Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Our resident cynic, Librarian M was surprised to fall for a book with letters that spell out LOVE on the cover....

First of all, please ignore the cover of this book. I don’t know why it got the pink LOVE treatment, because it is not a pink LOVE book.

(Ok, I lied, I know why it got the pink LOVE cover. Because marketing. But still.)

So, what is this book? It is the story of Elise Dembowski and how she does not fit in at her high school. And by not fitting in, I don’t mean that she has a small group of nerdy friends and doesn’t hang with the popular crowd. I mean she doesn’t interact much with anyone at school, including the two girls she eats lunch with when she can even bring herself to enter the cafeteria.

Elise decides that sophomore year will be different and spends the entire summer prepping for her transformation. She watches reality TV, she reads fashion magazines, she goes to Target to get herself a knock-off wardrobe of all the latest styles. She can’t quite bring herself to listen to popular music (she has some high standards) but she does read about it so that she can converse if need be. On the first day of school she is optimistic that she might be able to pull this off, but she finds out that she doesn’t have it in her to be this new person.

Luckily, while she is out on one her rambling, late-night walks she discovers a dance party called Start. She meets a couple of college girls who show her the ropes and she is introduced to the DJ, Char (short for The Charming Man). As soon as she sees the DJ set-up she knows that she has to learn how it works and is soon doing her own half-hour set at Start.

Of course, things have to come to a head when her two lives collide, but even if you can see where the plot is headed, it’s worth reading this book for Elise. Her character is developed so subtly and beautifully that I was a little sad that the book had to end and I had to leave her behind.

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