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Excerpt from Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Wonderful Feels Like This

by Sara Lovestam

Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam X
Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2017, 320 pages

    Paperback:
    Jul 2018, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
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About this Book

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"You couldn't keep me away," Alvar goes on. He holds out a record in its sleeve to her and she takes it. The paper is rough. She feels a connection with the past—just then a cell phone rings into the swing music still coming through Alvar's large gramophone horn. Her cell phone plays a line from "A Happy Blues."

Alvar startles and looks around, then laughs as he sees her pull out her phone. "Jazz is calling," he says.

Steffi smiles. "Or the blues. The family is calling, my pappa, he's wondering where I am."

Alvar nods. The ears on his head seem so large they could have been bought at a costume shop.

"I'll tell you my whole story someday, if you want to hear it."

Steffi thinks there must be a pleasant polite phrase she should say, but she can't remember what it could be. "OK."

*   *   *

When she walks through the door at home, she wishes she could have stayed longer at Alvar's place.

"ADMIRAL!" Edvin is shouting, holding up his stick with a yellow flag, his imitation of a military gesture. When she doesn't respond, he marches into the kitchen, flag held high, turns, and then marches back to her.

She takes off her shoes. She should have thought to tell her father she was in the music room at school. Then she could have stayed longer.

"Hi, Steffita," her father greets her. He claps her on the shoulder.

Mamma asks her to help in the kitchen.

"Julia can," Steffi answers, but then she sees the extra pair of shoes in the hallway and knows she can't get out of it.

"Fanny's come over," Mamma says.

Fanny coming over is like having two Julias in the house. It's also like having a song on repeat, because they say the same things over and over even if someone eavesdrops on them. What idiots some other girls are; how to get rid of unwanted hair; how cute the senior boys are. Fanny would complain, "I can't stand the boys in our class. I want a real man!" And Julia would agree. "We girls just mature faster." And wonders if she should get Botox for the wrinkle beneath one of her eyes. "It's because you smoke!" Fanny would exclaim, and then the two of them would giggle so stupidly that Steffi couldn't stand it. She had to be really bored to even bother eavesdropping on them. Most of it was scribbled in Julia's diary anyway.

"How was school today?" Pappa asks.

An image of Karro and Sonja—Watch out for Steffi!—the bathroom, the song that came from nowhere, the bald old man in the window, the original gramophone records behind a plaid armchair.

"We were told how to go about choosing our projects," she replied.

Edvin leaps into the kitchen. He's exchanged his yellow flag for a golden sword. "En garde! A duel! What's for supper?"

Copyright © 2013 by Sara Lövestam. Translation copyright © 2017 by Laura A

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