Review: This Song Will Save Your Life
Released by Pan Macmillan on 17 September 2013
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 had heard a lot of people saying good things about this book, so though normally I don’t read contemporary books that quickly, I bought it at TBD near the end of last year. It took a while to arrive (some problems with my first copy being lost in the mail and an email that didn’t arrive), but when I did get it, I started it immediately.
I immediately found myself relating to Elise a lot. I had had a similar youth, it was difficult for me to fit in, and every time I did fit in, something would go wrong and I would have to start all over again. I did have some friends throughout the years, but I kept on losing them because of stupid fights, and I never really thought they were ‘real’ friends.
And like Elise, the thing that kept me going was music. I am not an awesome DJ like Elise is, but I found some bands that were (and still are) amazing and through those bands I met new people, some of which I am still friends with right now. I could safely say that those bands saved my life.
I hated almost all of the characters (apart from the people at Start, and Elise’s family of course), because they all reminded me of people from my high school. The fact that the principal (or vice-principal) acted all like there wasn’t really much to do when Elise was being bullied, reminded me so much of the teachers at my schools.
The story was very well written, I really wanted to keep on reading and reading, but ended up having to stop myself because I needed sleep.
I do want to give everyone a slight trigger warning, though. View Spoiler »Because at the beginning of the book, Elise decides that she wants to kill herself, so she goes home and cuts herself with a scalpel. « Hide Spoiler
The end of this book just made me really happy, because after all those bad things, Elise finally had some things to smile about, she finally found things worth living for. And so did I.
I definitely recommend it to anyone, because it’s just a really good book!