Summary and book reviews of Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam

Wonderful Feels Like This

by Sara Lovestam

Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam X
Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lovestam
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2017, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2018, 320 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Michelle Anya Anjirbag
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

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 to connect us.

For Steffi, going to school everyday is an exercise in survival. She's never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she's viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes 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 Sweden, he dreamed 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 comes to realize that she won't always be stuck and lonely in her town. She can go to music school in Stockholm. She can be a real musician. 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, the music, and even Steffi's worst bully are somehow all connected to Alvar? Can it be that the people least like us are the ones we need to help us tell our own stories?

CHAPTER 1

Steffi is becoming happy jazz. She lies on her striped bedspread, eyes shut, while deep down inside, she's turning into an upbeat happy blues, a going-crazy-with-happiness blues. All the stupid people vanish into a fog far beyond her window; they're nothing now as she walks the bass line with her guitar. She rubs away a few tears, which have mingled with the hair at her temples. Povel Ramel sings: Just slap them away like a mosquito! Who cares what they say? Get on with your own show! She's singing along with his hit "A Happy Blues." She takes a deep breath and no longer gives a damn about any of the other kids in class 9B. The bass player works the blues line like a madman. It's one of the most difficult walking bass lines on the whole record. As if there were no rules, as if you could play exactly what you wanted, but she hasn't yet figured out how.

When she finally leaves her room, nobody can tell that she's been crying. Mamma puts a dish of ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The power of this book is that it is simultaneously disorienting in myriad ways while still remaining approachable in its exploration of the universal human experience. For a non-Scandinavian native English-speaking reader, despite being written in English, there is just enough culture shock, just enough difference in the ins and outs of daily life, that the reader's attention is drawn to how Steffi's experience is different, but also how some things, such as bullying, feeling isolated, dealing with people who don't understand you, and fearing pursuing dreams are the same for everyone, everywhere...continued

Full Review (578 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Michelle Anya Anjirbag).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Empathy, identity, and the transformative power of music bind this tale of an atypical friendship between a teenage outcast and a jazz musician.

Kirkus Reviews
Starred Review. Empathy, identity, and the transformative power of music bind this tale of an atypical friendship between a teenage outcast and a jazz musician.

VOYA
Although this story will likely not achieve massive appeal, it may catch on with readers who enjoy historical fiction, books about the music industry, or stories with unusual friendships.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Jazz, Sweden, and WWII

Nalen ClubWhile most people might think of Harlem, New Orleans, or Paris when they think of jazz music, Swedish jazz is the thread that binds the past and present in the lives of Steffi and Alvar in Sara Lövestam's Wonderful Feels Like This. Alvar is a jazz musician in 1940s in Stockholm, right before what was considered the golden age of Swedish jazz. One of the things that Steffi explores with Alvar is how jazz was an expression and reminder of the power of life during a very fraught time in history.

Alice BabDespite Sweden's official policy of neutrality throughout the duration of WWII, the war affected the daily life of Sweden's citizens through coffee, gasoline, and other rations. While only briefly touched upon during the book's narrative, ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Wonderful Feels Like This, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Honor
    Honor
    by Thrity Umrigar
    First Impressions readers enjoyed being transported to India via Thrity Umrigar's novel Honor, with ...
  • Book Jacket: What Storm, What Thunder
    What Storm, What Thunder
    by Myriam J. A. Chancy
    What Storm, What Thunder illuminates life in Haiti during and after the massive earthquake on ...
  • Book Jacket: Noor
    Noor
    by Nnedi Okorafor
    Noor's heroine goes by the moniker AO. Though officially this stands for her given name, Anwuli ...
  • Book Jacket: Five Tuesdays in Winter
    Five Tuesdays in Winter
    by Lily King
    Lily King's two recent novels Euphoria and Writers & Lovers could hardly be more different: one has ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Her Hidden Genius
by Marie Benedict
Dr. Rosalind Franklin's pivotal but overlooked role in the discovery of DNA gets her due in Benedict's latest novel.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Free
    by Lea Ypi

    "Nothing short of a masterpiece."
    —Publishers Weekly
    (starred review)

  • Book Jacket

    The Paris Bookseller
    by Kerri Maher

    How a humble bookseller fought incredible odds to bring one of the 20th century's most important books to the world.

Who Said...

You can lead a man to Congress, but you can't make him think.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A P O B Y Houses

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.