“You think it’s so easy to change yourself.
You think it’s so easy, but it’s not.
What do you think it takes to reinvent yourself as an all-new person, a person who makes sense, who belongs? Do you change your clothes, your hair, your face? Go on, then. Do it. Pierce your ears, trim your fringe, buy a new bag. they will still see past that, see you, the girl who is still too scared, still too smart for her own good, still a beat behind, still, always, wrong. Change all you want; you can’t change that.
I know because I tried.”
Elise has always been unpopular. It was never questioned or denied by anyone in any school she has been too. She hoped starting middle school would change things; it didn’t. She hoped starting high school would change things; it didn’t. So the summer between Freshman and Sophmore years she reinvented herself, and the first day back she realised that even that doesn’t change things. She is at an all time low for the next few months, but then she discovers a secret warehouse party and there, she can be who she wants to be, she makes real friends for the first time in her life, gets the kiss she never thought she’d get and finds her true passion – dj-ing. She may just finally be happy with one part of her life.
I love music, its a passion and its got me through a lot in my life, so when I heard about This Song Will Save Your Life the blurb really resonated with me, and that was before I read the full story, the craziness of Elise’s life and just how alone she was. This book had my life written all over it and it is the closest I have ever felt to a main character in years.
The story is incredible, the way you feel about Elise from the start is powerful because she is just so messed up, she is so alone and so sad about it all. She wants to be happy but just like all 16 year olds she doesn’t really know the best way to go about becoming the person she wants to be but have people like her for it. The very start of the book honestly made me sad, really sad, Elise is so low and I could see why and how that felt and I’ve been there, to the point she was at. Its an awful place to be and its hard to read about it but I knew I had to keep reading, to see what happened and see where the story goes. It had its hard places, but it also had some great places and I loved how much Elise grew within the pages.
I loved the characters but I do think that guys came off a bit harshly in the book. I liked Char but he was a prick, though I did love Mel and Harry was a sweetie. I loved all the crew from Start and I really liked Elise’s parents and her family. They were all non-judgemental and though there were a couple of people not like that at Elise’s school, they didn’t come across as actual nice well-rounded people like those at Start or like Elise’s family. I honestly loved how well her parents in particular came across because it would have been very easy to make them part of the problem or overpowering, yet they werent and in all honesty they reminded me a bit of my own parents, wanting the best for their daughter and also wanting her to be happy.
The soundtrack to this book must be incredible and I will listen to it at some point because the songs alluded too and mentioned throughout the book were really my type of music. I love listening to all the stuff that Elise did including The Cure and The Smiths. I have spent a lot of time in clubs like Start and I could feel the atmosphere come back to me through Sales’ writing. Everything was just as I remember it from my clubbing days (which makes me sound old, I’m only 25 I promise!) and I’ve had those special moments that Elise has when you realise just how good life could be through music and friends.
I really did love this book, I thought a couple of the romance elements were a little predictable but I loved everything else and as they weren’t that important to the overall story I could live with that. The book reads so well and I think anyone with a passion for music will adore it, its well worth a read for anyone who loves contemporary YA though too!
This Song Will Save Your Life was published on October 10th by MacMillan Children’s books. My copy was sent to me from the publisher in exchange for an honest result.
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