Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (BYR)
Release Date: Sept. 17th, 2013
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.There's so much to say about this book. I love it to pieces, and it's on my list of favorite books for sure. The thing is, I think that only some people will get as much out of the book as I did. If you've never been in Elise's situation, or at least to that extreme, then let me be honest, you probably won't love it as much as some of us do (you might though!).
This is a heart-wrenching book, but it's a book that totally gets it. Elise's thoughts are spot-on, and I connected with her in so many ways. She was real, and I saw myself in her. And that's part of why I loved the book so much. I've struggled in situations similar, but not quite the same, as the ones Elise struggles with. Elise never came off as annoying or whiny to me, possibly because I've been there. The way that Leila Sales can get into a character such as Elise's brain so perfectly really amazes me.
I also love the incorporation of awesome music. It enforced the whole DJ-ing aspect of the book, and I liked how it allowed me to find out about more awesome music! I also enjoyed that romance wasn't the focus of the book. It focuses on friendship, family, honesty, and a different kind of love.
A lot of the side characters are also incredible. Whether you love or hate them, they're complex and have their own problems too. They feel real, and it's like they could be real people. I really came to love Vicky and even the security guard (I currently feel a bit brain-dead, so I can't think of his name right now). They all brought something to the table, and each person had their own agenda, whether it went along with Elise's or not.
In the end, I think it's a book that you can only truly appreciate and understand if you've been there. I'm not saying you won't like it if you haven't, but there's a deeper connection to it. There's something about it that just pulls you in if you've gone through something similar, particularly if you've found friends and something you love like Elise did. There's something that you can't grasp or understand if you don't know what it's like. And I think that's why there are people that didn't enjoy the book as much. You don't get as much out of it. If you don't really have a million "yes, yes, yes;" "THIS!;" or "THIS JUST GETS IT" moments, then yeah, you probably won't enjoy it as much as someone who does. (Again, I'm not trying to say that this fits every person, but.) It's an inspiring book, really, and it's very much character-based, but there isn't as much drama or any of that stuff as compared to other contemporary books and just YA books in general. But for me, this book was almost beyond perfect because it just got it. It showed me that people understand, and that I'm not alone.
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