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This Song Will Save Your Life Hardcover – 17 Sep 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux (17 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374351384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374351380
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,170,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

*"Pulsates with hope for all the misfits." -- "Kirkus Reviews", starred review

*"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

Praise for "This Song Will Save Your Life" "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

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""

Book Description

The Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist: an isolated teen finds herself - and romance - through music. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This Song Will Save Your Life is one of those books that reminds me just why I love Young Adult so much. Fresh, realistic, thought-provoking, this story reminded me of that loneliness, that feeling of inadequacy that haunts you as a teenager (and let's face it - never goes away). It's not often I call books beautiful but for me, Leila Sales has written one beautiful book. When I get the FEELS at page 21 I know I'm on to a winner.

TSWSYL introduces us to Elise. Elise broke my heart, I know Elise, I've been Elise, I've made fun of Elise, I've stuck up for Elise. Elise is that girl, that beautiful soul you can't help but root for, can't help but wish that everyone else can see just what a magical human being she is. She's special, like everyone else - but because of the rules, the perceptions, the BS, we don't always get the recognition. Someone else decides that we are cool or aren't cool. We're weird because we like The Clash or because we don't like The Clash, we choose converse over heels, we like Gossip Girl instead of Hannibal and vice versa.

Elise says in the book "I didn't know. I feel sometimes like...there are all these rules. Just to be a person. You know? You're supposed to carry a shoulder bag, not a backpack. You're supposed to wear headbands, or you're not supposed to wear headbands. It's okay to describe yourself as likeable, but it's not okay to describe yourself as eloquent. You can sit in the front of the school bus, but you can't sit in the middle. You're not supposed to be with a boy, even when he wants you to. I didn't know that. There are so many rules, and they don't make any sense, and I just can't learn them all" How very true...

Elise doesn't fit in.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved this book, another Amazon Kindle Daily Deal gem. Leila Sales captures what it is to be a teenager in a book that is at once warm, funny, poignant and nostalgic.

Elise has always been an outsider amongst her peers, at best ignored and at worse bullied. But she’s not unpopular or bullied for any particular reason – isn’t this usually the way? It’s details like this that made Elise and her story real for me; the book portrays the meanness of teenage girls, and the awfulness that high school can be, so well and without dramatics or overstatements. Elise approaches her life philosophically and, at the start of This Song Will Save Your Life, she has spent a summer learning how to be popular: what to wear, which celebrities to talk about, what to watch on TV. But on the first day back at school, it’s clear that studying what it is to be cool doesn’t make you cool. It’s equally clear that the coming school year holds nothing different for Elise, and this is the straw that breaks her: she tries to kill herself. (This isn’t a spoiler, it happens really early in the book.)

Following this cry for help, things at school get even worse for Elise. Her home life is also a bit sad – though she never complains about it or acknowledges it as sad – with divorced parents who don’t speak, step-siblings who she loves but lives apart from for half the week, and a complicated daily routine that means she isn’t completely settled in either place but both parents are happy. In trying to deal with, or perhaps get away from, everything going on her life, Elise takes to night-time walks around town and it’s on one of these walks that she stumbles across a warehouse party.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Elise Dembowski is, I'm sorry to say, a perennial loser. She's been unpopular, she notes, since the second grade - which would seem impossible, but she's achieved it. And that isn't through lack of effort: she throws herself into popular culture, memorises TV shows, reads fashion magazines, spends her savings on new clothes and... yet... it never works. The poisonous atmosphere of her high school unfailingly reduces her back to goo.

On one hand, Elise is smart, she's a quick learner, a dedicated studier and she's pretty funny in a real person way (not the Aaron Sorkin style snappy banter way that seems to permeate these novels). She's not even shy in the traditional sense: she's just had all the outgoing beaten out of her. She's also self-aware - she knows when she says something stupid or something awkward, she knows she's 'weird' and different. And she understands that this is the source of her adversity: by being unusual, she's wrong.

A suicide attempt and a lot of therapy later, Elise's life is no better off. Her school truly is vile and her parents, although the YA-standard-issue-adorably-bonkers, aren't particularly helpful. Elise takes to the streets of her small town at night, unable to sleep, unable to relax, she walks herself into exhaustion - enjoying a rare few hours of unmolested solitude. One night, while doing this, she runs into a pair of girls around her own age. Without stopping to think, Vivian and Pippa scoop Elise up (not physically) and drag her along with them to a club night. There, on a dance floor, surrounded by strangers, Elise finds something completely new. How appropriate the club is called "Start", eh? (Theme alert!)

Elise's life splits into halves.
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