This Song Will Save Your Life

Sales, Leila. This Song Will Save Your Life. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2013. Print. ISBN 13: 9780374351380. Hardback. $17.99.

Annotation: Elise Dembowski is just trying to get through high school – and it isn’t going well. The only constant in her life is her love of music – how the right song can affect you at the right time – and finding the perfect song is her talent, she’s hoping that’s enough to change her life.

***

“I believe that a person’s taste in music tells you a lot about them. In some cases, it tells you everything you need to know.”

Meet Elise Dembowski: she’s fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, her parents are divorced, she loves good music, and she’s unpopular.

Very very unpopular.

The summer after freshman year Elise trains herself to become popular. She reads all of the trendy magazines, watches the mainstream movies, and buys new clothes (headbands are back, by the way). But it’s not enough. A disastrous first day of school proves to be the last straw and Elise gives up. On popularity. On herself. On life.

As Elise is recovering from her breaking point, she has a chance encounter with an underground dance club called Start where she is introduced to a few people who will change the course of her future. Music had always been an important part of Elise’s life but once she begins learning the ropes of DJing from Start’s best, Elise gains a new appreciation for the power that music holds.

She also begins to gain a new appreciation for herself and the things she is capable of accomplishing. Those mean girls at school don’t seem half as intimidating to a girl who guest DJs at an exclusive dance club. But as Elise’s big debut looms near, her world begins to shatter. It seems almost impossible for Elise to get what she wants without hurting her family and the few real friends she has.

***

Jam like Elise: Here’s a playlist dedicated to Elise- “These Songs Will Save Your Life.

Snack like Elise: Have a banana. Potassium is good for you.

Quotables: “You can’t tell me that my feelings are overwrought or absurd. You don’t know. They are my feelings.” (pg 22)

“Sometimes people think they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.” (pg 241)

★ This Song Will Save Your Life is on the YALSA list of Best Fiction for Young Adults (2014).

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YOUR OPTIONS: This Song Will Save Your Life is available in print, eBook, and CD audio formats.

Anastasia Vito © 2014

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