This Is What It Feels Like
by Rebecca Barrow
my rating: ★★★★☆ | published november 6th | book depository
Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.
This Is What It Feels Like follows a trio of girls – Dia, Jules, and Hanna – who were in a band when their friendship fell apart. This year, the prize for the Sun City Original contest is fifteen grand. But Dia knows that without a band she hasn’t got a shot at winning the contest, and there hasn’t been a band since Hanna’s alcoholism took over her life, and Dia and Jules found themselves no longer part of it, and thus, the band. And now there’s a baby, a stint in rehab, and a failed relationship, and no contest can undo the disruption to their trio. But the girls find themselves facing old memories and passions, and in order to win the contest they need to put the past behind them and find peace with the girls they were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.
It does deal with some difficult topics so I would be careful when going into this one. I’d specifically like to give trigger warnings for alcohol abuse and death of a loved one.
Last year, I read Rebecca Barrow’s debut novel You Don’t Know Me But I Know You and it was a good read, but also with some aspects that I wasn’t too fond of – you can read my full review here. Earlier this year, when I heard about this book and saw this beautiful, happy cover I knew that this was a book that I had to read. Thankfully, this was a much more enjoyable book for me and it focused so much on having a support friendship that there was very little I didn’t enjoy.
I adore books about friendships and this is the perfect one for contemporary fans. It’s a beautiful story about friendship, recovery, grief, and music. There’s enough time focused on each of the characters separately that they’re well developed and relatable, but the three of them together are also fantastic…the dynamic is great. It’s hard to pick a favourite because I adored them all, but Hanna does hold a special place in my heart.
There is a little bit of romance, with a side f/f romance, but their lasting friendship and their love for music take center stage, and that’s definitely a great thing.
If you’re a fan of contemporaries, books about friendships, and music, then This Is What It Feels Like should definitely be a book on your radar.
Lauren is a british blogger and book reviewer. She is an avid bookworm, writer and procrastinator extraordinaire. A recent history grad, Lauren is currently grappling with adulthood, finding solace in the written word. As an avid reader of YA literature, she’s a lover of sci-fi, contemporary romance, sister stories, and cute f/f books. Some of her favourite books include Code Name Verity by the incredibly talented Elizabeth Wein, the soul-crushingly cute The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli, and the magical fantasy Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst.