Wednesday, 4 February 2015

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

Goodreads Description:

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.

Title: This Song Will Save Your Life
Author: Leila Sales
Genre: Contemporary, Coming of Age, Romance
Format: Paperback
Pages: 288 pages
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books (UK)
Source: Purchased from Popular Bookshop

Everyone need to read this book as it can save lives!

This was an therapeutic yet emotional roller coaster ride!! More emotional than I expected! But its also very realistic.
warning: I get a bit personal and in this review

This book was powerful! Empowering! Positive and beautiful! Music lovers will love it to bits. I can feel the energy and adrenaline just by reading this.

Ellis is an outcast. All she wants is a friend. Sadly no one likes her no matter how hard she try and is the target of being bullied. After stumbling upon a underground indie dance club she finds her love for music and passion for DJing.

Trough the book she matures in confident and finds empowerment as she looses herself to the music as well as find herself and be comfortable with who she really is. Long story short this is a story of her fitting in at the same time finding her passion. 

Elise started as an emotionally broken character looking for a place to be accepted and as the book progresses we watch her grow and learn from her mistakes along the way. I really cared for her character trough the book and was freaking happy with her position at the end of the book.

She was a relatable character as she reminds me of how I was like in some of my primary and early secondary years. Her problem was that she cared too much about the world and not enough about herself.
Like Elise, I escaped to the music but instead of DJing, I had my piano. I love how the author describe Elise loosing herself and feeling empowered to DJing as that was how I felt whenever I played the piano. I feel confident with every song I mastered and I feel empowered when I flow with the emotions of the piece.  
She is empower with confidents and transformed to this kickass DJ as well as finds a place she finally belongs!
The cast of secondary characters were great especially Vicky, Mel and Char who helps Ellis and mentor her trough the book.

Vicky was a great friend, mentor and indirectly the 'older sister' figure for Ellis. I like how she uses her experience from High School and even college to help Ellis trough her issues.

I like the family element which was heavy. I also like reading about her parents. Though separated they are very involve with Ellis life. Elies younger half sibling was great to read about.
I was not a fan of the romance. Char mentors Ellis on DJing and was one of those friends turned romance relationship. It didn't worked for me as Char was a lot older than Elise and I didn’t see the chemistry between them.
The plot was fast paced and easy to read and while the book did started out emotional and depressing, it was not overwhelming. Also even though there were deep and dark themes like suiscide, self harming and bulling, it was not too heavy that was a turn off but it made me feel a lot of feels.
I not a fan of stories that talk heavily about self harming (especially fan fiction as they are freaking graphic) as one of those things where its against my morals but also my best friend used to self harm herself and it kind of scared me for life learning that such things.

Even so I love the messages in this book and how it handles bulling. It talks heavily on cyber bullying, emotionally bullied and bullying in general but it also talk about giving the power or opportunity to let people harm you which is something that I see a lot of books that have a heavy topic about bullying failed to talk about.
Since primary school I've been bullied in many ways and from including for my race to and for an odd reason the school I went to (I am not joking on this one though around this time I was more mature and learned to ignore the snobs). I've been there and learned a lot trough those times and if I could go back and redo it I would have just shake it off and not care about what the world thinks.

As someone who used to be bullied and witness a lot of bullying incidents, in some cases its not just the bullies fault but also the 'victim' as they give the opportunity to let the bullies 'attack them'.

I was one of those who let them.

Like Elise, there was a point where I let myself be vulnerable with a big 'hit me' sigh around my neck and let the bullies get the best of me (though this was in primary school and probably early secondary school. Looking back there were times I was too Na├»ve for my own good... 21 year old me is face palming thinking about this).

I was like Elise. For her it took her Start and DJing to mature and belong, for me it took my love for books, piano covers on youtube and the internet to find my myself and somewhere to belong (this my friend and dear readers is another story for another day I promise!).

Reading this brought back some memories that I wish I could shake off though back then I was a totally different person and it felt like it was once a life time ago. But then again that's life! We learned and mature from our mistakes to improve ourselves.

Overall great coming of age story about figuring who you are, your passion and somewhere to belong as well as not caring bout what others think.

This Song Will Save Your Life was emotionally, realistic and positive. Its not a pretty book with a cherry on top but its raw, honest and truthful about High School.

Music plays a big part in this book so here are some songs that I had stuck in my head when reading This Song Will Save Your Life  
Its hard to be your own best friend On The Outside Looking In
To those who are facing trough tough times or just need a bit of positive energy to boost you, keep your head up as things WILL get better.
Cause I'm Hopeful to take this music and use it to take me away.
Shake It Off and don't care about what others think.
Be Empowered. Be Confident. Be Brave
 Jump to the rhythm and dance to the music. 
Cause after all I REALLY DON'T CARE !

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