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This Song Will Save Your Life

Leila Sales’s music-infused YA novel This Song Will Save Your Life has been optioned by two producers looking to adapt it for both stage and screen.

Tony-winner Kevin McCollum (Avenue Q, Rent) and TV producer Michael Novick (best known for Glee) announced the deal today for the 2013 young adult novel, about a misfit teenage girl named Elise Dembowski who has a passion for music but not much skill at making friends.

She finds her niche in the world of indie rock, DJing at an underground nightclub where she discovers that music can speak louder than words and there are kindred spirits out there who are just as awkward (and secretly awesome) as she is.

“I’m thrilled that this story may be shared with an even wider audience,” Sales said. “Like most music lovers, I am such a fan of Kevin and Michael’s work, so it’s an honor to have this project with them. I can’t wait to see how they interpret this story. I bet it’s going to be very rock ‘n’ roll — just how Elise would want it!”

McCollum said he was drawn to This Song Will Save Your Life because it showed “the way in which we create our own families.”

“We thought the journey of the main character was compelling, and the way she weaves her story and the songs together is unique — a story tailor-made for both the stage and the screen,” McCollum added.

It’s a new partnership between McCollum and Novick, who said he moved back to New York in the hope of finding new properties and a partner with which to develop them. “Leila’s wonderful story and the dynamic characters she created, coupled with Kevin McCollum’s taste and talent as a producer, feels like a perfect storm,” he said.

What’s unclear is whether the title will stay the same. This past year, the Weinstein Company released the musical film Begin Again, starring Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo, but it was originally titled: Can a Song Save Your Life?

Sales’s novel title would seemingly answer that question, and if the producers decide to stick with it, hey, at least they won’t have to compete against such a similarly named film.