Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, Wonderful Feels Like This by Sara Lövestam. Thank you so much to Raincoast Books for sending a copy of this book my way for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.

I am apparently continuing this week's trend of not finishing books, I think this is my second or third DNF.

The story, or what I'd read so far focuses on a girl named Steffi. She is bullied at school and one day, walking home hears her favourite song playing from an open window. She then meets Alvar, an elderly man living in a nursing home. The two become quick friends, bonding over their love of music and jazz. Alvar tells Steffi of his time as a bassist in World War II era Sweden and his time in Stockholm where he played in a jazz band.

Now, it's not that I didn't like this book because of a specific element of the book, it is more that the story itself is not really that interesting to me. There is a lot of music talk that goes right over my head and made the book less enjoyable. I think if you are a major music/jazz fan, you would love this book. But for me, I just couldn't connect that well.

I did like Alvar's sidebar chats about his time as a teenager in the 40s - I've never really learned about WWII from the perspective of someone in Sweden, so it was interesting to see it from someone on that side. His stories were interesting to me, and I think they are the reason I kept reading for so long. Steffi's life didn't really have a lot going on in it - the most fun she had was hanging out with Alvar, and those were the parts I enjoyed the most as well.

This book does touch on the issue of bullying - there is name-calling and just general harassment. As I didn't finish the book, I'm not sure if it gets resolved/addressed in a proper way.

I wasn't a huge fan of Steffi's voice, she sounded very young to me. I think she's supposed to be at least 16 years old, but her narration sounded like it was more suited to a middle-grade novel than young adult.

I actually liked the writing style of the book, I know others have mentioned that it was choppy, I didn't find it too jarring. Sometimes I would forget that we jumped into Alvar's story, because there isn't really a new chapter for his perspective then, just a new paragraph, but for the most part, I was able to differentiate the timelines.

I think this book could be really great for someone who is well-versed in music but for myself, not my cup of tea.

Overall, great potential, just not for me.