Book Review: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your LifeTitle: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Series:  ~
Pages:  288
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 10th October 2013
Source: For review from publisher*
Synopsis from Goodreads:  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?

An irresistible novel about hope, heartbreak and the power of music to bring people together.

My Thoughts:
When I first heard about This Song Will Save Your Life, I must admit, I was unsure that it would be my cup of tea. In the end I gave it a read because so many people had recommended it and said it was good, and also because I was lucky enough to meet the author at the MyKindaBook launch party back in November and she was super lovely so I thought I'd give it a try. I didn't have any expectations and I kept very open-minded, and I'm happy to say that actually it surprised me how much I liked it. I started it just before bed one evening, planning only to read a few pages, and then ended up reading over 100. Definitely the sign of a good book though!

I really love music. I love listening to music, and I have a very eclectic taste, and I really love playing the flute and piano too. Music is definitely a big part of my life, but despite this, The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr is the only book that springs to mind that is about music that I've really loved recently. So, as This Song Will Save Your Life is not about classical music (as TLV is), it was very new and fresh for me, which I think helped me to enjoy it even more.

I think I liked Elise, at least towards the end. She doesn't fit in at school because she's different, and while I could understand and sympathise with her wanting at least a little attention from someone kind, it was very difficult to relate to her. However I do think that she was very authentic and hats off to Leila for being able to write her so. I think the issue of suicide and bullying was handled extremely well and it was sensitive but also powerful, which was good. This book is definitely character driven, and Elise's development was really great to read about. I admired her dedication and motivation, and the self assuredness that she managed to find at the end of the book was really uplifting. Of course, she makes her mistakes but that only serves to strengthen her, which was also really great to read.

Now, I don't like drinking or dancing so a nightclub is my idea of a nightmare (and I can sort of say that now that I have been to my first house party (I remained 100% sober, might I just add)), yet I actually really want to go to Start. It was just so much fun to read about and it lifted Elise's spirits so much that it seems like such a great place to be, where people are not judgmental and you can be your own person, and I am SO in favour of that. That was one thing I did not expect to come out of reading this book, so that was a surprise! A good one, though (and also one that I probably won't carry out).

Overall, This Song Will Save Your Life was a really great book. When I got the chance to read it around my school work, it didn't take me long to get through it because it's so excellently written that you can read quite happily for an hour without noticing the time passing. I most heartily recommend that you give it a read as soon as possible! You won't be disappointed.


  1. I've been hankering to read this book and after reading your review, I'm really going to push this up on my TBB list. Thanks for the review!

  2. YAY! I'm so so so glad you liked it. This book is one of my favourites. Great review :)

  3. I'm glad I decided to read this straight away because I thought it was awesome! Eleanor and Park has a lot of music references in it as well, though more 80s stuff. Fab review!


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