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This Song Will Save Your Life

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3.93  ·  Rating details ·  24,644 ratings  ·  3,548 reviews
A powerful coming-of-age story about an outsider who finds herself when she enters the underground music scene.

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
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Paperback, 291 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Square Fish (first published September 17th 2013)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,644 ratings  ·  3,548 reviews


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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
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Navessa
Jun 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Angela
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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Kathylill
Jun 17, 2013 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
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Elise (TheBookishActress)
So, fun fact: this is the first book I ever read with a character named Elise who wasn't an Archetypal Mean Girl. And oddly enough, this Elise is one of the most relatable characters I've ever read about. She's so much like me, like any of us who didn't grow up popular, that it's almost terrifying.

“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
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Giselle
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, arc
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
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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
Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister
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
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Giulia
My playlist for this book:

Bastille - Flaws
All Time Low - Therapy
Cat Stevens - Wild World
Death Cab For Cutie - Transatlanticism
Ed Sheeran - The A Team
Emeli Sandé - Clown
Noah And The Whale - Give A Little Love
Goo Goo Dolls - Iris
Jack Savoretti - Written In Scars
Keane - Somewhere Only We Know
Mikky Ekko - Smile
Mumford Sons - Little Lion Man
Passenger - Things That Stop You Dreaming
R.E.M. - Losing My Religion
Ron Pope - A Drop In The Ocean
The Rocketboys - Viva Voce
X Ambassadors - Renegades




I had this fe
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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
Anastasia
May 07, 2016 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
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Chelsey Ellice
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.
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
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Giselle
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
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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
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Rebecca McNutt
An incredible story of the importance of finding your place in the world, This Song Will Save Your Life is a great book and its main character is unlike any other.
ambsreads
3.5 stars

TRIGGER WARNINGS: self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and bullying.


This Song Will Save Your Life was a book I had never come across or even thought about until I watched Emmmabooks video I Am The Reader Book Tag. She started to talk about it in the review and before she had even finished I'd got the book. I couldn't stop myself. The concept behind the book was something that would have meant so much to me when I was younger and struggling with my depression and anxiety (without even knowing I
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Jenny
“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.”

This isn't a kind of book that will keep you at the edge of your seat, or keep surprising you with plot twists; it's just a simple story about a girl who has never been popular in her life, does all the silly things teena
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Beatrice ~ Confessions of a Pinay Bookaholic
This Song Will Save Your Life hits my heart in the rawest way. The story was so realistic and straightforward. The lines were so relatable and I don't know how to describe what I'm feeling right now as my emotions swirled all over me. I'll make this as a short review because it's hard to formulate a review for this book.

Elise Dembowski is an easy character to sympathize with. In her school, she's been bullied and treated as an outcast. She wants a sense of belonging or just fit in on a crowd.
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Julie Zantopoulos
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019, own-it
This book has been on my TBR shelf for so damned long! I was anticipating it and really thought it would be a five star read but something just didn't sit right with me. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't a blow me out of the water great read.

"...you are still, always, you: beautiful and brushed, known and unknowable..."

This book centers around Elise who is living split between her divorced parent's houses and under their watchful eyes after an attempted suicide left her family shaken up. Unable to sl
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Caitlin
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read, 4-stars
I am honestly very torn as to what rating this book deserves. There are a lot of powerful messages in this book so I think I'll keep it at a 3.5-4 star rating.

This is going to be a semi-personal review so I'm sorry if they're not your thing!

This was a really easy book to relate to. I've been in the position of almost all of the characters in the book throughout different times of my life. Even some aspects that I couldn't directly relate to, I have witnessed my friends follow the same path that
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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Trigger warning for self-harm.
Heather
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 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
Oct 26, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with LOTS of patience for idiotic MCs
Shelves: 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
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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
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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
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Lindsey Rey
Sep 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, contemporary
“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
Hamad
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“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.”

Well, after reading the first chapter I felt that this is something I am gonna enjoy but after finishing it, I feel that it was a little bit... Meh

And to be honest, I haven't heard a lot about this book. I came upon it b
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Fafa's Book Corner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.G. Drews
If I could only say two things in this review, this is what I’d say:

1) This is an amazingly written with unbelievably good characters that tells a story you will never (ever) recover from.
2) Some books feel like they were written specifically for you and, for me, this is one of those books.

Phewf. That wasn’t so hard. (I’m sweating this review, I really am, because how do you possibly convey the awesomeness of 280 pages in a review?) Freaking amazing doesn’t cover it. It’s like, REAL. Very rea
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949 followers
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
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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.” 631 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.” 298 likes
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