This Song Will Save Your Life

First Lines: You think it’s so easy to change yourself.  You think it’s so easy, but it’s not.

Honestly, I think the first time I ran across this book, I didn’t want to read it.  But somewhere along the way, I changed my mind.  I like books about music, so I’m not sure why I passed it up the first time.

Elise hates school.  She’s the butt of every joke and no one will talk to her, no matter how hard she tries to make friends.  When she fails once again to makes friends, she decides that maybe suicide is the answer.  It’s not like life is getting any better, right?  Then Elise stumbles onto an underground music scene and night club.  There she meets Vicky the singer, Char the DJ extraordinaire, and Pippa the free spirit from England.  But most of all, Elise finds a passion she never knew she had: DJing.  So maybe life isn’t as bad as she thought it was…

Now, I don’t normally do this, but there is a very powerful review about this book on Goodreads.  A girl named Emily details how this book lined up nearly exactly with her life.  And it’s seriously emotional and moving.  And eye-opening.

This book was a lot heavier than I thought it would be.  I didn’t realize it was going to be about suicide until I started reading it.  I probably would have put it off if I had known.  But I read it, and it was worth it.

Elise is a complex character.  She’s alone and doesn’t understand why everyone seems to want to make her life miserable.  It’s a feeling I think most of us have had at one point or another.  So I sympathized with her.  But she makes a lot of mistakes when she’s upset, and that made me want to sit her down to talk…which I think was the point.  I think this book is one of those where what we think of the plot is just as important as what happens.

And I thought this book did a good job of covering the heavy topics.  It briefly covers a lot of teen issues, but it doesn’t try to solve them.  What I mean is there are still mean girls at the end of the story.  It’s not like everything has gone to butterflies and rainbows by the end.  It felt…normal.  Like real life.

I think the strengths of this book are that it’s highly relatable and yet still edgy.  The heavy topics make it not the most comfortable reading, but it’s worth it.  And the underground music scene gives it a different kind of edge.  I was kind of impressed.

While there wasn’t anything overtly weak about the story (since we’re talking about strengths, why not weaknesses?), I just can’t give it 5 roses.  I can’t quite put my finger on it.  It was a moving read, but I didn’t feel the same emotional highs and lows that Elise did.  It was more thought-provoking than emotional.


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