This Song Will Save Your Life, by Leila Sales (book review) – will this change work?

book cover of This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales published by Farrar Strauss GirouxRepeat suicide risk,
perennially unpopular girl,
or rave-worthy DJ
which persona would you choose?

Widely available at your favorite local library or independent bookstore, This Song Will Save Your Life is a Fall 2013 “Fierce Read” – catch Leila Sales at the Texas Book Festival in Austin at the end of October.

What songs are on the playlist that keeps you going when things get rough?

Book info:  This Song Will Save Your Life / Leila Sales. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013. [author site]  [publisher site]  [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: Elise wasn’t sure what to add to her killing-myself playlist, but never dreamed that she’d finally find friends through a suicide attempt and music.

Being born unpopular was the problem – Elise hadn’t had a friend since grade school, and high school was simply hell. Her remarried mom with the perfect husband and two perfect kids didn’t see it, her rock musician dad didn’t see it, so Elise figured why live at all?

Of course, killing herself didn’t work, made her more of an outcast at school than ever, kept her awake at night. Running in the dark calms her down and one night brings her to a secret dance club in a warehouse. Great DJ, awesome music, folks don’t mind that she’s just 16 – Start is the best thing that ever happened to Elise.

Soon, she lives for Thursday nights at Start (never mind that Mom thinks she’s asleep upstairs)  where Vicki, Pippa, and Char respect her eclectic taste in music, encourage her to try becoming a DJ, and like her for herself – especially handsome Char.

Secrets can be hard to hide, though, and Elise’s lack of sleep and dropping grades trip her up (have her folks ever stopped considering her a repeat suicide risk?).

How can she keep DJing at Start?
What suddenly made affectionate Char so distant?
Why is high school so important anyway?

Her dad taught her about all kinds of music, her mom taught her about social activism – maybe Elise needs her friends at Start to teach her how to live.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on

What do you think?

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