Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Young Adult
Published by Farrar Straus and Giroux (9.17.2013)
Hardcover, 288 pages
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.
I’ve been hearing wonderful things about this book for some time now (especially from Nova!), but I’ve been hesitant to pick it up because I wasn’t sure it was going to be a “me” book. As it turns out, I was pleasantly surprised!
I absolutely loved the message this book had going for it. I love that Elise was sort of lost and alone, and in finding music she found herself. She also found herself without the aid of a guy. This is one of the first books I’ve read like that! I love that there was little to no romance, and she didn’t need a guy in her life to find meaning in it. I loved Elise’s voice and I was easily able to relate to her!
I was really impressed with Sales’ prose. It was very engaging, and I liked the hypothetical feel it sometimes had.
So what do you think I did? Did I go charging down the aisle of that bus, eyes ablaze, and demand that Jordan and Chuck return my iPod, because it did not belong to them, because they did not deserve to listen to the Cure under any circumstances, let alone under these? Did I use my righteous indignation to reclaim my iPod, and did I emerge from this struggle triumphant, with everyone else on the bus now cheering for me?
No. instead, I let them run to the back of the bus with my iPod. I let them go. And then I leaned my head against the window and I cried.
Does this seem weak to you? Could you have done better? Fine, by all means, do better. But you don’t understand this: sometimes when you are worn down, day after day, relentlessly, with no reprieve for years piled on years, sometimes you lose everything but the ability to cry.
I found this story to be very powerful. I personally have been through bullying in high school, and have been that person that sits all alone at lunch because I had no one. There were many scenes in this book that struck me to my core because I know exactly what it’s like. I had a deep connection to this story because of that. I have also had depression in the past.
Does this sound ridiculous and dramatic, to decide in the middle of a totally average school day that this life has gone on for long enough? Was I overreacting? Well, I’m sorry, but that is what I decided. You can’t tell me my feelings are overwrought or absurd. You don’t know. They are my feelings.
I love that quote. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard things like, “Well why are you depressed?” or “It’s not like your life is that bad” or anything else along those lines questioning my feelings. Unless you’ve been there, you have no idea. NONE.
Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.
That line. Is one of the single most powerful lines I have ever read. I can’t explain to you how much lines like this meant to me while I was reading this book. (Actually, this line made me cry.) I wish I had picked this book up a few months ago when I was struggling. I highly recommend this to anyone who is going through a difficult time or is battling some tough issues!
“I don’t believe that anyone who is a legitimately interesting person can be popular as a teenager,” Mel went on. “Or ever, maybe. Popularity rewards the uninteresting.”
You think it’s so easy to change yourself. You think it’s so easy, but it’s not. True, things don’t stay the same forever: couches are replaced, boys leave, you discover a song, your body becomes forever scarred. And with each of these moments you change and change again, your true self spinning, shifting positions – but always at last it returns to you, like a dancer on the floor. Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn’t that – just you – enough?
Writing style: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5