Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, This Song Will Save Your Life is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
Just to warn you this review may contain mild spoilers.
This was a really good story about discovering a love of DJing. I’ve read a few books about music and famous musician characters but never read a book about DJing before, so this was quite a unique and unconventional plot and I like that! The first three chapters were a bit depressing and unbearable, which made me think ‘Ah I know I’m not going to like this…’ but as I carried on, the plot got better and I was actually finding myself enjoying it a lot! Unfortunately it wasn’t to last…*palm face*
Elise is a relatable character and the struggles she went through as a high school teenager felt very real and realistic. I felt empathy for her because we all know what it is like going to a new school and having this need to be social and puck up the courage to make new friends. Elise never had a close friend when she was little, not even one and I found that really sad. Everyone had at least one friend throughout their childhood, right? Not Elise. All she wanted was a good friend.
High School can be the happiest days of your lives, but it can also be horrible and hard. You question ‘how do I fit in?’ Trying to be someone you’re not does not always work the way you want it to. Elise wanted to fit in so bad that she brought cool clothes, read magazines and started listening to mainstream music. Did it work? No. This drove Elise to be suicidal, which she revealed was for attention. It’s just really sad that teenagers feel that suicide is the answer. It’s a common thing.
I liked Elise but then it ended at one point where she became very self-centered. Wrecking her half sister’s castle was out of order and callous, which proves my point. Her actions was very inconsiderate. Do you know what her excuse was? It was because Alex (her half-sister) needed to face reality. I didn’t like the way she used her mum’s place as an excuse to sneak out of the house to DJ and the way she said ‘daddy’ to get what she wanted.
I don’t know about you but I find it was mainstream to say ‘I love the Smiths’ or ‘I love the Cure.’ I just rolled my eyes when Elise mentioned it. Everyone loves the Smiths (apparently). Tell me something I don’t know. My favourite band or artist changes all the time, depending which album I am listening to. I would say my favourite Indie band is One Night Only, but I haven’t been listening to their music much lately. I love discovering new bands and artists because there is so much talent out there, which is why I never listen to the same band or artist for too long because I tend to get bored if I listen to it over and over again.
I appreciate the different music genres out there, but Elise, on the other hand, simply does not. What does that tell me? That she is extremely judgmental and she does belittle people. I don’t listen to pop music as much as I use to when I was younger because its just not my type of music anymore but I do find it catchy. Elise just slams mainstream music, saying its ‘stupid.’ Oh my god…this girl…seriously. I fail to believe that Elise becomes a top professional DJ for learning it for only two weeks! She’s even better than Char. I mean really. It’s very farfetched if you’d ask me.
The romance part of this story was very girl meets boy to begin with but it ended up being not clichéd at all, especially with the ending. I was surprised in a way because I expecting them to end up together. I felt like it was more than lust than love because I didn’t feel that they had chemistry; they only had DJing on common, but all in all the romance was handled quite well.
This review sounds like I didn’t like the book at all but I did like it. Elise just annoyed me greatly. I make this excuse for every character that annoys me – no one is perfect, we all make mistakes and that is what makes us human. She was flawed character but she did kind of redeem herself at the ending. The writing was good because through Elise’s voice as the first person-point-of-view, it does express a lot of emotion, especially how tough High School can be and finding where you belong. I am glad she made friends with Pippa and Vicky, as she never had true friends before. Everyone has a passion for at least something. DJing is something Elise genuinely loved and has a passion for – that part was very uplifting to read about. Sales must know a thing or two about DJing. Elise finally found her place in life – a reason to live and not to end her life. So I see the reason why the title of the book is called ‘This Song Will Save Your Life.’
I recommend if you like reading realistic stories.