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Sarah Willis

on 28 March 2017

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Towards the beginning of the book, Elise attempts suicide. She comes to terms with her motives, realizing that all she wanted was attention. Not popularity, but a freind or two. Elise's character is easily relatable, in many ways and I was able to see parts of myself in her as the story went on.

Start, the underground indie rock nightclub she discovers does not become the perfect safe-haven immediately, she runs away the first night, and eventually works to make it her safe place.

Char, the so-called perfect guy who she ends up hooking up with many times, does not make it to the happy ending. The end of the book revolves around heartbreak, but finding happiness in herself and her family and her friends.
Ethos & Pathos
Ethos is shown much throughout Elise and her narration of her story. She is portrayed as relatable, drawing us in, and making us believe her when she says that it's possible to be happy with yourself. The blatant, sarcastic, and witty tone makes the reader want more with every page turn.

Pathos is also a big part of this book. It talks about self-harm, depression, happiness, heartbreak, and many other emotions that almost all people go through daily. Some passages appeal to the reader's loneliness, igniting a feeling of sympathy for Elise when she's on her own.
Another aspect of This Song Will Save Your Life that is really enjoyable is Elise's amazing music taste. Throughout the entire book, many songs and artists are being mentioned, including the Smiths, Los Campesinos, New Order, Pheonix, etc. and all of them are incredible and well worth the listen. A Letter To Elise by The Cure is what her character is named after, and the song playing.
Setting it Apart
Without reading the book, and skimming through a few summaries, you could classify this book as a cliche coming-of-age story, with a stereotypical outcast who ends up getting everything she hopes for in life.
However, the story of Elise Dembowski and her search for herself and happiness avoids cliches, is very real in the sense of mental health, and portrays in the best light how terrible and how wonderful people can be.
Elise Dembowski
"I understand why she acts and thinks like she does, but at times it is annoying. However, in my opinion, the annoyance is a nice touch to it all. It helps me see how her adolescence has affected her personality. How can she understand the society, when no one was willing to take her under a teaching wing? Also, it is easy to recognise parts of myself in her. How to fit in is a complicated issue for everyone, to some degree at least. The issue's dramatic turn is shown through Elise in a very interesting - and sad - way. "
You think it's so easy to change yourself. You think it's so easy, but it's not.
Elise Dembowski struggles greatly with people skills, and wants to fix that. When it doesn't work at school, she discovers a nightclub called Start. Elise meets wonderful people who really care about her, and eventually becomes Glendale's hottest new DJ.
Written by Leila Sales
by Sarah Willis

"I was smiling like a crazy person because I has just made a hundred people dance, I had just made a hundred people scream, I had just made a hundred people happy. I, Elise, using my own power, had made people happy.”
"It's not worth it. Sure, high school sucks sometimes. Some people will mess with you, whenever they want, and for no reason except that they can. But hurting yourself is giving those people all the power, and they don't deserve it. Why would they deserve to have control over your life? Because they're cool? Because they're pretty? That's completely illogical.”
Personally, I think she's one of the realest characters in any book I've ever read. Her perspective on life and the people around her are a bit stereotypical, but stereotypes are present for a reason. Leila Sales perfectly nails the mix of adolescence with a great personality, making it a great read for anyone.
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