This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales, pub September 2013, 228 pg.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Being a teenager in this day and age is tough. Modern teens face pressure from parents to think or behave a certain way. They’re under pressure from teachers to achieve particular grades or complete particular goals. They also face pressure from their peers to conform to certain ideals and are often teased for being different. Understanding and being proud of his or her unique talents can be hard for a teenager, and that’s exactly the issue that author Leila Sales takes on in her latest novel, This Song Will Save Your Life.
Elise Dembowski loves projects and often dedicates her summers to learning a particular skill. The summer before she starts her sophomore year of high school, she devotes herself to learning how to be cool. After years of being teased for acting and thinking differently than the other kids at her school, she is determined to make friends and be “normal.” On her first day back at school, her plan backfires, and Elise gives up. When she happens across an underground dance club called Start, she finally finds a place where she fits in and begins to learn that what makes her different might not be such a bad thing.
This Song Will Save Your Life is an amazing and poignant novel about feeling like you don’t fit. It deals with many issues teens are faced with today, including bullying, divorce, and depressive or suicidal issues. Elise has always been an outcast at school, and the other kids remind her of it daily. Through her experiences, you really get to see the horrors of being bullied and how it can drive someone to take drastic action.
On the other side of things, this book is extremely uplifting. Everyone can relate to the feeling of being alone or not having anyone to count on or share your secrets with, and Elise is the perfect example of how terrible that feeling is. So, even though her story is full of ups and downs, when things are going right for her, you can’t help but smile and feel happy. Because even though she’s just a fictional character, she’s someone you can relate to and really feel for.
Many literature critics rant about YA lit because many times, the characters’ parents aren’t present. That’s not the case in This Song Will Save Your Life. Elise’s parents are a constant throughout the story. Instead of being shadows in the background like many YA parents, Elise’s mom and dad are there to support her when she’s struggling, show her that they care about her and punish her when she’s done something wrong.
Some of the most entertaining scenes in the book take place at Start, an underground night club. READ THE FULL REVIEW AT THE DAILY QUIRK!