Formerly 'The Mile Long Bookshelf'

Thursday, 12 February 2015

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Published by: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication date: 10th October 2013
Pages: 288
Genres: Young Adult/Contemporary/Romance/Coming-of-age/Bullying
Format: Paperback
Source: Gift.

All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last – but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. Then she stumbles upon a secret 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 – DJ'ing.

But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?

Everyone I know loves this book. The hype surrounding it went on for months, and I was a bit apprehensive to read it because of that. Now, just over a year since it was published, I've finally decided to give it a try.

My first impressions weren't great. Now, I don't think I've ever DNF'd a book, but the first half of this one is so extremely slow that I actually found myself wanting to give up several times. But I pushed through and it got better, thankfully.

I began to love the characters, especially Elise and Vicky. After a while, people in YA blur together because a lot of them tend to share the same traits. This Song Will Save Your Life was a breath of fresh air in the way that everyone is so different and none of them seemed to conform to YA stereotypes. I'm hoping the bluntly realistic and honest portrayal of teenagers carries over into Sales' other books.

Something I liked about Elise, especially, is that she got through the bullying by having a secret hobby. When I was getting bullied at school, literally no one - not even my friends, at the time - knew that I had a blog with a few thousand followers who actually took the time to see what was going on in my life. And no one knew that Elise was a secret DJ with thousands of fans who loved dancing the night away to her music. Blogging helped me like DJ'ing helped Elise, and that was nice to see.

Despite all of that, I still found myself getting bored in places and reading just to get to the end rather than reading it for enjoyment. Yes, there were parts I loved, was lacking a lot. However, I will be trying Sales' next book when it comes out because it sounds interesting, and I'm hoping I'll enjoy it more. It's about a person who stalks a blogger, so I have a feeling it'll be slightly terrifying, and maybe a bit close to home, but I really want to check it out.

Do I recommend this book? Not really, no. While there were some parts that I liked, overall it wasn't anything spectacularly mindblowing. Saying that, I've only ever seen positive reviews of this book so maybe that's just me!


  1. Sorry you didn't love it Amber! I haven't read this one yet either. (I really need to get on that hype train and pick it up but I haven't found time yet) It sounds like the MC is pretty relatable, but it sucks that the beginning is that slow. :/ Maybe it won't hurt if I put this one off a bit longer. Great review!

  2. I haven't read this yet but maybe if my library gets it in I'll read it. I don't like it when books have slow pacing, so it'll be interesting to see if I enjoy this or not. Lovely review! :)

  3. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who didn't love this. I read this back in October and rated it 3.5 stars, which was a shame because a lot of people really enjoy this book and I thought it would suit my taste.
    Don't get me wrong, it was a really interesting book, but there were parts that definitely dragged and that took away the good pacing of this.

  4. I had a lot of the same issues as you, Amber. Although it was a good story, it felt like it was trundling along and I kept reading the same pages over and over because I wasn't paying any attention :( I'm also sorry you were bullied - so was I - people are awful, but some people are amazing. The amazing outweigh the awful and you've definitely not let it stop you from being the AWESOME person you are today :)
    Fab review as always, love, and sorry I haven't commented in a while :(


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