I just wanted to wish you all a happy Valentine’s Day! I hope your day is full of love and friendship!💞
Anyway, today I thought I’d review a super sweet book called Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam. I hope you all enjoy!😘
So let’s get started!
Title: Wonderful Feels Like This
Author: Sara Lovestam
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult
The Elegance of the Hedgehog meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower in this novel celebrating being a little bit odd, finding your people, and the power of music across generations.
For Steffi, going to school every day is an exercise in survival. She’s never fit in with any of the other groups at school, and she’s viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she can escape is through her music—especially jazz music.
When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself.
The old man playing her favorite song is Alvar. When Alvar was a teenager in World War II-era Sweden, he dreamt of being in a real jazz band. Then and now, Alvar’s escape is music—especially jazz music.
Through their unconventional but powerful friendship, Steffi realizes that she won’t always be lonely in her small town. She can go to the music school in Stockholm. She can be a real musician. And she can be a jitterbug, just like Alvar.
But how can Steffi convince her parents to let her go to Stockholm to audition? And how is it that Steffi’s school, the retirement home, her music, and even her worst bully are somehow connected to Alvar and his story? Because as it turns out, everything is, in the end, linked . . .
Source: Thanks so much to Indigo Books & Music Inc. for providing me with a physical ARC of this book!
How I Found Out About It: Indigo newsletter
Upon requesting this book, it was mostly the confetti on the cover that drew me in, as well as my knowledge that this book was originally written in Swedish. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about Sweden other than the fact that it’s in Europe and that its capital is Stockholm, so I was so happy to get a glimpse into the Swedish culture in this book!
Wonderful Feels Like This turned out to be a very unique, memorable story, but not one of my favourites. There were tons and tons of things that I adored about it, but as with many books I read, there were still some flaws that put me off.
To briefly synopsize, this book revolves around a teenage girl named Steffi. She doesn’t think she really fits in with others her age, so she turns to jazz music to cheer herself up. One day when she hears some of that music playing from inside a retirement home, she makes her way in and instantly bonds with Alvar, the player she heard. Will Alvar and the other senior citizens be enough to make her feel welcomed in her community? And will she be able to gain the confidence to try out for the Stockholm music school?
I really liked the loyal, strong character that Steffi was and thought she went through a lot of development by the end of the story. She started off being pretty insecure and ashamed of herself and her inability to fit in with her peers, but as the book progressed and she made bonds with the people at the seniors’ centre, she learned to embrace her differences and accept the fact that nobody is exactly the same.
One thing that sort of irked me about this book was the flashbacks to the 1940s, around the time of WWll. In this story, WWll was a big part of many of the senior citizens’ lives, but the memories and flashbacks about it just didn’t really add much to the story. I didn’t find them fascinating, they were confusing, and I didn’t see the point of them.
Overall, Wonderful Feels Like This was a very good story with quite the unique premise and well-thought out characters. It just didn’t hold my interest for the whole time, so I am going to be rating it 3.5 stars. If you are looking for a sweet story involving music in the heart of Sweden, then this book would be a wonderful choice! You’ll be able to pick up your copy starting on March 7th!☺️
*I received an advanced reader copy of this book from Indigo Books & Music Inc. in exchange for an honest review.*