The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
This Song Will Save Your Life
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Elise spends the summer before her sophomore year working hard to transform herself into someone popular - someone who will fit in, and won't be mocked in the yearbook, or forced to sit alone at the front of the bus. But half way through the first day of school, she realises that all her careful preparations have been for nothing. She's still an outsider, and the realisation makes her hit rock bottom.
But everything changes for Elise when she stumbles upon an underground indie club night, Start, and unexpectedly finds a place she belongs. Here, she makes new friends who talk about music, shop for vintage clothes and accept her for who she is, and even falls in love for the first time. Best of all, she has the chance to discover her talent for DJ-ing, which soon becomes a passion. But as problems build at school and at home, Elise finds herself pulled between her two very different identities: high school misfit, and up-and-coming DJ wunderkind.
This is a tremendously engaging story about finding your passion and finding yourself. Elise is a likable heroine, who anyone that has ever felt like an outsider will be able to relate to. Sales deals responsibly with some challenging subjects, including bullying and suicide, yet there is also plenty of lightness and hopefulness too. Indie fans will especially enjoy this story, which is lyrical about the joy and power of music, and even comes complete with a suggested playlist of songs at the back of the book.