This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

15777621From Goodreads:

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


Well this book was definitely a disappointment. Basically all my Goodreads friends have rated it 4-5 stars and I’m so sad that I can’t even muster 2!

While this would definitely appeal to those who have experienced some kind of bullying before, I really could not enjoy this book mainly because of Elise.

Elise has been bullied her entire life. She’s been treated as an outsider for as long as she can remember. At first, I really felt for her. I thought her situation was really sad for a while. However Elise seems to believe that because she is going through a rough time she has a free pass to belittle and judge everyone and everything.

She has these two friends who are actually pretty nice and sweet to her, and she calls them pathetic.

They are both less popular than me and I don’t know why, but I hope it’s because they are unbelievably boring. They have only one interest, and that is: what the popular kids are doing.

This girl that befriends her is too “wild” for her.

Her little 8 year old sister is delusional because she makes an effort in school.

“She [little sister] needs a reality check, diminished ambition, and some non-imaginary friends. And that’s what I am trying to give her.”

Elise went by this mindset that if you were “popular” you were unlikeable. If you weren’t, you had to change everything about yourself to become that person.

Elise was just overall mean and judgemental. She justified all of her actions and I just wanted to reach inside of the book and throttle her most of the time.

I know she’s just 16 but I honestly believed she was being completely childish. I couldn’t connect to her, and never really understood any of her decisions.

There’s also a lot of suspension of disbelief that has to go into reading this book, because there are a lot of unbelievable aspects. Elise is a 16 year old girl that works at a nightclub? And no one, not even the manager of the nightclub, bats an eye? Really?! I kept waiting throughout the book for someone to say, “hey, she’s not 21, how is she the DJ?” but no, that never happened. Something else that I really couldn’t believe was the fact that Elise doesn’t actually have much DJ experience. She’s been DJing for maybe a month, and suddenly she’s the best DJ in town. I just didn’t get it.

I didn’t enjoy the romance either because I never got the chemistry between them. It felt forced and it made me cringe a couple of times, too. DJ Charming was just maybe a little bit charming and a whole lot of annoying.

On the other hand, at the end of the book I’d like to think that Elise grew up, if maybe only a little. She finally realized some things that I was basically shouting at her from the beginning of the book.

The writing was also good in some parts. There were many wonderful quotes throughout even if Elise was an all around annoying character.

Overall, I couldn’t connect to the main character which led to an immediate unlikability for the plot and much disappointment. You might enjoy this more than me! I recommend you read this if you’ve ever been bullied, because the bullying topic IS covered wonderfully.

Sometimes people thing they know you. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don’t know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn’t you. That isn’t you at all.





  1. says

    YES! THANK YOU MARIANNE! I saw this post in my feed and I was like “uh oh!”, thinking it was another 4 or 5 star review. I just can’t handle that either. I am a complete black sheep with this one, and I am so glad to find someone who is the same way. :)

    I had different problems with it than you, but it seems like we have the overall same feelings for it. Having been bullied when I was younger a few times, I was able to connect to Elise in that aspect (gosh! I keep thinking of Dangerous Girls when I say Elise!), but, besides that, I didn’t feel anything but annoyance to her as well for whatever reason. And I could NOT feel the romance between Char whatsoever!

    Thanks for sharing, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! BLACK SHEEP UNITE! ;)
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…The Islands at the End of the WorldMy Profile

  2. says

    Haha, I was one of the people who rated it 4 stars, but I understand where you are coming from. I was pissed at the main character for a long, long time because she was what you said she was – very judgemental, always sneering at others and their tastes in music because hers was so much better. I really didn’t understand that aspect of her and I wish she got rid of that attitude early on. It’s like, whoa, you don’t want people judging you, but it’s okay if you judge them? It was weird!
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – “A Bit of Rants, a Bit of Fangirling~”My Profile

  3. says

    Bullying is such a tough subject to write about and IMO, very few authors can pull it off. There are so many layers to the individuals who get bullied…I don’t know. This book seemed like it had a good premise but failed miserably. At least it’s one less book to add to my TBR! ;)

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