THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is a contemporary YA novel written by Leila Sales. This book has been amongst favourites in YA genre published last year. I have been recommended to read it by many book lovers and avid readers.
So naturally, I have to find out what is the buzz about. In a role of a book blogger and YA genre followers (especially when it comes to contemporary YA genre) I have the duty to find out if the reviews were true and this book is something special. So I decided to include in February Reading Challenge.
Meet Elise. Elise has been having a hard time in her school. She has just started as a sophomore in high school and tried to re-invent herself so people might like her. See, Elise isn't what you would call a popular girl. Actually, she is the opposite. Although, she is very intelligent and has an amazing taste in music, people have been picking on her since she was a young girl. So she tried to re-invent herself to their liking. And failed. It seems that nothing she does is good enough for people to notice her and be friends with her. So Elise decides that she doesn't want to live her life and tries to commit a suicide. Unsuccessfully. Seven months down the line, she is still unpopular. People still stay clear of her. So she starts to walk at the night time. And one night she comes across Vicky and Pippa who introduce her to the best underground dance party - START. Here nobody knows or cares about Elise's past. She is free to explore her love for music and starts to playing up with the thought of being a DJ. But not every one has forgotten about Elise's past, which will come soon enough to haunt her. Her new found happiness is threaten to be destroyed. Will she prevail or will she fail?
Let's talk about the edition first. Paperback. 271 pages divided into 20 chapters. So it's a fairly short story. There is a beautiful photograph of a girl with headphones. I assume this is Elise (Hello Elise - it's nice to meet you. Waves.). Bold white lettering across the picture spell the name of the book, but certain four letters are pink to spell the word LOVE. Nice touch. The only problem I have is with the blur on the back of the book. It doesn't give a justice to the story and it's a little bit misleading. It promises a different story to the one hidden within the book's pages.
The writing is modern. Easy to read. Very relate able and packed with pop culture references. I love all the songs mentioned in the story, so 10 points for that touch. It makes the story more real.
The story itself.. well, let me start by saying, I DID LIKE THE STORY. The issues mentioned in it. Elise's story and her life is so relate able to many people in the world. Many teenagers feels the same way and it's brave from the author to bring up the issue of suicide. This subject is always a bit touchy in the literary world, especially in the YA genre. I also love the fact that the author concentrates more on the character of Elise and her loving the way she is than a love story brewing between Elise and Char. We all need to be happy with ourselves. And we really shouldn't let anyone else to get to us enough that it starts to hurt us. This aspect of the story is absolutely fantastic. The way the author approached the subject is sensitive but explain in clear tones. And it's very true.... But I still feel something missing.
Although I like the story, I couldn't properly get into it. It's like I couldn't connect to the story emotionally... It didn't have the WOW Factor every one kept mentioning. It took me a while to properly invest myself in it. But I can't pinpoint the reason why. I just couldn't make connect and say: "Wow. I can't believe how brilliant this book is!". After finishing the book, I was like : "Oh, it was OK."
I liked the characters in this story. I think the author managed to capture so many characteristics of different personalities and their reasoning behind their behaviour.
Elise is a good character. She is intelligent, beautiful inside and out and she can accomplish everything she wants. But thanks to thinking too much what others think of her and how they see her, she is hurting and losing faith in herself and how important she is to others. And that's why I like the story. There are so many guys and girls who feel the same way and I hope this book will help them to see everything from a different angle and help them to find happiness.
I did appreciate the music - songs and artists - mentioned in this book. This book is right up to my street and I ended up re-listening to many songs which made an appearance in this story. I also love the playlist aka recommended listening on the back of the book. Dear Spotify, we will be busy tonight!
All in all, I did enjoy reading this book. I have loved the main subject of this book, but it was missing a wow factor for me. But I might give it another go in the future to see if I change my mind.
But Well done Ms Sales. You have written a great story!