A review of one of the books that has made an impact on me.
“You think it’s so easy to change yourself. You think it’s so easy, but it’s not.” Is how Leila Sales’ This Song Will Save Your Life starts. Elise Dembowski was never good at making friend, she believe she was born to be unpopular. She spent the entire summer before her sophomore year trying to change into someone who is considered to be ‘cool’, someone who wouldn’t be mocked, someone who had friends. A series of events made Elise sure that no matter what she tried, she will always be the same.
She found her escape in sneaking out in the middle of the night, walking aimlessly with her iPod. One night she stumbles upon Vicki and Pippa, two girls standing outside a ware house, which happened to be an underground dance party, Start. There Elise found people who shared the same passion as her- music. She was introduced to the charismatic and charming DJ Char, through whom she found her true passion- DJing. When Char asks her to take his place for a little while, she feels control over a social situation. Later she gets an opportunity for a guest DJ slot. She lives a double life as an ordinary teenage girl and a DJ at Start. Elise’s journey is something you can inspire from. Her struggle to not only change the way others look at her but also how she sees herself, how she believes there is something wrong with her is captured perfectly.
I didn’t expect the book to make such a big impression on me. We all feel the need to blend in. At some point we can all relate to Elise. Leila Sales has perfectly captured the struggle of self acceptance and the peer pressure that a teen ager goes through. The book is written perfectly and isn’t cliché like I had dreaded it to be before I started reading it. I believed at first that it would be a cliché novel were romance saved someone, but it proved me wrong. You experience Elise’s story with her; when she first entered Start, the first time she went on the DJ booth, which was a life altering moment for her. The story is heart-breaking, touching, funny and inspiring; it gives you hope and courage. Change can feel impossible but it’s gradual. Things don’t stay the same forever and we change in many moments. There are times when you can relate to the situations Elise is in, times when you are heartbroken and feel bad for her. The synopsis doesn’t prepare you for the book.
As the story proceeds, Elise finds people who help her embrace her just the way she is. She inspires you, and makes you believe that life isn’t always going to be hard, things do get better. The supporting characters are brilliantly written, with varying personalities. The other characters too remind us of a small piece of ourselves at some point. The best part of the book is watching Elise find her passion that transforms her life. Elise is a well written character and it is easy to relate to her on many different levels.
“Because throughout it all, you are still, always, you: beautiful and bruised, known and unknowable. And isn’t that- just you- enough?”