I hate it when you end up disliking a book everyone else has loved so far. But that’s the case for me and This Song Will Save Your Life. There were some things I liked here, but they couldn't outweigh the irritating or bad. I think the novel’s biggest hurdle is the main character, Elise. I don’t have an issue with unlikable characters, but there always needs to be something in there that can make you sympathize with them. Even if it’s something really tiny. My problem with Elise was that she is pretentious, and in a way that irritates the daylights out of me: She’s pretentious about music. Only certain kinds of music are worthy enough to be listened to, and everything else is crap, and if you like said crap? Obviously you’re not a very intelligent person. Granted, that comes down to personal taste. I don’t like people who are pretentious about what music they listen to, so it follows that I wouldn’t be wild about Elise. Other readers may not be bothered by it. Personally, I’m going to continue to rock out to Backstreet Boys or Britney Spears whenever I feel like it. The other problem is that, while Elise does have every reason to be scornful of her classmates, the writing rarely ever treats said classmates fairly. There are a few cases--Amelia Kindl, for one, and Elise’s kinda sorta friends Sally and Chava are treated well enough. But then the novel falls into the usual trap of having a group of mean girls, and they stay pretty much mean girls throughout the novel during the few times they show up. There’s a difference between a character being disdainful of another character in a book and the writing itself being disdainful as well. The kids at school just can’t possibly compare to the cool quirky new people Elise meets at the underground club Start, and the writing doesn’t do anything to disprove that. But there are some legitimately good points here too. There’s a scene of Elise learning how to DJ that’s actually very interesting and well written, and I wish there had been more of that instead of most everything else. In general when Elise is DJing, I enjoyed the novel more than I did with anything else. Her love of it felt genuine, and the descriptions of the club were really well written. The romance, also, is slightly unusual for a YA: It’s based mostly on lust and physical attraction, and the writing doesn’t try to pretend it’s anything else. Char, the love interest, was a huge douchebag and this is more or less addressed at certain points. This is a refreshing change from other books where he’d likely be excused from his behaviour. I think that if people are okay with a pretentious, unlikable main character, they’ll have an easier time with This Song Will Save Your Life than I did. As it is, I was expecting a lot more and came away disappointed. See more of my reviews at On The Nightstand!