Summer's Reviews > This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
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bookshelves: contemporary
Recommended for: people with LOTS of patience for idiotic MCs

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 very welcomed appearance into my life.

Note: Beware of hyperboles galore.

The week I was reading This Song Will Save Your Life, everything that could possibly go wrong during school, naturally, went wrong. All of a sudden my grades began to drop, I did horrible on a couple of my finals, and had to go through unnecessary drama I never thought actually existed outside of Mean Girls. And, to put frosting on the cake, a bird decided that my hand was the perfect target to relieve itself of its warm black-and-white droppings.

I'll be honest here, I'm the kind of person that is over-enthusiastic about everything. I participate way too much in class more like yell out answers, I try to cheer up people when they clearly don’t want to talk, and I’m nerdy as hell when it comes to my choice of jokes. I'm not saying I've never been criticized before because of my optimism in school, but lately, fellow peers have been projecting their hate unto me. Seeing me as the best target, those eye-rolling chicks (and guys) from this particular novel magically came to life and decided to make their way into my school. I cannot count how many times I was insulted, talked down to, and graced with the pleasure of seeing someone roll their eyes at me in the span of one week. I don’t know where these girls came from, but I assure you, I’m not exaggerating.

There were a series of other events that unfolded which I’m too lazy to recount at the moment, but the point of my autobiography story is that, somehow, This Song Will Save Your Life opened my eyes. It proved me wrong, and stomped on my pride while continually laughing at me. To an extent, it helped me through the hell that was last week. Because sometimes, you need an exaggerated story to brighten up your life.

Now to the actual review. I think what I loved most about TSWSYL is the brutally honest writing. The narrator is not exactly a happy camper, but her cynicism is what gave this novel its originality.

I enjoyed the breath of fresh air that was the romance. No, the romance the protagonist shared wasn’t transcendent or magical in any way; it was just a normal love affair, and didn't pretend to be anything more.

Initially, I did not like Elise’s attitude, as you can probably tell. She looked down upon everyone (and when I say everyone, I mean EVERY SINGLE DAMN PERSON). She was a full-fledged snob, and one of the most judgmental jerks I've met, fictionally or otherwise. She did not exactly improve as the story wore on, and while I’m not sure how or when this transformation occurred, I began to not mind her that much. Regardless, I know for a fact that she will never be a favored protagonist of mine.

That being said, there are some aspects of the novel that are not easily overlooked. During the first few chapters, she tries to commit suicide, but makes sure to distinguish her attempt from others as being more justified. The ease with which she dismissed teenage suicide was disgusting and insensitive. She generalized all suicide attempts as being petty, and portrays herself as an angel from heaven in her attempt.
”But I wouldn't ask, because that made everything seem so clichéd. Another teenage suicide attempt, another cry for attention. It’s all been done before.

Speaking of clichéd, despite my above story, I still do believe high school was stereotyped a bit extremely. Not everyone in high school is that shallow, or mindless, or immature. So far, I've met my share of some awesome people, and none of them are by any means like the characters in TSWSYL. Sure, there a few unlikable people here and there, but the whole school? Isn't that a bit too unrealistic?

Moreover, I’m still not sold on the fact that everyone in the entire school knows who Elise is and hates her with a fiery passion. People may display indifference towards her (and that’s only because of her attitude), but hate is a pretty strong word reserved for people who have actually done something noteworthy (and not in a positive way).

TSWSYL definitely is a unique contemporary, but I only think people with the utmost amount of patience and are able to swallow down Elise’s snobiness would enjoy this. If you are like me, you’ll probably find yourself banging your head on a wall from the protagonist’s narrow-mindedness.

As for any life lessons I would have gained from this book, it’s nothing much, even though I am pretty much the target audience for this book.

ALSO: Am I the only one who thought the girl on the cover was sporting a Leia hair-do?
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Reading Progress

October 26, 2013 – Shelved
October 26, 2013 – Shelved as: to-read
January 28, 2014 – Started Reading
January 28, 2014 –
page 13
4.51% "Is this girl for real? She's one of the most judgemental little shits I've ever encountered. I wish I had counted the number of times she said "cool" in the first few pages.\n \n I have a feeling this book and I aren't going to get along very well."
January 29, 2014 – Finished Reading
February 8, 2014 – Shelved as: contemporary

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)

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Faye, la Patata Beautiful review, Summer. Please give those bullies an ass-kicking (I'm giving them one right now in my head)


Summer LOL, thanks Faye. I've had to yell at a few people who pissed me off, and it felt really good. ;)


Jennifer (The Nightly Book Owl) Doesn't sound like a book I'd enjoy, but great review nonetheless. And ugh sounds like an awful week you've had. I hope things have turned around for you! :)


message 4: by Rose (last edited Feb 08, 2014 07:31PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Rose Aw, I'm sorry you had to deal with jerks like that in school and thus had such a sucky week. :( If you ever need to talk, I'm here. <3

Also: great review! I've only read raving reviews for this book but it's always good to get those high expectations lowered, considering most books I have high expectations for end up being a disappointment.


Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies Ugh, I'm so sorry you had to go through all that shit, Summer. It gets better, and people grow up. Life is weird, and sometimes all the crap piles up at once. I hope things get better for you soon.


Summer @Jennifer Thanks! And yes, things have gotten much better ^_^

@Rose Maybe now you'll like it a bit more since you have lower expectations! And thank you SO MUCH :D

@Khanh Truth. It helped a bit to yell at those people, though >.<


Navessa You want me to come "fix" the people that were giving you trouble? Because I'll do it.


Summer Sure ^_^ If I was them and had half a brain I would run the other way, haha. ;)


message 9: by Zoe (last edited Feb 09, 2014 10:40AM) (new)

Zoe Finally! Someone who agrees! I should have loved this book - it had a great, raw main character. Beautiful, powerful writing. Yet, for some reason, despite all it had going for it, I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as I should have; and I'm glad to see that you feel the same way Summer!

As always, fabulous review Summer!


Summer Thanks Zoe! It's true, it had all the necessary ingredients for a good book; it just wasn't good enough.


Kathylill Totally agree with your review. That girl was so insufferable.


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