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.
This Song Will Save Your Life was an interesting read with a great message. Though I loved the message and honesty of the book, I wish there would have been more uniqueness in the writing, character, and sometimes, in the plot. The writing did not hit me as exceptional, but neither did I have a problem with it. Elise, on the other hand, I felt like I had met a thousand times. Not in her music obsession, it was much stronger than the majority of characters in Young Adult novels, as the book practically revolves around it (which you can probably assume by the title) but in how she acted, she definitely felt familiar to me.
Elise just wanted to have attention. Isn’t that what most teenagers want? We all want to feel loved, and we all want to feel appreciated. That was why, though my heart did ache for Elise, I felt like it was too familiar. She didn’t have any weird quirks, she wasn’t funny, she wasn’t serious, she was just...Elise. (Which maybe was the point, but I always like defining characteristics in a character.) The beginning made sure to make a point of this by taking a while (maybe a little bit longer than I would have liked) expressing this fact. And I don't mean to be insensitive by saying this. I know that it is hard to be bullied in school, but in this book I was definitely striving for her to find what she was really destined for, and to find acceptance in herself.
There were, however, some aspects that I really liked about this book. For the first thing, I loved the message. That message being that only you really know who you are, and you need to love and accept yourself. And then, after you have learned to do this, other people will, too. It is a message I believe we have all been told at least once before, but it’s one of those things we should be reminded of constantly.
Another thing that I did like about This Song Will Save Your Life was the brutal honesty of it. There were pieces of the book that you really didn’t appreciate happening, but at the same time it was a lot closer to reality than what you wanted to happen. For the sake of not giving spoilers, I will just leave it at that.
In conclusion, I give This Song Will Save Your Life three stars because it was worth the read, but I don’t put it among my favorites.