Monday, January 16, 2017

REVIEW: This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

GENRE: Young Adult, Contemporary | BUY: Amazon  | SOURCE: Bought

The hardest books for me to read are the ones with main characters that I can really relate to. The problem with This Song Will Save Your Life was I didn't just relate to Elise but I saw myself in her. I understood her loneliness. I understood her disappointment that her "friends" didn't get her. I felt like Leila Sales had written me in the story. 

Elise has decided that her sophomore year of high school is going to be different. To achieve this she has rigorously studied all things "cool". She has read all the cool magazines, knows all the celebrity news and even bought new clothes. Sadly, this doesn't work. She's still the same Elise. She comes to a stark realization, no matter how hard you try you can't change who you are.

"You think it's so easy to change yourself, but it's impossible." 

Unlike Elise I did have friends. Or rather I had friends when I started high school but then really only had one friend-- a best friend-- and everyone else was really became an acquaintance later on. So I understood Elise's loneliness. I understood how alone she felt. All Elise wants to do is relate to her peers. Which is why she studied all things cool. Even later on when she gets friends, she still doesn't feel like they understand her. This is where I related so well to her. 

A majority of people I meet my age are into drinking until they can't see straight. But that has never been my scene. I don't want to get drunk and have a hangover at work the next day. Every Monday my co-worker asks if I finally got wasted and every Monday I always reply no. It's just not something I see as fun. I would much rather go see Catching Fire for the umpteenth time, talk to you all about books or binge watch tv than going out and getting drunk. Because of this, I am considered an anomaly to my co-workers and even most times to my family. 

Aside from Elise, we have amazing fleshed out secondary characters such as Vicky, Pippa and Elise's parents. Vicky was fun. I loved that even though she was vivacious she is still revealed to have problems. Even Pippa the English beauty had problems. They each had their own issues and it was refreshing to see. There is a light romance in this book but really a majority of the novel is Elise finding out who she is. 

“You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not. True, things don't stay the same forever: couches are replaced, boys leave, you discover a song, your body becomes forever scarred. And with each of these moments you change and change again, your true self spinning, shifting positions-- but always at last it returns to you, like a dancer on the floor. Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn't that - just you - enough?”

Leila Sales wrote a story that will stay with me for a long while. She has created a character that I think everyone --no matter what social status you had in high school--can relate to. I think everyone has at least once in their life felt like they weren't understood. Sales has written a phenomenal novel with depth, a great soundtrack and fleshed out characters. This will be book that I just know I will be pushing on everyone.


Have you read this book? What did you think about it? Let me know in the comments below!

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