My name is not Elise Dembowski.
As far as I am aware, Elise Dembowski does not really exist. Not in the real world.
But that didn’t stop me from making a huge connection with her via my latest favorite book.
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sale is an amazing story that anyone can connect with, whether they are still 16 years old or are 96 years old; whether their name is Elise (like me!) or Joe. Elise Dembowski is a character that everyone will connect with.
Elise’s struggles throughout the story are ones that we can all relate to: How do we protect the people that we love? How do we protect ourselves? What is the truth and how do we get people to believe the real truth as opposed to a constructed truth? Can we have more than one passion? Is it okay to disobey our parents?
Elise’s story starts with a convincing plea for help. But instead of seeing her plea answered, we are fast forwarded to months after she has sort of attempted suicide. Moving the action to so far from the inciting incident helps to remove us from the initial terror and angst that those around Elise – her parents – feel and how they controlled her. Instead we see how Elise is handling things.
Throughout the story, we see Elise grow as a person. We see her make some really good choices and we see her make some very bad choices (as we all do). We see her discover who her true friends are and how to be the best friend she can be (and we’re all still learning this). We see her struggle with demons that most people don’t even realize that she has and decisions that seem bigger than she is (oh, how relatable, right?).
This story is one that I am so glad that I read. As a music lover (and a firm believer that songs can save you) and a fellow girl named Elise who struggled with (and, in truth, is still in the struggle) finding their place in the world, I loved this. I loved getting lost in this world and finding everything I needed to in the story.
My only caution with this story is that (as with many stories) you want to be sure that you are not giving it to a child that is too young. I would not recommend it for anyone younger than high school – and possibly holding off until 10th grade. A lot of the subject matter is sensitive and you want to be sure that the child that will be reading it can handle it.
Otherwise, go pick this book up and give it a read! You won’t regret it!
What was the last great book that you read?