Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam : the title has lied

Hmm. This is certainly interesting.

I must say, I’m quite unsure of how I feel about this one. On one hand, it’s a fun, light-hearted story of standing out with all one’s quirks and unique personality. It’s a feel-good story. It makes you feel… dare I say it? It makes you feel wonderful.

On the other hand, WONDEFUL FEELS LIKE THIS, unfortuantely, offers nothing new that I have not seen before.

This saddens me, it does. Because, really and truly, the synopsis offers something fresh and new and interesting. And does it deliver? No, no, and yes. It’s not fresh or new, but it did hold my attention. Somewhat. It honestly depends on whether you’ve read countless stories about fitting in despite bullying and finding your people. If you haven’t, then you might enjoy this waaay more than I did. But I’ve just seen too much of the same subject matter recycled ’round and ’round for this to stick out.

But let’s talk some positives, shall we?

The writing is quite beautiful. Some descriptions made me pause and read over the sentence several times because the way the words are put together is uniquely arresting. So, in terms of new and original material? The writing style gets the points for that.

But. And, in regards to the writing style, there is a big but I must address, unfortunately. (stop giggling. I’m trying to review here. Sheesh). The sentences did feel, more often than not, quite choppy and disjointed. I would get the impression that several words are deleted or that the words are paper-mached over each other without rhyme or reason. But, I do keep in mind that this book is translated from Swedish. So, I guess I could cut it some slack? Yeah. Let’s be fair.
The choppy writing did not affect my rating, so rest assured.

So, I realize I haven’t talked characters yet, so allow me to. Steffi is an interesting character. One of the qualities that I like most about her is that despite being constantly put down by her classmates, she never lets go of what she likes, never changes or tries to change to impress them or get them to stop. She simply tries to strengthen herself to defend herself. Not pressure herself into changing. Not force herself into the wrong mold. And I respect this very, very much.

Alvar is a pleasant surprise He is an old man nearing 90 years of age and a former jazz musician, and is basically Steffi’s newfound role model and cheerleader. Although, I must admit, I felt almost disconnected from Steffi’s storyline and more invested in Alvar’s flashback history. Whoops.

So. Overall, WONDERFUL FEELS LIKE THIS is a light story and one that makes you feel wonderful (sorry. I’ll stop with the cringe-y puns). Definitely recommended if contemporary feel-good stories and jazz history are your thing (or your jam? Because it’s jazz and jazz is.. no? Nothing? Sheesh.)

But in all seriousness, I quite liked this one. Really.

Thank you, Flatiron, for sending me an ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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