Author: Leila Sales
Series: Stand Alone
Published: September 17th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: 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 Give This ...
I've never read a book by Leila Sales. When I requested this one, I had no idea that I would identify with it the way I did. With that in mind, I think perhaps I should go back in her work and read more of what she has written.
Elise is that all too familiar teenage girl. That one who has no idea how to fit in. She's tried everything she can think of. But, sadly she was pegged long ago as being uncool. For some, this very thing would not matter. To Elise, it might be everything. Nobody recognizes how lonely she is, that she has no friends, and how desperately she just wants to be noticed. It's not just one thing that leads her to the brink, but many. I think this leads Elise to feel even more isolated even though her parents watch her like a hawk.
She takes solitude with her long walks and her ipod in the middle of the night when the town is sleeping. She never has a destination and one night her walk leads her to a hidden night club. The two girls standing out front think nothing of befriending her and soon she's inside the doors. Here, nobody knows a thing about her past. She hasn't been pegged as anything. She's free to be who she wants. That freedom becomes a craving and soon every Thursday night becomes about planning on how to get out of her house and visit the club again.
It's these nights that lead Elise to a new passion, DJing. I never knew how much went into this art form. But, apparently Elise has a real knack for it. The art of blending one song into the next, matching beats, and reading the crown are things that come pretty naturally do Elise. And soon her name is known in the crowd. All of a sudden she just might be SOMEBODY. But, during her perfect night life Elise is fighting off the things happening during the day. An online diary that claims to be written by Elise is starting to take over her life. No one believes she isn't writing it. But, Elise knows she finally has something to driver her forward.
I was deeply touched by all of this. I think you will see many review about the high school misfits that identify greatly with Elise. While, I wasn't exactly one them, I understood it all. I was on that bubble and I latched on to any little bit that I could get. That's why I understood when Elise fell for Char and how she would bent over backward at times for Vicky and Pippa. One has to learn how to be yourself without losing yourself.
I think Sales does a great job of addressing the subtle things that can happen to teenagers. It's often not about one thing but about many. I can't wait to pick up one of her older book and will definitely be looking out for her future works!