Tuesday, February 11, 2014

This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life  by Leila Sales

(borrowed from my local library)

Elise Dembowski is that girl who struggles through elementary and secondary school, but you just know will find her place easily in college.  Elise is smart and very much an individual.  When she can no longer stand all of the ostracism and bullying, she attempts to study her peers and blend in.  This, of course, doesn't change anything.  She's already been placed in a category and everyone who knows her, will make sure she stays there.  So, Elise cuts herself, while mulling thoughts of suicide... and then she gets scared.  She calls a nice girl from school and tells what she's done.  

Elise can't find her place among her peers.  Primarily, because they seemed to be determined not to allow one for her. What she finds instead are people who like her for her.  She finds some friends and discovers a whole new world, one where she is accepted for who she is.  One where she can flourish and grow.  But, there's a rub.    Every school day is still the same. She's made a couple of friends, but they are on the edges of school society, like Elise. Then there's the fact that as she shuffles back and forth between her parents' houses, she is watched like a hawk.

When Elise stumbled across the secret club being held in a warehouse in her city, it was by accident.  When her family was asleep, she took to taking late night walks and on one of these she wound up meeting Pippa and Vicky who get her into the club and become real friends to her.

This isn't just a story of bullying, but it certainly is one of those. This is the story of an ostracized girl realizing just who she really is and all that she can become.  Sales brings us a believable character in Elise.  More than that, she gives the reader a clear look into the mind of a bullied teen.  I think this is one of the best "It Gets Better" messages I've seen yet.  

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