Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Release Day Review: This Song Will Save Your Life

This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales

Age Range: 12 and up

Hardcover: 288 pages

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 17, 2013)

Genre: Young Adult contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley (thank you!)

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:

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.

About the Author:

Leila Sales grew up outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2006. Now she lives in Brooklyn, New York, and works in the mostly glamorous world of children's book publishing. Leila spends most of her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, dance parties, and stories that she wants to write.


My Thoughts:

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

This is a tough review for me to write. First, let me say what I loved about the book.  It was well written, interesting, and addictive. I couldn't put it down. I fell in love with Elise and her story and I just had to see how things turned out for her. I felt like she was a very believable character and I became very invested in her.  I loved, loved, loved her interest in DJing and the way it affected her emotionally and socially.

I really enjoyed the way she tries to make herself over to fit in with everyone else, only to have it backfire.  Then she remakes herself over again, but the time, as herself. She discovers who she is and realizes that she's known it all along.  The writing, the plot, and the characters are all fantastic. 

I love the cover. Brilliant, gorgeous cover. I want to make a poster out of it and hang it on my wall so I can look at it every day.

So why 3 stars? Language.  I was shocked at how many F-words (among other words) were in these pages.  I kept thinking, good grief, this is a teen novel?  The other reason was the sexual content.  It's not overly detailed, and "it" doesn't technically happen, but I don't have a better word for what does happen.  I think that sometimes authors forget how young their audience really is.

While I loved this book for many reasons, I still have to say that it contains too much adult content for me to recommend it to a teen audience.  I would have doled out a whole-hearted 5 star rating if it hadn't been for the language and sexual content.

Content: graphic language and sexual situations.  

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality - Review

Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

Age Range: 12 and up

Grade Level: 7 and up

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Scholastic, Inc (March 1, 2013)

Series: None

Genre: Contemporary

Source: Publisher via NetGalley

About the Book:

A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

Elizabeth Eulberg was born and raised in Wisconsin before heading off to college at Syracuse University and making a career in the New York City book biz. Now a full-time writer, she is the author of The Lonely Hearts Club, Prom & Prejudice, Take a Bow, and Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality. She lives outside of Manhattan with her three guitars, two keyboards, and one drumstick.

Website | Twitter | Facebook 

My Thoughts:

I thought this book was going to be funny, so I picked it up while I was in the mood for something humorous. Initially I was disappointed that it wasn't a laugh out loud type of book, especially since the blurb claims it is "hilarious", but it was still very entertaining.

Lexi is a sweet girl with a great personality, but she is tired of being stuck in the friend zone. Eventually, she accepts a friend's challenge to put more effort into her appearance. She then has to start navigating the tricky world of boys, jealous baby sisters, and insecure popular girls. The story itself is interesting, and the inclusion of beauty pageants and the behind-the-scenes look at the pageant families adds something fresh to an otherwise formulaic plot.

My biggest gripe with the story is Logan. This is a bit of a spoiler, so don't read this if you don't want to know anything. All through the book, Logan comes across as sweet, caring, and sincere. He is desperately clinging on to the last shreds of his relationship with his girlfriend, and he is super nice to Lexi. As soon as he and Lexi go out, he suddenly turns into a jerk. I just didn't find the way that whole thing played out to be very believable. I did love Taylor and I thought he was a great addition to the story. He was a good example of how a boy should treat a girl. I am interested to see if this will turn into a series.


Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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