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 – DJing.
But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?
This Book Will Speak to You
There’s so much that spoke to me when I read This Song Will Save Your Life. For this I loved it very, very dearly. It reminded me why I crave stories and why I can care so much about fictional people. Elise was my girl. She reminded me that I’m not alone and never have been. All that bullying I went through in high school, searching for acceptance, wanting to be someone — these aren’t alien experience to many of us. Despite that, resultant feelings of loneliness can be very overwhelming. This Song Will Save Your Life tapped into that psyche and spun a raw and engaging tale.
Fiction Mirroring Reality
Fantasy offers worlds to escape to. Contemporary mirrors our worlds back to us. This Song Will Save Your Life was an especially big mirror to me. It contained so much understanding towards someone living on the fringes and someone struggling with what is right versus what she wants. It was about trying to fit in without losing yourself. All these major themes, I’m sure, feature in everyone’s lives sooner or later. And to see that laid out on paper is an affirmation that you’re not alone. Others have felt the same way as you.
Elise’s voice was that of a wry realist. Those narrators are my favourite types. They say things straight without sugar-coating. Elise also embodied a level of madness that I think most of us possess, even if it never is enough to be diagnosed as a mental disorder. To me, her character contributed a lot to This Song Will Save Your Life, which in itself already was a very well thought-out book.
Let’s face it. A book about music starts with 5 stars for me. I dock points as I go along. Usually I measure a book against 3 stars and add or subtract. But music, art and sports bring out such passion in people, that they tend to make for the best kinds of contemporary books. The DJing pulsed right through the pages with this one. In fact, DJing is what a lot of Elise’s new life hinged on. Hence, the apt title, This Song Will Save Your Life. I’m glad I didn’t come across anything that marred my enjoyment of this book.