This Song Will Save Your Life: A Novel by Leila SalesThis Song Will Save Your Life: A Novel by Leila Sales

This Song Will Save Your Life: A Novel

byLeila Sales

Hardcover | September 17, 2013

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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, Leila Sales' THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.

Leila Sales is the author of the novels Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect. She grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Chicago. Much like the characters in This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila regularly stays up too late and listens to music too loud. When she's not wr...
Title:This Song Will Save Your Life: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 6.41 × 1.1 inPublished:September 17, 2013Publisher:Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr)Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0374351384

ISBN - 13:9780374351380


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really interesting! Trigger Warning for suicide and self harm This was super interesting, I've never read a book that involved music in this way. Elise grew up with old music, her Dad was in a band and as a result got to see a ton of shows where he performed and get exposed to some great music. Early in the book Elise stumbles across a warehouse party where she gets introduced to DJing and her life changes completely. I loved how the Smiths and the Cure were mentioned so much and the references to certain songs. There was also so much music that I had never heard before so I'm excited to check some of it out! Vicky was amazing and it was so nice to see Elise develop a strong female friendship with her after all of the general shittiness she experienced at school. When we start off Elise has no friends and is desperately trying to be liked. She grows so much over the story and I really enjoyed her character arc.
Date published: 2018-03-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique Narration I loved this novel because pf the topics it discussed, but the light way in which it did it.
Date published: 2017-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from good read! Really cool concept delivered beautifully with some awesome music references and girl power.
Date published: 2017-09-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from pretty good read I found this very relatable, reminded me of me when I was in middle school. I loved all the references to music, and bands, and the author did a good job of showing the character's frustrations but as a whole, this book wasn't the most amazing book i've ever read. still a good read though.
Date published: 2017-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This Song Will Save Your Life The emotional intensity drops off a bit in the middle, but otherwise it’s a really great story about a flawed girl figuring out where she belongs, and I adored Elise’s little sister. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-05-27
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I wanted to like it, but I didn't I got this book based off of the promising reviews, but it just did not deliver. The plot was predictable but that could be forgiven if it had been well written, and it wasn't. It wasn't horrible, just not worth a buy in my books.
Date published: 2017-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A crash course in how to be yourself Leila Sales is now on my radar in a significant way. Elise Dembowski reads as one of the most honest and relatable characters I've ever read. She confronts depression, suicidal thoughts, bullying, and self-loathing in an authentic and heart-breaking way. She immerses herself in the power of art, and she builds herself out of its joy. Sales's depiction of the workings of Elise's mind challenge the reader, holding a mirror to difficulties faced by so many. I read lines in this book that felt like lines I could have written myself as a teenager. The ending- despite its hopefulness- also felt genuine, and the events of the last few chapters highlight the importance of seeing yourself for who you are rather than how you are reflected in others. I wish so much that I could convince every young adult to read this book.
Date published: 2015-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE!! Elise.. The overachiever reminds me remarkably of me.. It’s hilarious that she wanted to win at everything because I am the same way. If I start a new hobby, I want to learn everything about it so I can master it. Elise is the same way and I love that. She also doesn’t know too much about social interactions, which is also something I don’t know too well of. Her insightful mind and view of herself and her world was just completely refreshing. Her demons were very similar to my demons and I’m certainly glad that she got through it. With the help of music and DJing, the title is completely literal and it saved her. I’m so wonderfully glad there’s a teen character who felt real. She’s not perfect at all, especially in the beginning when she attempts suicide. Some of the thoughts that she had felt realistic to someone who is going through depression. Being at such a low point in her life, you just wanted to hug her and tell her everything is going to be all right. Overall, a wonderful realistic read that you will definitely want to pick up. It’s just that great and AHH I WANT EVERYONE TO READ IT. It’s also the book that pretty much cemented me into enjoying contemporary.. *SHOCKED face*
Date published: 2014-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Just Amazing DJing is not something I know w lot about, and I will not pretend to know anything about. But I honestly think that we got a taste of it in this novel. I am not going to lie, when I saw the hype surrounding this book I was little skeptical, because hype almost always ruins books. And I didn't want to go into with super high expectations. But honestly I don't think it matter because I loved this book even more than I thought possible. Elise is not a character that I have read before, only because she is desperately honest with us the readers, and you don't see that very much. I loved that it was like Elise was talking directly to us, trying to get us to understand why she has done what had done. And I thought it was a refreshing way to look at the struggles of feeling lost, or in Elise's case normal. Elise's voice was desperate yet understandable. I did not think I would relate to her, especially after her "incident" but I did. I felt for her and the struggles she dealt with on a daily basis. I am a music junkie, so when I started reading and saw all the musical references I was ecstatic, and I thought it was a great way to get to know Elise, through her musical taste. And her get caught up in DJing was a bonus for me, because I learned so much about the culture and what so many people love it. Friendship was a very big part of this book, not only because it was so hard for Elise to have any, but because of how easily she fit into the scene and gravitated towards certain people. In that atmosphere Elise found herself, and I loved reading that. Although not everything was sunshine and rose, very far from actually, this story felt extremely real and heartfelt. At certain moments in the story I felt my fingers gripping the book so hard that I lost the feeling in the tips of my fingers. I was emotionally invested before I knew what hit me, and for me that is a sign of an amazing writer. This book is a must read for all contemporary lovers, and if you haven't had luck with this genre lately, this book will blow everything else out of the water. This book will change the way you look at the genre, and I guarantee you will compare all other books to this one. It was THAT good!
Date published: 2014-01-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Touching and heart wrenching with great music One weekend I took this book with me to the cottage. I only really pick up contemporaries in the summer, when I need something quick and fun to read while sitting outside – and a book about a girl who DJ’s at warehouse parties seemed to fit the bill. So I was surprised when I sat down with This Song Will Save Your Life and found myself completely engrossed in the touching, heart wrenching story of Elise Dembowski. Elise Dembowski is a pretty average high school student – which I’m sure most of you know isn’t easy. High school is hard and it can be lonely and in a desperate moment Elise found herself considering suicide. Thankfully she didn’t go through with it but now she needs to deal with the “what comes next.” I’ve read a lot of books about suicidal teens, but not a lot that deal with the aftermath. The recovery. In some ways Elise’s life has improved, her family is more attentive, she has a few people to eat lunch with. But she also has to deal with the stares, the gossip and a new website that’s popped up. I really liked that This Song Will Save Your Life provided a balance look at Elise’s life. It wasn’t unbearable all the time but it also wasn’t sunshine and rainbows now that she no longer wanted to take her life. In addition to recovery and survival, This Song Will Save Your Life is also about pursuing your dreams, regardless of what other people think. Even if you didn’t realize they were your dreams at first. Elise has always liked music but purely by accident she discovers the world of DJing. And she discovers that she’s good at it. I think we all have something like this and if makes you happy you should keep doing it! Even if it’s difficult – although sneaking out to a sketchy warehouse in the middle of the night is not generally something I recommend ;) I’m not sure this review did this book justice. It is more than just a light contemporary read with some great music references. This Song Will Save Your Life is a story about healing, about family and about finding your place in the world. Elise Dembowski could have easily been me in high school. She could have easily been any of us. And that is what will make this book resonate with people of all ages. Recommendation: Read it. Read it if you remember the ridiculous nature of high school politics. Read it if you like music. Read it if you’ve ever felt like giving up. Read it if you simply need a good book to get you through the day. Just read it.
Date published: 2013-09-20

Editorial Reviews

"The emotional resonance of Elise's journey . . . feels very much of the moment." -The New York Times"*Pulsates with hope for all the misfits." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review"*What sets this apart from so many problem novels is how honestly and deeply Sales probes the life of a miserable 16-year-old, from her cringe-worthy attempt at "learning" how to be popular to the observational, rather than emotional, look at what it feels like to be with a guy." -Booklist, starred review"*Pulsates with hope for all the misfits." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review