This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales [thoughts]

This Song Will Save Your Life coverThis Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: September 17th 2013
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Series: none

Goodreads description: 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 where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.

Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together

I saw so much buzz about This Song Will Save Your Life from bloggers! It was on my Fall TBR list and it took me a while to get to it. Despite a few issues, I am really glad I read it!

Elise has never really “clicked” with anyone. She’s always been an outsider, but she has no idea why. She’s never had a close friend, and people can be downright cruel. The harder she tries to make connections, the more they seem to pass her by. After a particularly bad encounter, Elise is depressed and acts on her depression, which leads to a lot of changes in her life. Then, she finds a club on accident and happens upon people that genuinely like her and learns about DJ-ing, and things begin to change.

I did not exactly love Elise. I understood a lot about her and related to her on certain experiences. I did not always understand her reactions and feelings. I didn’t find her voice “refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny” as the description thrusts at readers. I grew to like her and better appreciate her actions as I continued reading. While I didn’t always understand or agree with things Elise did, I think it’s important to see how other people might cope with situations. People handle things differently, and it’s important to realize that.

I really liked that Elise found a hobby that could help her through a difficult time. I know music can help people in so many ways, and this book really did a good job of showing that. The right song at the right moment can do so much for your mood. I loved reading about Elise discovering how to read the mood and use the music. I loved seeing her learn about herself and others, I loved seeing her grow. I liked the family aspect of the book. I liked seeing Elise make mistakes and learn from them, too. I liked the romance and how it wasn’t the focus of the book, and it didn’t go how I expected it to go.

There were a few times when the book made me a little uncomfortable, but nothing too huge. I didn’t exactly fall in love with it, but I did like it and the end raised my opinion at least half a star.

rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

This Song Will Save Your Life is a special book. I had a few issues with it, but I’m glad I read it! The ending really made the book for me. I really want to read Past Perfect and I’ll be interested to see what else Sales writes! I think This Song Will Save Your Life might be for you if you enjoy teen angst, DJ-ing and music, and characters that learn and grow!

Leila Sales‘s website and twitter!

Pushing the Limits cover

Odd Reader Out: Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Odd Reader Out: That book everyone but me loves.

Pushing the Limits coverPushing the Limits by Katie McGarry
Goodreads | Book Depository | Amazon
Release Date: July 31st 2012
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Series: Pushing the Limits #1

Goodreads description:No one knows what happened the night Echo Emerson went from popular girl with jock boyfriend to gossiped-about outsider with “freaky” scars on her arms. Even Echo can’t remember the whole truth of that horrible night. All she knows is that she wants everything to go back to normal.But when Noah Hutchins, the smoking-hot, girl-using loner in the black leather jacket, explodes into her life with his tough attitude and surprising understanding, Echo’s world shifts in ways she could never have imagined. They should have nothing in common. And with the secrets they both keep, being together is pretty much impossible.

Yet the crazy attraction between them refuses to go away. And Echo has to ask herself just how far they can push the limits and what she’ll risk for the one guy who might teach her how to love again.

Lately I’ve seen a lot of people reading and talking about Dare You To, so I thought I’d check out the first book in the series. I feel like the only person that didn’t connect with this book! I know I’m not the only one, but I do feel like I’m in the minority here.

This book centers on two troubled teens: Noah and Echo. Noah is a known bad boy at their high school, who only has one-night stands and is a known stoner. Echo is from a wealthy family and has good grades but people think she tried to kill herself. The reality is that Noah is in foster care and used to have a nice family and Echo didn’t cut herself but repressed the memory of what really happened. They meet through the school counselor because Noah needs tutoring and Echo needs money.

I disliked most of the characters in this book except for the main characters, and I didn’t love either of them. I don’t understand any of Echo’s friends and family. I know that there are horrible people in the world, but this made me so thankful for the people I have in my life. Even Echo’s best friend, who defends Echo from other horrible friends, doesn’t seem to really want to help her. Echo is going through so much and she seems so alone. It might be realistic, but good friends can be realistic, too.

I’m not sure about how they handled her repressed memories. I don’t know a lot about the subject, but everything that happens in the book seems so shady. The school counselor, Ms. Collins, at least wanted to help Echo. Her father didn’t tell her anything and I think he is one of the worst characters of the book. He just wanted to keep her in the dark, and even if he was doing it to protect her, it didn’t seem very healthy. The way the book regarded Echo’s mom’s bi-polar disorder seemed wrong, too.

While I did think there was some cuteness and hot scenes, Noah was so weird! Everything he thought and said about Echo was just cheesy. Calling her a siren and a nymph? What guy thinks like that? “I could think of plenty of things to do with Echo in a house alone. Hell, I’d fantasized about moments like this, but damn if she didn’t make me want to be a better man” – a quote from Noah’s mind, that just doesn’t feel realistic to me. I’m not trying to say all guys are dogs and no guy could ever genuinely want to be better for a girl, but his incredibly quick change from one-nighters to total devotion seems unrealistic. There was also some contrived conflict between Echo and Noah that can only be described as tired.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy this book and it made me feel uncomfortable. I did like Echo, and I felt frustrated on her behalf. I liked Noah, despite his weirdness, and how much he cared for his family. His persistence in getting what he wanted and not thinking out what was best was frustrating, but probably fitted the situation. I know people have difficult lives, but the way the issues were handled in this book made me uneasy. The suddenly happy ending where everyone learns a lesson and gets along didn’t seem to fit the story. I didn’t hate this book, but it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like Beth much but the Dare You To description does sound intriguing, so I’m not sure if I’ll pick it up or not.

two star rating

Dear Reader Friend, just because I didn’t like this book doesn’t mean you won’t love it! Check out Katie McGarry’s website and twitter!