by Leila Sales
Age Range: 12 and up
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 17, 2013)
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Buy the book: Amazon
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.I graduated from high school in 1970, over 40 years ago, but when I read some of these YA books the memories of those years seem all too clear. How well I remember the constant desire to "fit in", to be seen as part of the cool crowd, not to do anything that draws ridicule or gossip, to wear the right clothes. It was very hard to figure out who I was or wanted to be while still trying to be acceptable to classmates, teachers, and parents. This is the dilemma for Elise Dembowski. For whatever reason, Elise has no friends and is chronically unpopular. Elise believes that she has talents and abilities but none of them make her appealing to other students in her class. Finally after one more attempt to fit in fails, Elise decides to kill herself. This decision triggers events which open a totally new world for Elise. It is not all positive and she continues to make questionable choices, but at last she finds something that she can do well, take pride in and be accepted by her peers.
I enjoyed this story of discovery for a young woman who was lost in her own life. She learned some hard lessons along the way but she gained wisdom and life experience. She also went from distrusting everyone to realizing that some people actually are nice and helpful.
- Profanity: Heavy
- Sexual Content: Heavy
- Other Notables: Cutting, Eating Disorders, Drug Use, Underage Drinking, Suicide