This Song Will Save Your Life | Leila Sales | Book Review

Leila Sales, I am in your fan club. Legit, I am at the point where I am ready to nix my pile of doom and pull out my copy of Mostly Good Girls because that is the only Sales book I have yet to read. Then again, perhaps I will be like Shanyn and put it in my pile of books to save when I need a guaranteed good read. So, why am I going on and on and on about Leila Sales and being in her fan club? I just finished This Song Will Save Your Life not thirty minutes ago and just had to talk about it because it was awkward and fantastic and fucking real and I loved it hard core. You guys. Hard core.

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales | Good Books And Good Wine

Elise is a socially awkward sixteen year old. She’s incredibly precocious which means she does not exactly have great social skills, but she is awesome at projects and school. She’s always been the weird girl, unable to pick up on social cues. Elise has a day so bad during her freshman year that she decides to kill herself. Luckily, it does not work. So, she starts taking these walks at night and one night she’s walking and stumbles upon an underground warehouse party. There, she makes friends for the first time. She attracts the attention of a boy. AND she discovers a real passion for DJing. Of course, this doesn’t entirely transform her day time life. School still sucks for Elise. She still gets picked on and bullied. But now she has the promise of Thursday nights where no one knows that she’s a social pariah, where she’s just a girl with an ear for good music. Will her secret night life come crashing down around her? Y’all need to read This Song Will Save Your Life to find out, and trust, you’ll read it in like a sitting if people don’t drag you off to barefoot barbecue bonanzas.

It was kind of painful to read about Elise. She’s someone I could really relate to. Here’s the thing, I was totally not always this awesome. Growing up, like Elise I was weird and shy and awkward and lonely. I mean, okay I wasn’t totally like her, in that I had friends but I was always a little off at reading social cues. Like, I was really bad at social interaction stuff until I would say.. 10th grade? But really blossomed in college. I identified with Elise which means I was rooting for her and sad for her and invested in her. I think if you’ve ever been the awkward kid, which is a total possibility because maybe, like me, you like books more than you like most people, you’ll be able to relate to Elise. Also, she has killer taste in music. OH and I should mention she’s kind of a snob and judgmental and lol you guys, the whole time I was like, ARE YOU ME TEN YEARS AGO? Minus the music thing, of course. So, take that as you will. If you like people like that, you’ll like Elise. Even if you don’t, Leila Sales writes her in such an endearing way that you really get to understand her and what drives her, that I think you’ll find her a worthy protagonist.

I won’t get into the romance, except to say that we’ve all known dudes like Char and the whole time my brain was like, ugh, no. I did think that This Song Will Save Your Life was pretty accurate in portraying that type of guy and their allure to girls with low self esteem. They are kind of hard to resist when you don’t have confidence in yourself. Suffice to say, Sales latest book is not about the swoonworthy dude or the romance. It’s more about other types of love. It’s about passion and talent. It’s about the people in your life who matter more than your boyfriend – your family and your friends. It’s about the music and how it just gets inside you and under your skin. It’s really about how music can totally save your life, or I suppose you could substitute that for just about any passion.

I know this review is mad early because the book does not come out until September or so. I don’t care. When I get excited about a book, I review it early so that you get excited for the book. I know bloggers read my blog and thus I can wield my magical powers and influence you to hurry up and read your ARC of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales. And if you don’t have an ARC, don’t worry. Tide yourself over with her other books and have this one on preorder, it’s fucking fabulous and among my favorite 2013 reads.

Disclosure: Review copy provided by publisher.

Other reviews of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales:

Cuddlebuggery – “I took a chance on this book and I don’t regret it
Effortlessly Reading – “In the end, everyone has to read this book
Ageless Pages Reviews – “This book is a whirlwind of emotion

Books by Leila Sales:
Past Perfect

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Wow-I can really relate to the Elise you describe in the beginning…makes me very eager to check this out!

  2. EEE! Your magical blogging powers have made me even more excited about this book!! I’ll definitely have to see if I can shove it into my reading schedule a bit early 🙂
    Have you read Past Perfect? I totally loved it!

  3. I adored this book so very much, it was seriously tough to write my review of it because there were no words to describe how much it resonated with me, I get emotional just thinking about it. I ended up having to introduce a “save the date” type feature like on Jamie’s blog just so I could squee about it because July was too damn early to post my review lol! It was just…amazing. I hope people succumb to your blogger powers and read this book. I cannot wait until I can buy a hardcopy so I can hug it! 🙂

  4. LOVED this book!! LOVED this character — it’s kind of scary how much I related to her (besides the suicidal tendencies, that is) and her disconnect from those she went to high school with. I really want to read this again!

  5. I’m totally with you on the slowly starting to become non-awkward around 10th grade, so I suspect this is a character I could relate too. I wouldn’t worry about the super-early review, because when someone likes a book this much, I think I’ll probably remember it 🙂

  6. I just finished this last night/early this morning and I couldn’t believe how much I loved it. I almost didn’t pick it up for some reason. I feel like so many people can relate to Elise and what she went through.

  7. Buuuuuut, but, nooooo, Leila Sales’s books are not at my library! What will I do now?

    (I know there is a thing where you can ask the library to order books for you, but I never believe that will really happen in life.)

  8. Aw these early reviews of This Song Will Save Your Life make me want to kick myself for choosing another book over the possibility of receiving an ARC of this book. Oh well. I now have a September release to look forward to! I admit I wasn’t all that interested to learn it’s about DJing and lots of music and all, but I can definitely focus on characterization and I agree that it doesn’t sound like I’ll have too difficult a time relating to Elise. Now you’ve made me curious about Sales’ other books. I’ll have to look into them. Wonderful review!

  9. I read this book in a day last week and I have all the same feelings about it as you. It might possibly be one of my favorite books ever because it is SO GOOD. Like, Sales is so open and honest and she doesn’t shy away from the difficult and I LOVED that. And the music. The way she wove that into the story was fantastic. I’m so happy you liked this one!

  10. I think we were psychically connected on this one because we posted about it on the same day. Now I hope more people understand where I’m coming from with this book. It’s amazing, so wonderfully written and portrayed.

    “I think if you’ve ever been the awkward kid, which is a total possibility because maybe, like me, you like books more than you like most people, you’ll be able to relate to Elise.”

    That’s what made me truly connect to it. Some of Elise’s thinking was like echoes from my high school self which was only a couple of years ago so there was still that closeness to that period in my life. She just sucked me in, Leila did. With Elise, her writing, her meaning, my God, I FUCKING LOVE THIS BOOK. And I’m really, really, REALLY happy to see you did too.

  11. I loved this one too! I think the story that Leila has managed to tell is one that a lot of people will be able to relate to. I was also the awkward girl in my younger years (high fives for that!), so I could totally understand where Elise was coming from. It’s such a blessing to see her blossom into the Elise she is at the end of the book! Plus, the musical references are pretty awesome too.


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