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This Song Will Save Your Life

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3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  18,236 Ratings  ·  2,731 Reviews
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 c ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Trisha 1. the part where she realizes where she finally belongs, and that she is no longer an outsider. 2. idk is there even a next? 3. word i learned?…more1. the part where she realizes where she finally belongs, and that she is no longer an outsider. 2. idk is there even a next? 3. word i learned? "Muumuu" XD (less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Emily May
"Don't be special." That's what I would say to my younger self if I could pinpoint the moment when I went astray. But there was no one moment. I was always astray.

Uh oh. Brace yourself, fellow fiction lovers, I'm about to tell you a true story. My own, in fact.



^So, I was kind of a weird kid. And I had one hell of a bad time in school. I'm talking particularly about when I was aged 11-16. I was that special breed of socially clueless where I simply just didn't get it. I didn't know how to not be
...more
Navessa
Feb 14, 2016 Navessa rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Navessa by: Emily May
*I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review*

After reading Emily's brave and beautifully honest review of this book I really wanted to read it. Where she spoke about how much she related to Elise because she was like Elise, I’d like to speak from the opposite end of the spectrum because I don’t think you have to have been in Elise’s shoes to appreciate her story or her struggles. You see, I was definitely not this main character in high school.

I was popular. I was outgoing. I stuck up
...more
Kathylill
Jan 24, 2014 Kathylill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I first read those glowing 5-star reviews I was hooked. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book as soon as it came out. Such high expectations.

Sadly this is not for me. How bizarre that I really couldn't connect to it and this story's main character. I don’t like this girl, really I think she is blasé, she is a flake and most of all I hate her for her attitude because she is oh so special.

“I was born to be unpopular”


So starts the story of Elise Dembowski, sweet sixteen but sadly
...more
Giselle
Sep 19, 2013 Giselle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, own, contemporary
What an amazing, awe-inspiring book! This Song Will Save Your Life is emotional and beautiful; a story that will bring out your happy-tears by its conclusion!

Once in a while there are books where you get to fully and completely connect to the main character to such a degree that you experience it all as if it was your own story with your own emotions. This was one of those books for me. Elise made it incredibly easy to love her. She's funny and smart, but she has never fit in with her classmates
...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader
"You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not. True, things don't stay the same forever: couches are replaced, boys leave, you discover a song, your body becomes forever scarred. And with each of these moments you change and change again, your true self spinning, shifting positions-- but always at last it returns to you, like a dancer on the floor. Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn't tha ...more
Anastasia
May 15, 2016 Anastasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5/5 stars

Trigger Warnings: suicide, self harm, depression, bullying

Elise Dembowski doesn’t fit in. She spends the summer before her sophomore year of high school literally studying pop culture: the celebrities, the styles, the popular music. She hates it all, especially the saccharine, auto-tuned music. When it comes to music, Elise has standards. But she has come to the conclusion that, had she been more normal as a young child, she wouldn’t have become such an outsider. It may be too
...more
Kristin (KC)
3.5 Stars

A well-written, enjoyable read but in the end I think I favored the premise of this story over what actually played out.

Sixteen year old Elise wants one thing: to become popular and morph into anyone who doesn’t resemble herself. After undergoing a summer of “coolness” self-training, Elise begins her sophomore year armed with new clothes, fresh hope, and shaky confidence. But her efforts prove in vain when she realizes she is still the school’s biggest outcast despite her earnest attem
...more
Angela
Jun 01, 2016 Angela rated it it was amazing
At the end of January I asked my friends on goodreads to recommend me their favorite books/the books that brought them to tears. I got A TON of responses... messages, comments, direct recommendations. So I decided to pick the ones that were most recommended and do a massive book haul just off books recommended to me. I got around 15 books. One of the books that was suggested several times to me was This Song Will Save Your Life.

I was really skeptical at first about reading this because the first
...more
Keertana
I’ve written a lot of difficult reviews over the past year, but there has never come a point where I planned to just give up and screw the review because I just couldn’t do it. And then, of course, I read Leila Sales This Song Will Save Your Life and it punched me right in the feels and brought back so many memories and left me a total wreck. I still don’t know how to write this review. I don’t think I can do justice to this book. I just hope that, no matter what, this book gets the attention it ...more
Anne
I was born to be unpopular.

Let me start out this review by painting you pictures.

PICTURE 1
Elise Dembowski has always been unpopular, there was never a moment when it wasn't so, there was no such thing as pinpointing the exact moment which marked her fall from grace. And I hereby submit these quotes as irrefutable evidence:
"Don't be special." That's what I would say to my younger self if I could pinpoint the moment when I went astray. But there was no one moment. I was always astray.

And
...more
Neil (or bleed)
I was broken
I was choking
I was lost
This song saved my life
I was bleeding
Stopped believing
Could have died
This song saved my life
I was down
I was drowning
But it came on just in time
This song saved my life


Simple Plan's This Song Saved My Life is the first thing I thought of, the first time I saw this novel. Now, that I have read this book, I can say that this song is relevant to the book.



I was ready to give this book 4 stars when I'm in a middle of reading it when the later part comes and I didn't
...more
Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review from BookOutlet.ca in exchange for an honest review.

Elise.. The overachiever reminds me remarkably of me.. It's hilarious that she wanted to win at everything because I am the same way. If I start a new hobby, I want to learn everything about it so I can master it. Elise is the same way and I love that. She also doesn't know too much about social interactions, which is also something I don't know too well of. Her insightful mind and view of h
...more
Ana
May 16, 2014 Ana rated it it was ok
Well, I will tell you: making friends is actually not that hard when you drop every one of your standards.

Or you can keep your standards high and lower your expectations of finding perfect people because newsflash perfect people do not exist.

description

I think my forehead is a little red from all of ^this I was doing.

I don’t know what it is about me and YA contemporary these days, but we are unable to find a middle ground. Could this be a parting of the ways? *puts hand to heart* I really hope not, but I
...more
Chelsey the crazy cat lady
I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting something completely different actually. The struggles Elise went through happen so often in our world today and I just loved seeing how everything did turn out great in the end. She pushed through and found a great bunch of friends and found something that she loved and brought her so much joy.
Caitlyn
Nov 23, 2015 Caitlyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-reads
Books with realistic characters are the reason that I am willing to read any book that I can get my hands on. Because when you find a main character that you can relate to, it just makes the world a bit easier to deal with.

I related to Elise so much though we weren't alike in every aspect by any standards -- I've never wanted to be a DJ, I've never divided time between my parents, I have never dealt with bullying, etc. The most prominent part of Elise's life that I could relate to was her inabi
...more
Faye, la Patata


This was a really beautiful read.

You see, while dystopias, apocalyptic, and science fiction stories are generally my favourite genres, I do enjoy a sappy, sad story every once in a while. Reading about situations that force your throat to tighten and your heart to squeeze makes me feel somehow alive. Is it weird that I actually look forward to being a sobbing, snotting mess when it comes to books like this? Maybe, but I always loved that feeling. But This Song Will Save Your Life takes it up a
...more
Lindsey Rey
Jan 18, 2015 Lindsey Rey rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, 2015
“You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not. True, things don't stay the same forever: couches are replaced, boys leave, you discover a song, your body becomes forever scarred. And with each of these moments you change and change again, your true self spinning, shifting positions-- but always at last it returns to you, like a dancer on the floor. Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn't that ...more
Heather
Mar 18, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, faves, 2014
This is book for anyone who had less than stellar high school experience. I for one despised high school. In fact, I hated school from first grade on. This was is no way due to the required learning. That part I loved. It was the evil little turds known as my class mates that made school so miserable. To this day I can’t pin point why I was the target of so much ridicule. I wasn’t the prettiest, or the most unfortunate looking. I wasn’t rich, but wasn’t dirt poor either so it’s not as though I h ...more
Summer ✿
Feb 10, 2014 Summer ✿ rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people with LOTS of patience for idiotic MCs
Shelves: meh, contemporary
2.5 - 3 Stars

If not for its perfect timing, I would have given This Song Will Save Your Life two stars.

When I first began this popular book, my expectations went from the heavens, down to rock bottom. I absolutely loathed the first few chapters. I was forced to endure a narrator who was not only judgmental, but who seemed to be suffering from permanent PMS. High school isn't that bad, I thought. The girl is a damn drama queen.

Of course, after this line of thinking irony decided to make its ver
...more
Melanie
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

“People are who they are and, try as you might, you cannot make them be what you want them to be.”

Have you ever just read a book and wondered if someone got into your brain and put parts of your life down on paper? When I read This Song Will Save Your Life, that's exactly what I was thinking. This is one of those books that will crawl under your skin and stay there forever, keeping its mark. After one day of reading this, I have been contemplating about this
...more
April
Feb 17, 2016 April rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Trigger warning for self-harm.
Fafa's Book Corner
Feb 22, 2016 Fafa's Book Corner rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maureen
Jan 08, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it
4.5/5 stars

This was such a lovely beautiful book about finding yourself despite what everyone else thinks about you.
I liked Elise as a character, she felt very real most of the time, and felt how I definitely felt a lot of times in high school. And the music THE MUSIC the music. okay i'm done. Just so many things I liked and loved about this book. I honestly believe something like this could happen, as weird as it sounds, because of how it was written. Extremely believable in spite of what the a
...more
isabelle
description

I am annoyed.

I was expecting something that lingered and made me smile but the only thing that lingered is a monster I call hate. Who likes to frown.

First things first, I hate Elise. hate hate hate. I hate hating things but god, Elise is one of those main characters that I desperately despised. She hates her life. (If it's a story about a teen whose angst is the size of Canada you just know it going to be fun.) She's bullied and sadly attempts to cut herself. She also attempts to do absolutely
...more
Drew Tuá
Mar 09, 2015 Drew Tuá rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
4,5 / 5
El mensaje de este libro es exactamente en lo que yo más creo.
Jess
Oct 12, 2013 Jess rated it did not like it
Shelves: meh
Actual rating: 2.5
I don't quite understand all the glowing, 4/5 stars reviews for this. Did we read the same book? The only reason this got 2 stars were the last part of the book, which got really better, well-written and emotional. The rest was just painful. I could never connect with the heroine completely, because she was just unlikeable to me and I could never understand what she was doing. Like, one day, she decides she wants to be cool, so she spends the whole summer watching movies and TV
...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Loved. Loved. Loved. Loved. LOVED! THIS BOOK! It is not easy to fit in. I know this from experience. And I felt for Elise SO MUCH. I wanted her to own who she was and be okay with it. I'm so glad she did. So happy I finally read this! And that it was a true coming-of-age story and not a typical contemporary romance.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!
shady boots
This was so therapeutic and relatable I can't even tell you.
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
MORE REVIEWS AT MY BLOG


"Sometimes people think 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."

I felt like I lost a friend when I finished This Song Will Save Your Life. I was crying like a baby but I was also smiling because of happiness.

This was an amazing and a very powerful story. It wa
...more
Marga
"I had always thought that if i did something extraordinary enough, then people would like me. But that wasn't true. You will drive away everyone by being extraordinary."

Uhh, how do I write a review about this one? I have conflicting feelings about this book. I had glimpse the MCs dark and hopeful thoughts at the same time. Some things was just too morbid for me but I seriously didn't regret reading about Elise.

"I didn't need to be the most exciting, beautiful, beloved girl in the world. I just
...more
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Leila Sales was born in 1984 and grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in psychology in 2006. Now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in the mostly glamorous world of children's book publishing. Leila spends most of her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, dance parties, and stories that she wants to write.


***Please note that
...more
More about Leila Sales...

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“Sometimes people think 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.” 545 likes
“That's the problem with life. You never get enough time to stare at your ceiling and try to figure out what's going on.” 247 likes
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