn't and someone who she struggles to pretend to be.
I really loved Elise. There will probably be people who don't like her, but I feel like a lot of the people who read this book will be the sort of people who can see where Elise is coming from and relate to her a lot. She's a girl who doesn't fit, who hasn't ever really fit in and when we meet her at the start of the book, she's been trying really hard over the summer to sort of tone herself down and change herself to try and fit in a little bit. Her attempts don't really work, though, and she's sort of in a kind of dark place. All she really wants is a friend, which, after a while, she does sort of find at school in these two girls called Sally and Chava who are less popular than she is (I sort of love Sally and Chava). Really, though, all the action starts when she first comes across Start, an Indie nightclub during a walk in the middle of the night. It is here that she meets Vicky, and where she starts to figure out that she really loves DJing.
So yeah, I really liked her growth as a character. It's a personal journey that I think a lot of people can relate to, even if it wasn't exactly the same as Elise's. She was just really real and I was so happy for her by the end. And I really loved Vicky and Mel, too. Vicky is one of the girls that Elise meets at Start who is in a really great band called the Dirty Curtains (who I want to be a real band) and who becomes friends with Elise and their friendship is great and she's awesome. And Mel is the bouncer at start. He is also awesome. The only characters I didn't really like were Pippa and Char, but they were still really great characters, and they were all so real.
I can't really explain what else I loved about this book, I just really, really did love it. It was probably just the music thing (and I really, really do love books about music. Really. Please write loads of them. All the time.) But it just really struck a chord with me (pun totally intended) and it was just what I needed to read and I kind of want there to be a film of it because how great would that soundtrack be. Seriously, that soundtrack would be awesome.
Yeah. So, I don't know if I quite got the message across, but This Song Will Safe Your Life is pretty much the perfect book for me, and I hope it's the perfect book for you too. It's great. The music in it is great. The characters are great. I know nothing about DJing, but that was great too. It's just a good book. I'm going to go and read Leila Sales's other books now.