Release Date: 10th October 2013
Edition: UK proof, review copy
Other Titles by this Author: Mostly Good Girls, Past Perfect
A cult read for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Eleanor and Park.
All her life, Elise Dambowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, the dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. Then stumbles upon a warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time and finding her true passion – DJing.
An irresistible hope, heartbreak and the power of music to bring people together.
I’d heard murmurings of amazing things about Leila Sales’ latest for quite a while before I saw on Twitter that it would be released in the UK (cue excited squeaking) and I was more than happy to join in a hashtag contest to win a proof. So glad I did!
As expected, This Song Will Save Your Life has a strong musical current that I adored. Music has become a really big part of my life in the last few years and the connection to it that Elise feels is something I completely understood. The pure love she has for Start and DJing once she gets stuck in and makes some friends made me insanely jealous and I just want something like that. So badly. I did feel a little ashamed that I only knew of the music Elise loved and didn’t properly know it. Thank Thor for the playlist in the back of the novel!
There was a lot more to This Song Will Save Your Life than I expected there to be. I didn't expect Elise to be so genuinely messed up. She’s not just a school misfit who’s actually secretly cool and pretty and perfect; she has issues at home, at school and with herself. They run deep and serious and come across as genuine, especially as Elise analyses her own behaviour and it completely honest about it. The family situation of moving between two houses during each week was surprising but really added an interesting, and essential to the plot, element to the novel.
I finished This Song Will Save Your Life feeling hopeful and empowered by Elise and Leila Sales’ departing message: you should only ever be yourself, trying to be anyone else is a disservice to your awesomeness and individuality because one day, you’ll find your place. It’s a message that crops up fairly often in YA, but it really packed a punch this time. It’s a thought that keeps you above the surface during the hard times and even now, at 21 (which made me feel old after Elise found her thing at 16), I want to believe that I’ll find my place, or at least a new one.
I’d honestly go as far as to say that This Song Will Save Your Life is a life-affirming ode to the power of music and friendship. Wonderful.
Thanks to Macmillan for the review copy.