Author: Leila Sales
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Publish Date: September 17, 2013
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult
Rating: 3/5 Stars
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.
While I did enjoy this book, I didn't adore it as much as everyone else seemed to. There are a few main reasons I could probably pinpoint for this, the main one being that I had just finished reading both Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door (because let's face it - anything you read right after those two books isn't going to be as good). But there are a few other, less obvious reasons that have more to do with the novel itself.
I didn't connect with this book. Not because of the characters and what they did in the story, but more because I didn't feel like I knew them - except for Elise, that is. Other than the main character, they weren't very in-depth. Simple, almost too simple. They were only there to help with the plot, and that made it harder for me to enjoy the book. The most important aspect of a book (for me) is well-written characters, so when they're only mediocre it's affects my overall feeling towards it.
The story is told in flashbacks, or at least it sounds like it is. It's pretty vague on detail, which made it seem sort of dreamlike. Almost like bird's eye view. This is good for some books, but I don't think it suited this story very well. I feel like I would have gotten the full effect if it had sounded more present and in action (not that this is a particularly action-packed book - sorry I worded that so weirdly).
I loved the uniqueness of it, though. I've never read a book that involves DJing, ever. Never even heard of one. And it was brutally honest about life and the way high school can be, which I loved. Some books just sugarcoat it, or pretend that high school is this happy-go-lucky place, but it's not. Leila Sales wrote this book so in tune with reality it was almost scary.
Overall, this book was not what I expected in both good and bad ways. I would recommend this only if you're a contemporary fan, otherwise you may not enjoy it as much.