This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

: This Song Will Save Your Life

Author: Leila Sales

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Publication Date: Sept 2013

Pages: 279

Genre: YA Contemporary

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

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.


This is not my normal reading choice. Generally, as I work in a high school, I do not go for contemporary YA novels because I can get enough real life drama everyday. But this book had an interesting premise – a girl who saves herself with music – so I decided to give it a try.

The book is a great read. It deals with some tough issues – fitting in, losing yourself by trying to be something you aren’t, learning to trust yourself and value yourself, and suicide and bullying. It deal with these well, and I think that while Elise is at times a bit over the top, she also has some thoughts, feelings, and attitudes that most teenagers can relate to. The fact that she is bullied and takes it, and when it gets extreme still takes it without getting an adult involved is something that teenagers everywhere are dealing with.

There are times when I didn’t like Elise, and I thought that some of the behaviors would have been flags for her parents, and some things, like her nighttime walks, were a little hard to swallow. (My mother would have known. I might have gotten away with that once, but she’d have been waiting up for me the next time…) I didn’t expect so much from this book. I didn’t expect the undercurrents about cutting and suicide, or the heavy amount of bullying in the book. But I felt that it was a book that teens can relate to, and if it helps even one teen who is feeling depressed and alone and maybe thinking about harming themselves to stop and ask for help from someone, then it is definitely worth the read.

Sorry this review is a bit disjointed. The book was good, and overall I liked it, but there were parts that I didn’t care for. If you enjoy contemporary YA, this is a great book.


Where to Find the Book



Barnes and Noble:,%201

Book was borrowed from the local library by the reviewer.


The Funeral Singer by Linda Budzinski

18276977Title: The Funeral Singer

Author: Linda Budzinski

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Publication Date: Sept 2013

Pages: 188

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Book Summary (from Goodreads)

Being a funeral singer was a dead-end job until it led her to him … Seventeen-year-old Melanie Martin has witnessed her share of lame eulogies and uninspired epitaphs while singing part-time at her dad’s funeral home. She’s determined to be more than a funeral singer, more than just someone’s “beloved wife” or “loving mother.” When Mel’s impromptu rendition of “Amazing Grace” at a local rock star’s graveside service goes viral on YouTube, she becomes an Internet sensation, gains thousands of fans and followers, and snags a hot rock star boyfriend–Zed Logan, bass player for The Grime. But instant fame isn’t easy—and neither is love. Especially when Mel realizes she’s falling for another guy—one who may just want her heart more than her voice …


I had looked at the description for this book several times, but hadn’t decided on buying it because I am not usually a contemporary young adult genre reader. When Mrs. Budzinski contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in reviewing the novel, I took it as a sign and jumped in.

The premise itself is really intriguing. A teenage girl who sings at her father’s funeral parlor getting discovered? That has the potential to be a wild combination. And it was. I enjoyed Melanie’s character (though, I must admit, I kind of wanted her to be smacked by the time the ending came around) and the way that she changes over the course of the novel. She isn’t perfect. She’s a typical teenager who lets fame and notoriety go to her head. I work with teenagers, and I can totally see them acting like this.

She forgets who she is, and in the end she has to deal with what she has allowed herself to become. In the process she finally sees that it isn’t all about her all the time. Which I was thrilled about. By the time the end of the book rolled around, you want her to get that comeuppance. I like that the author puts the reader in a position that is much like what you would imagine her friends, Lana and especially Peter, are in. She’s their friend, but she damages her relationship with them and then has to fix it. I do wish there had been a little more of that in the end, with Peter in particular. That relationship needed fixed, and I didn’t feel like it was dealt with at the end of the book.

The romance portion of the novel is important and tied into Melanie’s behavior and eventual downfall. You see where it is headed from the halfway point on. It’s just a matter of waiting to see when Melanie is going to realize what happened. Without giving too much away, I enjoyed the twist that it took, though it was a little bit out of left field for me. That is probably a personal preference. Highlight between the astericks for a spoiler – skip if you don’t want to know!


Her attraction to Bruno is another case of the snarky, jerky boy getting the girl in the end and he suddenly becomes “softer.” In this case, I can overlook that characteristic which usually irritates me because his behavior makes sense after the loss of his band mate and friend.


Anyway – the book is a great read for anyone who enjoys contemporary YA romance and wants to read something fun. Definitely check it out! Looking forward to whatever Budzinski puts out next!


Where to Find the Book



Book was provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.