This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life

3.91 (26,158 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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All her life, Elise Dembowski has been an outsider. Starting a new school, she dreams of fitting in at last - but when her best attempts at popularity fail, she almost gives up. In a cry for help, she self-harms, and when news of that gets around school, things get even worse for Elise.

But then she stumbles upon a secret warehouse party. There, at night, Elise can be a different person, making real friends, falling in love for the first time, and finding her true passion - DJing.

But when her real and secret lives collide, she has to make a decision once and for all: just who is the real Elise?

An irresistible novel about hope, heartbreak and the power of music to bring people together.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 18mm | 208g
  • Macmillan Children's Books
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Unabridged
  • Unabridged edition
  • 1447252837
  • 9781447252832
  • 29,117

Review quote

'if you like good, character-driven contemporary YA, read TSWSYL' Sarra Manning 'a beautiful book about the power of music' Lauren Oliver 'this book spoke to me on so many levels. I wish I'd had it as a teen' Marissa Meyer The beginning of the book sees Elise in a quite a dark place. She's working hard on changing her image so she'll fit in at school and when all her attempts fail, she ends up feeling suicidal and harming herself. I have huge respect for the author for taking on these subjects and managing to get inside Elise's head and portray her worries so well. The book also deals with issues like cyber bullying and references eating disorders and binge drinking. I think it's important that books don't shy away from these things and although some scenes may be dark, I was really pleased with how they were addressed. This Song Will Save Your Life managed to balance everything really well so that you feel the emotion but there's enough uplifting moments to keep you entertained as well as moved. -- Total Teen Fiction * * I was just drawn in by everything I read - I liked the music references, I really enjoyed reading about the other characters, whether it was Elise's family or the people at the party. This Song Will Save Your Life is such a real and raw and emotional book, it made me fall in love with Leila Sales and her writing. -- Reading in the Sunshine * * The story is incredible, the way you feel about Elise from the start is powerful because she is just so messed up, she is so alone and so sad about it all. She wants to be happy but just like all 16 year olds she doesn't really know the best way to go about becoming the person she wants to be but have people like her for it. The very start of the book honestly made me sad, really sad, Elise is so low and I could see why and how that felt and I've been there, to the point she was at. It's an awful place to be and it's hard to read about it but I knew I had to keep reading, to see what happened and see where the story goes. It had its hard places, but it also had some great places and I loved how much Elise grew. -- Readaraptor * * Unexpectedly crawled under my skin and nestled into my heart where I imagine it will stay for a long time to come -- Jess Hearts Books * * I haven't given five stars to a book for a very long time . . . one of, if not the best contemporary book that I've read in years. -- Stepping Out of the Page * *
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About Leila Sales

Leila Sales grew up outside Boston, USA, and graduated from the University of Chicago. Now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works as an editor for Penguin Children's Books. She has a website:, tweets @LeilaSalesBooks and is on facebook: LeilaWrites. She has published two previous novels, Mostly Good Girls and Past Perfect, which are not yet published in the UK.
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Rating details

26,158 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 35% (9,055)
4 34% (8,993)
3 22% (5,645)
2 6% (1,625)
1 3% (840)

Our customer reviews

I'm going to be 100% honest here: I only bought this book because 1) I needed 5 books in order to get Amazon's free shipping (when it was still a thing), 2) I absolutely loved the cover and 3) the title reminded me of my favourite song by Simple Plan. I didn't know it was about DJing until I actually had the book in my hands. If I had known that, I think I wouldn't have bought it. I'm also going to be 100% honest here: I absolutely 100%+ loved this book. Again, I related deeply to Elise, in regards to being the outcast, feeling like I want to die but at the same time don't and the actual falling for a DJ kind of thing. It hit some of my own private feelings that I try to ignore but can't because they are a part of who I am, whether I like it or not. And that's probably why I liked this book: in a way, I'm still the old Elise and I need to find my own true love that will save me from myself. I don't mean a boyfriend (let's face it: a boy didn't save Elise and a boy won't save me), I mean my hobby, my THING. This being said, I highly recommend the book to all of us who don't thing we'll make it and who want to disappear without the actual dying part. You are also Elise. Elise used to be one of more
by Inês Gueifão
Leila Sales has created an enjoyable story based on a not so enjoyable topic by carefully constructing the plot to tell the story of a troubled teenager. Elise is a typical teenager however her issues of school and friends go deeper into a dark side of emotions. Sales has cleverly planned out chapter 1 because by the end of it we already have a good idea of what type of character Elise is. We follow her through the book as she tackles problems of school and being alone but most importantly as a person she feels like she can not be herself which I feel the target audience is suitable because as teenagers they can relate to her. Although it is an enjoyable book, I did have a few problems. Firstly, I found that a few situations within the book aren't very believable, whether that was just my opinion or not I found this kind of put the book down in way of it's realistic views. Secondly, Elise's sister, Alex, who is 7 years-old speaks more maturely for her age as she seems to have a very mature personality. This didn't ruin the book though as it's only a small thing. The most entertaining event throughout the book was the DJ part because I absolutely loved reading into the technical side and being able to learn at the same time as the character. Overall an easy read novel, more suited to more
by Maria
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