B O O K T R A I L E R:
High school is grueling, especially for kids who don't quite fit in and are bullied by their peers. In high school, this is a big deal. It can make or break you. It can shape your future. It can bolster your resolve...or destroy you.
For Elise, high school has become too much. After an unsuccessful attempt to kill herself, she's even more of a loner than usual. On top of that, she's unable to fully win back her family's trust. Also an insomniac, Elise often wanders the streets of her neighborhood at night after everyone's asleep. One night, she winds up in a shady part of a town and finds an underground club. That night changes her life. Here, she can be someone else. She can have friends. No one has to know how unpopular she is. Here, she can make music. Suddenly, life is looking up, and the world is one that Elise is proud to be living in.
THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is a story about getting through the tough times and never giving up. It's hard to be a loner, never quite fitting in with the majority of the crowd. Always labeled "different." Elise had her music to keep her grounded. Whether it's books, anime, skateboarding, what-have-you, a person can be deemed as "different." But that something can be a person's saving grace in a world where he or she is constantly alone. Without discovering the club and pairing her love of music with her natural ability to DJ, who knows what might have happened to Elise? Music pulled her out of depression, made her come alive, taught her how great it is to be in this world. That's a powerful message, and the core of this book.
While I didn't love Elise as a character, feeling she could be judgmental and pretentious despite belitting others for being this way, I respected her journey and how easy it was to root for her to overcome her obstacles in order to succeed. I also wasn't a fan of the "love interest," Char, but he's supposed to be a horrible character. I really like the fact that Leila Sales gave us an unsavory male lead and didn't sugarcoat it. Too many teen books have bad boyfriend figures that are overlooked or brushed off, and the couple always somehow manages to live happily ever after despite everything. Sorry, but you can't live happily ever after with some people, and Sales brings this to light. The book isn't about romance. Elise experiments a little, but never truly falls for Char, always knowing he could never be the one. I like this portrayal, and we don't see enough books with this slant in YA! THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE was slow for me to get through at times because I just didn't love the characters, but there was still a strong emotional core that was easy to get attached to. Personalities aside, I wanted Elise to succeed and evolve and bloom. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and find that one thing she was genuinely interested in. Finding her love of music truly saved her life, and that's such a powerful message. If everyone could find one thing to love and believe in to lift them up when times are bad, maybe we'd still have more beautiful souls in this world than we do at the moment, with the teen suicide rate higher than ever in this age of social media.
Music is a huge part of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE. Leila Sales and Macmillan have worked together to create a playlist you can listen to right now!