A while ago, I started a new feature on my blog designed for me to talk about books that had triggered some sort of personal response; This Song Will Save Your Life was the first book featured on it. Leila Sales’ latest novel completely brings to life falling in love with music.
Elise is the outsider in her school and seemingly doomed to this life, however when she discovers a warehouse party she’s suddenly introduced to new possible friends, music and a talent for DJing.
I loved this book. Although Elise wasn’t always perfect I was always rooting for her and I loved her discovery of music and DJing and most importantly, her acceptance of herself. While this is set in US, the club took me back to the indie nights at my student union and there’s an almost British feel in that way – something I think the UK publisher picked up on too when pitching it.
The bullying Elise encounters was quite difficult to read at times and as light as this book may seem, it deals well with serious problems teenagers encounter including bullying, suicide and eating disorders.
I loved that the ‘romance’ with Char and Elise was not what I expected as well. Char is a DJ and teaches Elise the tricks of the trade, but he clearly becomes jealous of her success and is not entirely a positive influence on her life or self-esteem which I didn’t see coming at first.
Filled with wonderful song references, humour and self-discovery, This Song Will Save Your Life perfectly encapsulates being a teenager and also that feeling that music can save you, that a song can literally save your life, can change it. I read this book in one sitting and as I received it as an egalley that expired, I’ve resolved to buy a UK hardcopy as soon as I can, which just shows how much I really loved this book!
I’m really looking forward to seeing what Sales writes next and think fans of contemporary YA and music lovers will find so much to love within this novel.
This Song WIll Save Your Life is published by Macmillan Children’s in the UK and US and available to buy now. I received a free egalley from the US publisher for my honest reviewing purposes. As ever, my review, its content or tone is not affected by the method in which I obtain a book.
You may also like to check out my All The Feels post about this book, which includes recollections of my attempted rockstar days and the five songs I loved as a teenager and that meant a lot to me.