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.Read more...
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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, Leila Sales' THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-07-22
- Reviewer: Staff
Elise has endured a lifetime of social isolation and bullying at school. Walking alone one night soon after a halfhearted suicide attempt, the 16-year-old inadvertently ends up at an underground nightclub. There, an aspiring musician befriends her, and she catches the eye of Char, a cute DJ who agrees to teach her to mix music. But as talented, driven Elise spends more nights sneaking out to learn how to DJ (and kiss Char), her double life spins out of control. Elise is a complex, well-drawn character, and it’s easy to relate to her sense of feeling like an outsider (“There are so many rules that you don’t know, and no matter how much you study, you can’t learn them all”). Sales (Past Perfect) fills her third YA novel with honest insights about high school’s cruel politics, tender conversations between Elise and her equally struggling parents, and visceral descriptions of life as a DJ: “It felt like invisible veins and arteries ran between me and every person in that room, communicating information between us instantly and noiselessly.” Ages 12–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Foundry Literary + Media. (Sept.)
A misfit DJ's second chance
After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, 16-year-old Elise Dembowski realized she never really wanted to die; she just wanted to be noticed. Change seems impossible when the popular kids speak in a code she can’t crack; she’s often a little precocious when the world embraces ordinary; and a bully writes a fake blog in her name, making the school think she is unapproachable and suicidal again. However, when Elise accidentally discovers an underground dance party called Start, big changes happen when she least expects it.
In a voice that ranges from honest and heartbreaking to witty and hopeful, Elise relates her weekly secret escapes to Start, where she encounters Vicky and Pippa, her first friends, and DJ Char, who shares her first kiss (and more). Char and Elise also share a passion for music, and with Char’s help, Elise may become Start’s newest and hottest DJ. With song lyrics kicking off each chapter and heart-thumping descriptions, readers can almost hear the music in the background.
While being a DJ gives Elise her first sense of power, she uses the opportunity to find self-acceptance, to reconnect with her divorced parents and to look for the positive in her classmates. Her experiences will encourage young adults to find their own power and aspire for the extraordinary. Of course, they’ll also be inspired to download all the classic hits that make this novel rock on. This Song Will Save Your Life is for anyone who’s ever felt alone and just wanted to fit in. And who hasn’t?