Author: Sara Lovestam
Book Review By: Nitya Baldava
Class: 7

Wonderful Feels Like This

Different ain’t wrong
You can still fulfil your dreams
Better, with good friends

When a book inspires you to write a haiku poem as above, you know it is a good one…

“One day, you’ll meet just the friend you need.” A quote rightly said by Sara Lovestam, and that is exactly what happens to Steffi, a character in her book ‘Wonderful Feels Like This.’

For Steffi, teenage life is hard. She gets bullied and finds it hard to fit in anywhere. The only way she escapes is through music, especially jazz. When Steffi hears her favourite music playing through an open window of a retirement home, she decides to investigate. She finds out the music is being played by an old man, Alvar. When he was a teenager in World War II Sweden, Alvar dreamed of being in a real Jazz band. Then and now, his escape is also music, especially, Jazz.

Personally, my favourite character is Alvar. I am tremendously inspired by the way he paved his own path in the midst of the world war. His life sets an example, that financial problems are not a setback if you have determination, and that is what I have learnt from him and the book. Sheer determination and the right mindset can help us achieve all our dreams…

…I am greatly inspired by Steffi too. It takes a lot of patience and tolerance to ignore hateful and mean comments, but Steffi never reacts to them. If I was in her place, I would have shouted and answered back to the person who was trying to bully me, but that would have taken the story to a whole new plot…

Sara Lovestam uses mainly freestyle writing in her book, but that doesn’t mean that her story is not unique and very different from other stories of the genre. In fact, I would recommend the book for the quality of writing. Not only does ‘Wonderful Feels Like This’ convey extremely moving messages, according to me, it also brings to notice some of the problems and difficulties children and senior citizens face at their age in the modern world…

Through the rather unusual bond that gets built between Alvar and Steffi, they manage to share the weight of each other’s worries and regrets. With Alvar’s help, Steffi manages to get into the Music School she wanted to attend. Without knowing it, even she manages to help Alvar.

There are not many characters in the book, but the few who are there play important roles in shaping the story. Apart from the main characters(Steffi and Alvar), the other characters are: Steffi’s family(parents and two siblings), bullies from school, people from Alvar’s old age home and the people who helped him form a career in jazz when he was young.

My takeaway message for life is the beauty of friendship between them. Just by listening to his stories attentively, Steffi helps Alvar unload everything that would bother him in his mind. It was not long before they discover that sometimes the people least like us are the ones we need the most…

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