James takes the cat around to the neighbors looking for the owner, but finds none. So James take the cat home, feeds him, and cleans a wound he notices the cat has. James takes him to a vet and gets medication that the cat has to take for a few days so the cat gets to stay. Then the cat gets a name, Bob. James doesn't want to get attached thinking that Bob will want to return to the streets, only Bob doesn't seem to want to. Then Bob starts joining him at work. A few things happen, I don't want to spoil anything, and James realizes that he and Bob are in this together, he is responsible for another life, and he starts to turn his life around.
This is a beautiful true story of a man, and a cat, getting there second chances in life. And James realizes he needs Bob as much as Bob needs him. They are comfort, friends, soul mates, and this us there story. What a beautiful and articulate story about the goodness that lives in every person and the power of connection to a sentient being that can lift even the most desolate out of the ashes Loving animals I very rarely like to read novels based on them. This time traveling far away from home I saw the book with a catchy picture of Bob traveling on the shoulders of his best friend and I was hooked.
Ordered the book that would take longer that I had hoped for and realizing I wanted to read it fast before my next travel took advantage of a great dis count given for the same book in e-format. I finished it too fast and when the book arrives will give it to my friend a dog lover that is the Mother Theresa of dogs, she will love it too and will be amused to get into the soul of Bob a very spirited cat.
The book is a tale of redemption for a young fellow who is struggling with his life and keeping his modest flat. He is suddenly gifted with the friendship of a vulnerable stray cat. In helping the wounds of the stray he opens doors that lead him to his own salvation regaining his self of purpose and direction. The authors ability to make us become three musketeers in the story is a pleasure.
I learned from the author how painful and scary is to recover from drug addiction and how seemingly easy drugs offer a quick solution to emotional pain and loneliness. The love of Bob teaches us how love and care needs no quick fixes that lead to a dangerous downfall.
A great Christmas book with adventure and a magic message. Don't recall where I saw the book cover early this morning, but I fell in love with Bob's picture and bought the Kindle edition. Downloaded it, got sucked in reading the first few pages and didn't put it down until I'd finished reading it a few hours later. I laughed out loud and had tears running down my cheeks as I read their very touching and heart-warming story Thanks for sharing your stories with us, James and Bob!
This true story was a combination of sad, hopeful, heart-warming and inspiring. I also watched the movie, which followed pretty closely to the book. It was truly an entertaining book. He also went through a struggle with drug addiction and homelessness. Trying to turn things around, he was undergoing addiction treatment and living in sheltered-accommodations. Bowen supports himself on London streets by busking, or singing and playing his guitar for donations. Soon it is evident that the cat is here to stay and Bowen names him Bob.
In some ways it was giving me back my identity. I had been a non-person; I was becoming a person again. Some regulars even brought Bob presents including treats, toys and even hand-made scarves. Having Bob also made Bowen focus on someone other than himself. It was scary too. A Street Cat Named Bob is a true success story, but you will have to read the book to find out the ending.
I had read some reviews of this book and the other two by James Bowen, and I was fortunate to receive a copy of this for Christmas. I can't say enough good about it. I've been telling everyone about it, and I ordered this copy as a gift for someone else. It really is about how a cat comes into recovering drug-addict and street musician James Bowen's life and they ultimately save each other. I don't think that anyone need be a cat-lover to enjoy this book, although it does help.
I loved watching the video of the first book signing for the book; Over people showed up. I'm so happy to know that with the success of this book, two additional ones, and versions for children, Bowen and Bob are no longer living a perilous, uncertain life on the streets. See all 2, reviews. See all customer images. Most recent customer reviews. Yet Redeeming Love still holds up as an allegory of God's love for humankind.
Love, forgiveness and redemption. It is one of those rare novels that though based on a story from the Bible, manages to captivate an audience who may not claim any Christian beliefs. It can be at times depressing, heart-wrenching, horrifying and preachy. Yet it is also uplifting, glorifying, hope-filled and romantic. Despite some reservations, Redeeming Love is still a worthy read for lovers of Christian fiction and for lovers of romance. Even if you don't end up loving it, it is so popular, so highly rated and reviewed that it's worth reading just the once.
This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales
Because despite its flaws for me it still manages to resonate with the ideal of true love and the romantic notions of love conquers all. Jun 15, Amy Foxy rated it it was amazing Shelves: March 14th, I finished and this book is still my all time favorite book! Deserves more than 5 stars. Gomer is a prostitute and Hosea is a Godly man told to marry her.
It's their struggle she finds it hard to turn away from the life she has always known and basically born into. This is the ultimate love story! There were so many things I wanted to highlight throughout this book. One of my favorite lines was: I'm very pleased to meet you. Though fallen low God raised her up An angel. The song Amazing Grace reminds me of this book: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, Was blind, but now I see. Michael is definitely my book husband. He isn't someone you just date.
He is someone you marry. View all 47 comments. Dec 30, Arlene rated it it was amazing Shelves: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers has undeniably earned a coveted spot on my top bookshelf of classically flawless stories. This is a book that I will probably find myself reading over and over again until it simply falls apart at the seams. Such a beautiful love story that I could not separate myself from both mentally and emotionally.
I think I must have sighed a hundred times from heartbreak and angst for these characters and forget about keeping track of my facial expressions, but I treasured every moment irregardless of what people around me must have witnessed. But before I move on let me explain my reading preferences. I pick up books for fictional journeys, normally young adult, paranormal, and dystopian. Okay, so keeping that in mind, I still picked up this book and I was wowed… Not in a spiritual sense mind you.
I saw it from more of an emotional perspective rather than a spiritual sense. So if I missed the mark… oh well… it was mine to miss. Overall, this book does a masterful job of blending love and betrayal, hope and despair, self-destruction and ultimate redemption. I fell in love with these characters as Michael and Angel experienced a turbulent journey towards trust, hope, love and ultimate faith.
He was such a gentle and trusting soul and just an all around, too good to be true person. His faith in God and his belief in his purpose as dictated by a higher being were heartfelt and poignant. As for Angel, for all of the mistakes and sins she committed, I still held a soft spot for her and cared for her character deeply, and that never wavered.
My heart broke when her back-story was revealed, and I read about how she was betrayed, destroyed and used. No matter how awful her choices were and how badly they hurt Michael, I still wanted to come to her defenses. What an emotional ride! Another thing I want to share about this book. There is a part in the story, right after Angel betrays and abandons Michael and not for the first or last time that he takes her to an unknown destination. He ultimately leads them to the crest of a mountain and he points to the moon… yes, that ball of cheese in the sky, and he holds her tightly.
After resisting him for some time, she finally stops to look at the beauty around her as the hours pass, the moon descends and the sun begins to set. Noooo, not the Barry Manilow version… more like the Jason Castro rendition. So for me to quote a sappy love song, you know I was moved by this book! View all 24 comments. I think the purpose of this book was overshadowed by the very dark subject matter. A lot of people have called this a Christian Romance, I find that very hard to believe.
The story is about a young girl sold into prostitution at the age of eight who later is rescued by a man named Michael. The books goes into shocking, disturbing detail of the sad life she led. The whole thing was very depressing and I only continued to I think the purpose of this book was overshadowed by the very dark subject matter. The whole thing was very depressing and I only continued to read hoping it would get better. If he really had respect for her and what she had been through he would have waited until she was ready.
The book was way too long and way too gloomy. For the subject matter and details given I would have give it at R rating. View all 27 comments. Dec 16, Karen rated it it was amazing Shelves: It had cleansed her, never casting blame. But that had been only the beginning. It was loving him in return that had brought her up out of the darkness. So much to say about this book. The emotions incited were overwhelming.
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My chest still hurts from the feelings I have. And when I do, it is more often out of sorrow and pain 5 STARS She thought she had been saved by his love for her, and in part she had been. And when I do, it is more often out of sorrow and pain. But this book made me cry out of sheer joy.
It chokes me up still to think about it. This story follows the life of a girl who has believed from her earliest memories that she was a mistake. Not meant to be born. A burden to everyone she encountered. And as she grew up, her beliefs were reinforced time and time again. She lost any hope she had of love and happiness in her life. And she knew deep down to the bottom of her soul that those things were not meant for her.
They looked into her angel eyes and were lost. Enduring the ship alone to get there was enough to take her sanity. The freedom she thought she would find upon her arrival had quickly turned into a fight to survive. Penniless and alone, she was quickly drawn right back into the life she had tried so hard to escape. There was no freedom. There was no happiness. But then something happened. And his name was Michael Hosea. Now this was a man who was told by God, that he should marry Angel and deliver her from her bondage.
The more he tried to convince her, the more convinced she was of his insincerity. What was it about this man that got to her? She preferred the numbness to this stirring of emotion. Hope was an enemy. And this man was a thorn in her side. She was the blackest night, and he the starlight piercing it, creating an unfolding pattern in her life. This book was a struggle for one woman to overcome the power of her own self worth. And in a way, it proved that although food and water are needed to nourish our bodies, they may not be as important to our survival as faith and hope and trust.
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She stared at those aristocratic hands, hands without calluses, pale and manicured. Beautifully shaped hands that were capable of unspeakable cruelty.
They were callused and rough. His hands had looked so cruel and yet been so gentle. His touch had healed her body and opened her heart. I will say though that this one will go straight to my favorites list. I will leave you with a few quotes, and photos, and my updates photos as well. I cannot recommend this one enough. View all 37 comments. Thanks for reminding me about this one. Apparently I added it back in Sounds like Just read your review again.
Sounds like quite a memorable story. Mar 24, Eastofoz rated it liked it Recommends it for: Readers looking for frontier inspirational romance or a retelling of the Book of Hosea. There was one very brief disgusting scene but given the situation and the period I thought that was misleading to brand it PG There is virtually no physical intimacy in this book, apart from the odd kiss, and any sex is glossed over leaving you wondering if they had sex or not.
You get these one liners about horrific beatings, great sex on a very spiritual level but no detail. Emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy make for better rounded characters I think and I felt short changed not to get all that. The hero and the heroine are very well-drawn. He gets kicked in the teeth so many times but he still keeps coming back for more. He reminded me of poor Job at times. She has heaven in hand and she keeps throwing it away. It was difficult to believe all this love at first sight and God speaking to these people in mysterious ways.
Angel has been through hell and back why have her leave her haven incessantly? So two stars for romance, four for the retelling of the Book of Hosea for me. If devout believers who see God in everything as well as true faith being the only way to find happiness in life bother you, you may want to pass on this book. View all 26 comments. Sep 26, Lexie rated it did not like it. I recieved this as a part of the First Reads program. I was repulsed by this book. It's supposed to be a Christian romance novel.
Full disclosure, I'm an atheist, so I wasn't expecting to exactly fall in love with the book. But I found the concept of the story of Hosea being retold during the Gold Rush interesting, or else I wouldn't have picked it up. So you may ask, why was I so repulsed by this book? Looking past the forced marriage, rape, beatings and child rape described in the book. Also look I recieved this as a part of the First Reads program. Also looking past the flat, one dimensional characters, that are by the way, stunning and physically beautiful how boring is that.
Not to mention, looking past the horrible source material that is the Old Testament. I'm repulsed by the ideas that this book reinforces for women. I'm disgusted that this drivel was written by a woman. And after reading some reviews prior to recieving the book, I'm appaled that some people found this book moving, positive and uplifting. The plot device of using these characters to represent god and his unconditional love that he supposedly has for his children was weak. This was represented by the two main character's and Angel. So god talks to him I'll leave that one alone and tells him to marry her.
He has a priest marry the two of them while she's pretty much unconsious. She runs away after being forced to work for and take care of him. I wonder why she would run away. So she finally meets a family who is willing to take care of her. She's in a good place. And then he comes back for her. She for some unknown reason, goes back to him. The worst part is the ending, because she wants nothing more than to please him and bear him a son.
This book does nothing more than subjugate women. In my own opionion, so do gods and religions, but that's a different story for a differnt time. What positive message is there in this for anyone? Be a good wife and devote all your time to making babies. I think we all know there is more to life than that. Please don't waste your time reading this book, get something else that will celebrate life and the worth of an individual, or something that you will learn something from. I'll be trading mine in at the local book mine, to get something of more worth.
View all 16 comments. I listened to this one on my iPod. I tried so hard not to cry especially toward the end but I finally had to pull over and wipe my eyes when it ended. So much grief, redemption and joy. A fantastic story that drew me in and kept me glued. Its a historical romance set in mid 's gold country region of California. Angel is a damaged young woman working a brothel and struggling with many horrors from her past. Michael is a devout Christian who believes God wants him wow, a very powerful story! Michael is a devout Christian who believes God wants him to marry Angel - a soiled dove.
Apparently this is a retelling of a bible story. I think this may be only the second Christian themed novel I've ever read, which means its the first one I ever finished. While it was very inspirational it refrained from being preachy. Its not a light read, and at times was even depressing. But the writing was so spot on and the characters so real I couldn't stop. And it does end with a great ending. I can't tell you how many times I wanted to crawl into the book to talk with Angel, hug Michael, slap his brother, kill a bad guy, shelter a person down on their luck I can see why it has such high ratings by sooooo many people.
But my next book will be a light read. I don't think I could take two books like this in a row! View all 19 comments. Instagram Twitter Facebook Amazon Pinterest I am not religious, so my review of this inspirational romance will be coming from the perspective of a secular reader. Francine Rivers is a name that gets bandied around a lot, not just in the christian fiction groups, but also in the historical romance groups in general.
I was curious to see Instagram Twitter Facebook Amazon Pinterest I am not religious, so my review of this inspirational romance will be coming from the perspective of a secular reader. I was curious to see what she was like. As soon as I began reading this book, I literally had two people message me to inform me that this book allegedly takes two forms: I apparently have the version, which was edited to remove swear words and explicit love scenes to make it religion-friendly, which is definitely the case in my version. All sex scenes are very much fade-to-black, or in the case of one scene, ends with the hero and heroine soaring towards heaven - metaphorically, I'd imagine.
Unless I somehow picked up a paranromal romance book without actually catching on. Over the years she has become bitter and cold; it's her only defense against her growing despair at sleeping with men she doesn't like in a prison gilded by the gold dust of the Californian mining town she's settled in.
On one of her walks, Michael Hosea sees Angel and hears God tell him that this is the woman he is destined to marry. When he finds out what she is, he throws a mini-hissy before pulling up his britches and delivering Angel the news. She is not amused, and rebuffs him multiple times. When he marries her, she's actually unconscious from a beating. Much of the book is Angel learning to deal with her guilt and self-hatred.
Her bitterness is exceptionally well done, and the pain she feels is warranted. The epilogue of this book is straight out of a bodice ripper, and the more I found out about her backstory - neglect, abuse, rape, assault, incest, probably PTSD - the more I sympathized with her. No matter how frustrated I felt with her as a character, I always felt that her actions were in line with her character. It takes a long time before she's able to trust Michael, and when she does, it happens in stages.
She trusts him with her body and her well-being long before she's willing to let him have her heart. She is as much a snob if not worse as anybody else. I was working on my combination when my friends showed up. You know, Chava and Sally. From the first page to the last she kept judging people, her friends and even the boy she made out with, everybody.
Her cool indie rock is so much better than the popular music. I tried, for nearly an hour. Then I gave uo. Not even interesting-bad …. Like they thought we were stupid. Just because I like to listen or dance to pop music once in a while you oh so special girl can call me stupid and brainless? I like to listen to live jazz in a smoky bar, go to classic guitar concerts, I enjoy opera but I really love a DJ who can make me dance with house music. But not enough, she also gets a job offer after only a few weeks of half-an-hour appearances as DJ for the whole Friday night putting on music until early morning.
Are fucking kidding me? Maybe that is news to you, but at this age and according to youth labor laws that also apply in the USA as far as I know this is prohibited it is called: Young Persons Protection of Employment Act I believe it is liable to prosecution to put 16 year olds to work after 8 pm. But our Elise is soooo special she is even better than DJ Char, the boy who she made out with during the last weeks, who showed her how to DJ and gave her an opportunity to perform as one in the first place.
Pete took a swig of ginger ale. Let me tell you this: No DJ will attract a crowd because he is an upstart. But of cause special DJ Elise does. It was all laid out for me across the Internet. Elise Dembowski suicide had fallen down on the list. I stared at my computer screen for a long moment, and I smiled. You know what Elise; fuck you and your attitude. You are nothing special. You are like a million other people out there and maybe just maybe I suggest you talk to people instead of judging them. Maybe Michael has a reason for his way of life.
Being 33 years old I can honestly say I am glad I am out of school. It was a horrible experience sometimes; at least for me. But this novel gives young adults the wrong idea: And no, this is not true. Because I went out at night, and I did go to parties and I met all kinds of wrong people, started taking drugs and have meaningless sex with boys I never met before. And the way Elise takes is not right: Everybody has something good to show, everybody has gone through life altering moments as well.
Maybe some people were popular in school. But even they had heartbreak, or have lost dear ones, or have a problematic family situation. It just takes talking to them to get to know people and it takes courage to open up and to confide in others. View all 24 comments. And oddly enough, this Elise is one of the most relatable characters I've ever read about.
She's so much like me, like any of us who didn't grow up popular , that it's almost terrifying. They know a few facts about you, and they piece you together in a way that makes sense to them. And if you don't know yourself very well, you might even believe So, fun fact: And if you don't know yourself very well, you might even believe that they are right. But the truth is, that isn't you.
That isn't you at all. She's not unpopular because of one specific Mean Girl ruining her life - everyone thinks of her as fundamentally lesser. Her socially acceptable actions are framed as weird because she's the weird girl. Elise is a character who is trying to be liked, but isn't good enough at hiding her inner self. It helps that the author conveys the school environment so well - the friends of convenience, the fake niceties.
Elise's struggles spoke to me on such a deep level. And isn't that - just you - enough. Maybe it sounds cheesy, but she needs to escape. She's trapped in her life and she just wants to be out. Above all else, I related to this. The author does such a good job conveying that feeling of wanting to escape and be someone else , someone above it all and on top of her life and far more personable, just to be her for a little while. And you know what else I liked? That she doesn't end the book by making the friends she needs and riding off into the sunset.
The conclusion of this novel is far less Explicit Narrative Punishment than most would be. What stuck out to me most of all was how the author validates Elise's feelings. At no point do we get some decrying of Elise for being petty and leaving the school - that's not the story Leila Sales wants. Elise, as a character, is given far more narrative and personal agency than characters in YA contemporary often are.
It's poignant and full of vivid characters, an easy read and a memorable one. So why didn't this book get five stars? One thing and one thing only: I can't deal with an underage girl x college age guy romance. How is this even in the realm of okay? Yeah, their relationship is consensual and he doesn't know her age, but the age gap is still pretty gross. That disgust kept me from enjoying this book nearly as much as I wanted to. Aside from the one terrible romance factor, this book was near perfect. I think this would work for all ages, though teens will connect to it more.
This Song Will Save Your Life is an absolutely amazing story about growing up on the outside, and I can't recommend it enough. View all 8 comments. Apr 26, Giselle rated it it was amazing Shelves: What an amazing, awe-inspiring book! This Song Will Save Your Life is emotional and beautiful; a story that will bring out your happy-tears by its conclusion! Once in a while there are books where you get to fully and completely connect to the main character to such a degree that you experience it all as if it was your own story with your own emotions.
This was one of those books for me. Elise made it incredibly easy to love her. She's funny and smart, but she has never fit in with her classmates What an amazing, awe-inspiring book! She's funny and smart, but she has never fit in with her classmates. She has an artist's soul, giving all her passion to what she loves; not awarding great importance to frivolous things like fashion or gossip unsurprisingly makes her an outcast at school. The struggles she faces by daring to be herself is heartbreaking. Leila did a great job at making this major part in the story all so very real and relatable.
While it had the potential to be an overwhelmingly sad story, instead it focuses on being uplifting, even inspirational. Elise never loses track of who she is, keeping her focus on what makes her happy instead of giving up. She is an amazing person through and through regardless of her flaws. Her doubts, insecurities, and fears captures the feelings of not fitting in to a T. When Elise does find out where she belongs by doing something she loves - being a DJ - I felt so extremely happy for her. Think about a time you got some great news that made you giddy happy the rest of the day.
This was how I felt by the end of this book, complete with happy tears blurring the words. Not even kidding, I could feel the energy of the crowd and the adrenaline pounding Elise's heart with thrill and nervous energy in those moments in the DJ booth. Along the way we meet some witty, energetic characters to color these pages. Even with the smallest of roles - bouncer Mel for instance - they brighten the story every chance they get. This novel is honest in its entirety, not just with the depiction of high school. Leila approaches romance and sex in a very realistic light, for one.
It's not always black and white with happily ever afters. Sometimes romance is just an experience; unclear and lustful, not all-empowering love. I also appreciated that romance was not used - nor needed - to move this story. Furthermore, Elise has a wonderful family unit - 2 actually - that were a significant part of this novel. Her mother's house is loud with family dinners and siblings that you grow to adore as much as she does.
Her father's house is where you get to veg on the couch silently, but together. These are parents who are refreshingly understanding and supportive of their kids' passion. I loved this, it completed the package. I do think this novel will impact some more profoundly than others, likely dependent on your own high school experience and identity. No matter, it's beautifully written with so much heart - a book well worth your time! For more of my reviews, visit my blog at Xpresso Reads View all 9 comments.
Nov 24, Aj the Ravenous Reader rated it it was amazing. And isn't tha "You think it's so easy to change yourself. The book is simply written but the contents are nothing simple. So many bright and wonderful ideas about life are scattered all over it that picking this book up is like finding a priceless treasure. It's practically a self-help book in the guise of a really good YA fiction. Reading this book is definitely worth your valuable time.
View all 16 comments. Sixteen year old Elise wants one thing: I always enjoy when a story shines a light upon a wallflower—and this author handled this well. The only thing missing was the reason. I wanted to know why she was an outcast? What did her classmates see in her, regardless of how unwarranted it all may have been? Elise was an extremely disliked character, and I was interested in learning where the ridicule initiated, even if it was unjustified.
Unfortunately, I never really gained any backstory. I did love the musical element in this story and felt the in-depth focus on DJing was a unique and interesting touch. The fact that not every aspect of this journey was neat and tidy gave the plot a more realistic feel. And in this regard, I feel much of this story held a life-like feel. The writing was polished, fluid, and I loved the creative descriptions. In sum, a quick read with a strong message of self-love and acceptance—and of course…the healing powers of music. Not really a love story. Coming of age plot about finding self-worth.
View all 37 comments. May 05, Lia rated it it was amazing Shelves: My playlist for this book: I get this feeling a lot, but I don't know if there's one word for it. It's not nervous or sad or even lonely. It's all of that, and then a bit more. The feeling is, I don't belong here. I don't know how I got here, and I don't know how long I can stay before everyone else realizes that I'm an impostor.
I am a fraud. I don't usually write very personal reviews. Being a naturally reserved person, a similar approach is what I'm generally comfortable with: But with such a book, I feel like it's time for me to step out of my comfort zone. It's a touching book, and it made me teary-eyed, and it warmed my heart. It's the story of a girl who was never quite right. Who was always precocious, always a little bit too smart for her own good, always unaware of what she should have been like.
She thought she could be whatever she wanted. Then, slowly, she realized that she could only be what other people wanted her to be: So Elise cut herself, because she needed attention.
Because she needed to be seen. It is no secret that teenage years are often one of the hardest and most complicated times of our lives. I was no exception.
This Song Will Save Your Life
And now, looking back, I'd like to take my younger self's hand and tell her that I'm proud of her, that she's strong, that she's valuable, and that she's doing the best she can. Because I was a million different people: I was the awkward girl, I was a loner, I was frigid and then suddenly a slut, I was quiet, then aggressive, and then I was the new girl, I was the quirky girl, I was even the popular girl that boys wanted to date and girls wanted to hang out with, and then I was just me, I was just a writer and a dreamer and sometimes a good friend and sometimes a bad one.
I was a million different people, and it was impossible to live with it, because the world is merciless. And because once they see you're different, they'll do whatever they can to make your life hell. But you have to fight back. You have to stop apologizing for being who you are, you need to grin and say thank you when they call you weird, and eventually you'll find out that you don't really care. That you went through all that judgement and thought it was going to destroy you, so you hurt yourself a little bit too, you hurt others because you didn't know any better, but at the end of it all You find out that it feels so much better when you say whatever you want, you wear whatever you want, you do whatever you want.
Because it doesn't matter if you're quirky weird cold-hearted she thinks she's so much better than all of us. Because you're you, and you're so, so bright. So full of passion and anger and strength, and you could change the world. This book often hit a little too close to home. Elise had a beautiful family.
She had parents who loved her, siblings who cared about her. She was talented and smart and strong, but it still wasn't enough. Because the world saw her light and wanted to snuff it out, and kids can be so cruel, and kids can be so sad. So Elise brought a knife to her wrists and cut deep until she was bleeding. Then she picked up the phone and, almost through a haze, she called for help. Her life didn't get any better after that; in fact, it got worse.
She felt so lonely and numb and out of place that she had to take long night walks to get to breathe again, to feel like she wasn't trapped. To feel like she was free. And it was during one of these walks that Elise discovered Start, a warehouse nightclub, and she discovered her love for DJing. I've always thought that artists are all somewhat alike: There is nothing like the feeling of creating something. And while Elise found out that all her passion and talent and love for music had not disappeared after all, she also opened herself up to the world. To new people, good and bad, people that would stay and people that would leave - because that's what happens.
The world that is waiting for you outside those walls is not inherently good or bad: Elise's journey wasn't pretty, and it wasn't easy. It was raw and real, and far from over, but it was something. She watched the people dance and cheer and kiss and she knew it was all because of her - and what a glorious feeling that was. Sometimes people think they know you. This is not a review on what this book is about. The artists, the outsiders, the ones that can't sleep at night, the people that were or are or will be in pain, the people that know what passion is, that know what it means to care so much and so little at the same time.
It's a book for dreamers, for all of us who believe that we can, that it is possible to change things, that it is a gift to be yourself, and for those who were hurt by the world but always fought back. It's a book for those of us who look at the sky and wonder, who maybe have lied and shouted and are not proud of who they were, but they are still trying.
And, as the song goes, maybe there's a way out of the cage where you live, maybe one of these days you can let the light in. View all 19 comments. Mar 11, Keertana rated it it was amazing Shelves: I just hope that, no matter what, this book gets the attention it deserves. Leila Sales latest is a dark novel, but an important one. I had a tight circle back in Michigan, but here I was suddenly an oddity. I was too smart. I was too plump. My mom braided my hair in pigtails which was just too weird.
I was lucky this was before middle school. I was lucky I realized that it was absolutely okay to be just who I was in life. I was also extremely lucky that the only time I ever considered suicide — last summer — I was too terrified of blood to actually go through with it. Sales, first and foremost, is spot-on with her characterization of Elise.
And yet, Elise manages to be a teenager of her own nature too. Yet, despite all that, the affection Elise has for them and their understated pride of her accomplishments is felt so palpably through these pages. Already her love for music puts her in an ideal spot to fit in with the crowd, but her personality soon earns her many friends as well.
Vicky, the carefree girl Elise first meets at the club, soon becomes a close friend and seeing their friendship evolve — awkwardly, slowly, but surely — was such a heart-wrenching bond to watch unfold. I sometimes like to think there are two types of books in the world: Char, the current DJ at the club Elise discovers, soon teaches her how to DJ and becomes more than just a friend to her. Both Char and their relationship have an almost ethereal quality to it, being difficult and complicated, but coated with a veneer of ease.
Char is much older than Elise, which gives their romance a very different angle and dynamic, but also makes their relationship much more rewarding in the future. TSWSYL will probably not be as personal an emotional journey as it was for me, but regardless of that fact, it is an incredible novel.
God Wrote This Part of Your Story Too
It is filled with unforgettable characters, even more stuck-in-your-head music, and wonderful depth. Utterly moving, deeply touching, and poignant, this is not a book that will leave your thoughts for a long time to come. Leila Sales, you are my hero. View all 6 comments. She spends the summer before her sophomore year of high school literally studying pop culture: She hates it all, especially the saccharine, auto-tuned music.
When it comes to music, Elise has standards. It may be too late to change her fate now, but she has to try. On the first day of school, she pulls on her skinny jeans and a tee shirt with a flattering neckline, slides a headband into her hair the magazines say that headbands are in , and stands at the bus stop. Still, no one talks to her. The summary hit a little too close to home but I knew that if I ever got my hands on this book it would change my life. Once I saw a couple reviews and videos about how amazing the book was on youtube, especially Emmmabooks If you are reading this.
Thank you so much for raving about this book and promoting it to your audience. But she wants to change this. She wants to sit in the middle of the bus instead of the front, have someone sit with her instead of sitting alone, have a conversation with someone instead of listening to her ipod. Being a High School student myself I really connected to what Elise was feeling and all of the thoughts going through her head.
Once Elise decided she had had enough of the bullying and abuse she was receiving at school she decided to hurt herself. A couple months, therapy sessions, hospital visits later Elise is back in school and stumbles across an underground nightclub and she comes alive. Vicky, an outgoing soon to be rockstar who befriends Elise. Every single character in this book had depth, even the petty popular girls in school that we only meet for a couple of pages.
They were all interesting and unique. He takes her under his wing and teaches not only how to DJ but how to DJ the right way. Anyone with an ipod can do that. Elise loves the feeling of being in the DJ booth looking out over the club and watching what her music can do to people. In those moments she is truly happy, but when the lights turn on and she has to sneak back into her bedroom, the feeling of being invincible starts to fade.
Some of them made me look prettier, and some of them made me look uglier, and some of them chopped me right in half, but none of them were right. When the lights are dim and the music is loud everything looks ten times better and everyone seems ten times more interesting. He is a college student trying to pay for his schooling. That girl with the shirt skirt and spiky pumps? That DJ with the unicorn boots? You only see what they want you to see, because for one Thursday night every week they can be whomever they want. When you know, from the moment you wake up, that everything you touch you will break, so the less you touch, the better.
For me this book put all of my feelings, fears, and insecurities on paper and it was a little sad and hard to read. But, in the end this book helped me come to terms with those feelings and ultimately helped me understand myself better. But sometimes, and totally unexpectedly, something can go right. But, somewhere out in the world there is someone reading this book and connecting to the characters feelings and finding a sense of understanding and love in between these pages. But sometimes you have to give up something you are to get to who you want to be.
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It was just descriptive enough to imagine the scene but vague enough that you could modify certain things. Elise is a relatable character that burrowed into my heart, read my mind, and spoke to my soul. Her words didn't seem overplayed or fake. All she wanted to be was popular and you know what happened instead? People were horrible and treated her badly. Some say it's the "high school experience", but to me that's just an excuse for the abuser.
It doesn't matter if it's verbal, physical, emotional, cyber, or in person, what matters is that one person is being hurt. I absolutely loved this book and it definitely holds a special place in my heart. Mental illness is not something we should look over. It may be scary to speak or even think about but if you are feeling depressed, suicidal, anxiety, or are suffering from abuse, bullying, or any other crises please talk to someone, visit the websites below, or call a helpline.
Please reach out to someone who can help. United States Suicide Hotlines: May 26, Chelsey the crazy cat lady rated it really liked it Shelves: I really enjoyed this book. I was expecting something completely different actually. The struggles Elise went through happen so often in our world today and I just loved seeing how everything did turn out great in the end. She pushed through and found a great bunch of friends and found something that she loved and brought her so much joy.
Nov 29, Anne rated it liked it Shelves: I was born to be unpopular. Let me start out this review by painting you pictures. PICTURE 1 Elise Dembowski has always been unpopular, there was never a moment when it wasn't so, there was no such thing as pinpointing the exact moment which marked her fall from grace. And I hereby submit these quotes as irrefutable evidence: And I was born to be unpopular. She might rub off on you. I was a social liability.
And they knew what I was long before I did. How is it even possible to be an uncool fourth grader? But somehow, even in fourth grade, they knew. Elise is sixteen now. And nothing has changed, if anything, things have only gotten worse. The long and short of it? Next thing to know is, that all her life, all she ever wanted was to be accepted, to be liked, to not be herself. To not be special. She's so fixated on these thoughts and wishes that whenever a hand of kindness no matter how glaringly and evidently wolfish and dishonest it is is extended to her by the most unlikely people, she becomes erroneously gullible and falls prey to their lies.
She's so broken down and worn out that she can't fight back, can't stand up for herself, not once. So she's been swallowing crap her whole life. And all the while, I'm rolling around in my bed, yelling: So we have our heroine a year later still struggling to keep up with life. Still trying to live, or rather cope.
One day she comes across an abandoned warehouse night club named Start, where she meets people who will later on influence her life, people who, like her, know and understand the power of music. I have a deep and great respect for books and authors , like this, that address important and crucial subjects which plague the society.
Most especially, those that explore pertinent questions pertaining to the topic of rape, sexism, bullying and ostracism. There's just too much emphasis placed nowadays on fitting into a particular image, a mould which society deems as norm, acceptable, and conventional. One of the many manifestations of such pressure on people-teenagers mostly-is bullying. Why most choose to overlook it? Honestly, the "why" of it is something I can't fathom. Is it too complex? Too unsavory to be discussed? I like books that bring such topics to light, so I'm very sorry I couldn't like this wholly.
And it grates me like you wouldn't believe. There's something to be said for reciprocation. If you don't want someone to judge you, start by not judging yourself. Elise bashes circular, popular music and musicians granted, I'm no fan of circular music too but I am not offensive and mean about my opinions , calls all her classmates Idiots and says a lot more nonsense I won't bother trying to recall. Her voice sounded seriously offensive to me for most part of the book.
It's okay to be angry and mad, maybe it's even the right thing to be, but it did not go well at all with the pitiful and dispirited persona she was trying to sell. She just felt too fake and manipulative for me. Is it even logical to complain about not having friends, about never being given a chance, about being made into a persona non grata, while on the side you dismiss the attempts of honest people, insult honest people who try to reach out to you just because you consider them as social pariahs just like-and even worse than- you?
How different exactly are you from the people you curse? I needed to understand why was she singled out in 4th grade. I mean in 4th grade? It isn't impossible, yes I know, but the way it was presented in this book only came off as absurd to me. Maybe that's the root of it all, the presentation of her case failed me.