I eat books and get eaten by them. It's an uncomplicated relationship.
I'm co-blogger at YA Fanatic as well.
Book: This song will save your life
Author: Leila Sales
Here’s my story:
My dad is in the Indian Navy and so ever since I was born we’ve been on the move from coast to coast and city and to city. It’s been a lovely experience, because every new city brought me closer to new people who followed different lifestyles and had absolutely different tastes. I would stay in the city of Vishakhapatnam (It’s a southern Indian city.) and I would get to eat dosas and idlis and all sorts of south-Indian food that don’t taste as good as they should in other places! And there was also the case where people spoke a completely different language. Then after about three years or maybe two years, we would move to a different city, be it Mumbai or New Delhi and I’d get acquainted to different cultures, all over again.
Now, here’s where I’m going to cut in and tell you as to why I’ve been going on and on about my experiences.
You see, because I went to different cities, I would be admitted into different schools where I would know absolutely no one. But since I’ve always been on the move, I’ve adapted to a lifestyle as such and I’ve always found it easy to make friends. Then there were the cases of how sometimes I’d come across people who my bestfriend or some other friend would know because I used to stay with my family in the defence housing colonies and like me, there would be people who would go to the same school and have been to different places where they would meet someone who I knew from before because I had stayed in that place too, so I’ve always been a part of this interconnected web of friendship.
Because of this, I’ve never really felt lonely. I’ve always had someone to lean onto and someone to joke with. There was always someone. Ofcourse now the whole situation is quite different but this was something that I experienced at school.
Sure, I had my own personal set of insecurities and phobias and I still have them, but that’s natural because I’m only human, but what I’ve been trying to say all this while is that I’ve never truly felt the brunt of not having a companion. So when I read books, where I would come across characters who like Elise, in this book, have felt that it was always difficult for them to make friends, I ‘sometimes’ don’t understand them and end up not liking the book. That’s why I avoid reading books on bullying. I’m not saying that you have to be a victim of bullying to read such books, I’m just saying that from a personal point of view, I avoid such books because I don’t want to be insensitive.
This is my perspective here, of how I feel when I read about books where a girl or a boy are bullied or where they’re socially inept or how when they realise that what they’re put through is absolutely wrong and that no way in the world is it their fault, yet they continue to suffer, makes me tag them as people who have no ‘spine’ or people who simply irritate me. I realise that every person is different, but THIS is my Achilles’ heel, I sometimes come across as a very insensitive person because I just don’t understand the whys and hows and that is my problem, not yours.
That being said, this doesn’t mean that I’m completely repel from things that have such concepts, I’ve read a few and I’ve liked some of them and This song will save your life, in my opinion is an absolute winner.
Elise Dembowski is a very powerful protagonist. She came across this ‘real’ person with real problems and I felt that she is one of the greatest female protagonists, that I have come across in a very very long time.
I thought that her journey was one that most of us would connect with in some or the other way. I, myself could connect with some of the elements in the book, like the part where Elise talks about her relationship with attention and how sometimes when you’re in a situation and in a place which seemed okay a few seconds ago starts to feel like a place where you don’t belong or that you shouldn’t be here. Then there were things that seemed so fascinating about Elise and I felt that wow, it would be so nice to meet someone like that. Someone who’s so..honest? Real? Refreshing? Smart? There were a couple of conversations that she had with Char, the nineteen year old guy she meets later in the book and I’m thinking that if I were there in her situation then I would probably just gape and be clueless like an idiot. I love how the relationships unfolded. I loved how Elise thinks. I LOVED Elise.
Besides, Elise I felt that almost every character, from the ones who had been mentioned just once to the ones who had been one of the main characters, played pivotal roles. Every character was important. The novel was Elise’s life story and just like, the way different people in different walks of life affect different situations in our lives, in the same way, every character’s role in how they affected the way Elise was came out with a force and there’s nothing like loving every element of a well-written book.
The only complication?
I still don't understand why people treated Elise the way they did in the book. I get that she was a bit different, but it wasn't like she was a creature with two heads from another planet. There were people who were much much MUCH weird. But who knows what goes on in the minds of people in general.
So here’s the deal. Everybody loves this book. I love this book. And I’m pretty sure that you would too.