This Is What It Feels Like

This Is What It Feels Like

It doesn’t matter what the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is this year.Who cares that’s it’s fifteen grand? Who cares about a gig opening for one of the greatest bands to ever play this town?Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning Sun City. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Ju...

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Title:This Is What It Feels Like
Author:Rebecca Barrow
Rating:

This Is What It Feels Like Reviews

  • Rachel Strolle

    IF Y'ALL SLEEP ON THIS I'M CANCELLING YOU BECAUSE REBECCA BARROW WRITES PERFECT BOOKS

  • Erin

    Now Available

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishing & Rececca Barrow.

    "This is what it feels like to be alive"

    Rebecca Barrow is Black Girl Magic and her book This Is What It Feels Like a fantastic read. I almost didn't even enter the giveaway for this book because it didn't sound like something that would interest me. A book about 3 teenage girls in a Rock Group entering a Rock Contest. I don't listen to Rock music and don't care about it at al

    Now Available

    I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. Special thanks to Harper Collins Publishing & Rececca Barrow.

    "This is what it feels like to be alive"

    Rebecca Barrow is Black Girl Magic and her book This Is What It Feels Like a fantastic read. I almost didn't even enter the giveaway for this book because it didn't sound like something that would interest me. A book about 3 teenage girls in a Rock Group entering a Rock Contest. I don't listen to Rock music and don't care about it at all.

    But...

    Then I Googled the title and discovered the author was a Black woman. That peaked my interest. A book about people of Color in a Rock group, seemed fresh and new. At least to me it did, so I hit ENTER.

    This Is What It Feels Like is about Dia &Jules and their former friend and band mate Hanna getting the band back together to enter The Sun City Originals Contest. The winner of this contest wins 15 grand and a chance to perform with their favorite band Glory Alabama. As they work on their music they work through their problems and try to make peace with each other and themselves.

    This book made me smile despite some pretty hard subject matters like teen pregnancy, addiction, grief and sexual identity. If you followed my updates then you know that Hanna was my favorite character. She was in my opinion the most complete character. I connected to her the most on an emotional level.

    I highly recommend that on November 6th after you've voted(if you live in The U.S.) you buy this book and read it. You won't regret it.

  • Laura (bbliophile)

    I loved this so so so so so much

  • Acqua

    4.25 stars

    I have read many stories about mentally ill main characters and characters going through trauma, but I know very few stories that talk about what happens afterward. What happens when you're not an addict anymore, what happens when you finally get out of a toxic situation.

    Not only this is a story about recovery, it's

    4.25 stars

    I have read many stories about mentally ill main characters and characters going through trauma, but I know very few stories that talk about what happens afterward. What happens when you're not an addict anymore, what happens when you finally get out of a toxic situation.

    Not only this is a story about recovery, it's

    . This aspect reminded me a lot of another 2018 contemporary release,

    by Ashley Woodfolk, another book about music and friendship, but with a heavier focus on grief. (If you like one of these two, I think you'll also like the other).

    Anyway, this book is told through four PoVs:

    🎵

    . The boy she loved, and also the father of her child, died unexpectedly in an accident. I loved her PoV - it's the first time I read about a teen mother - and what stood out to me about it was the portrayal of Dia's trauma.

    , and Dia is aware of it, and yet she can't stop thinking that every person she loves will die like her almost-boyfriend did.

    🎵

    who is falling for her fat, mermaid-haired coworker. Jules' PoV was my favorite because of the

    . I also loved Jules' character development: her relationship with her ex-girlfriend was toxic, they just really weren't compatible, but Jules doesn't know how a healthy relationship looks like. She realizes that she shouldn't hold herself back just because of a bad experience, but

    , and so maybe she shouldn't even try. I loved that she got to be in a happy, healthy f/f relationship.

    🎵

    . Her alcoholism was what drove her and her friends apart, and now she feels like she doesn't really have the right to be happy. Also, her parents do not trust her anymore, even though she is trying to be better. Hanna's PoV was the most difficult for me to read, because it deals with how,

    . Also, so much self-loathing. Very well-written, but not an easy read.

    🎵 The fourth PoV is

    . I won't say who he is because spoilers, but I thought his PoV was completely unnecessary and this is one of the main reasons I won't be giving this book five stars.

    Apart from Elliot's PoV, another thing I didn't love was the music aspect: I didn't really care about the band or the competition the girls got into, I was there for the character arcs, the recovery themes and the f/f romance.

    I kind of wish my bar wasn't so low, but

    . These girls aren't walking messages, they're people with hopes and dreams and hobbies. It's also a very sex-positive story, there's an f/f sex scenes near the end.

  • Lea (drumsofautumn)

    This Is What It Feels Like is a really wonderful YA Contemporary, that has

    At the centre of the story are three girls, Hanna, Jules and Dia. The three were in a band for a long time but then two years before this story starts, a lot of things happened in their lives and they stopped making music together. The friendship between the three of them took a toll as well, although Jules and Dia remained best friends.

    Jules is a lesbian and her

    This Is What It Feels Like is a really wonderful YA Contemporary, that has

    At the centre of the story are three girls, Hanna, Jules and Dia. The three were in a band for a long time but then two years before this story starts, a lot of things happened in their lives and they stopped making music together. The friendship between the three of them took a toll as well, although Jules and Dia remained best friends.

    Jules is a lesbian and her love interest, Autumn, is fat and is questioning her sexuality in the book. Dia is a woman of colour, I don't think there's any specifics mentioned, just that she has deep-brown skin. She is also the mother of an almost 2-year old so this deals with raising a kid as a teen. Dia's good friend and love interest, Jesse, is also a man of colour. Hanna went to rehab for her alcohol abuse and has been sober for over a year when the story starts.

    So as you can already tell, this book dealt with so many amazing and important topics and I thought everything was handled incredibly well. Because all three of them have alternating POVs, we see everybody's perspective to all of the issues and

    for these things.

    I was really happy to see this book deal with different parent relationships. It was

    Dia's parents are very supportive and really help her raise her kid.

    Hanna's parents are super well portrayed too. They are worried about Hanna and her alcohol abuse, even after her being sober for so long. I loved the way you could tell that they were coming from a good place, even if it wasn't received by Hanna that way or that, even when she does understand where they're coming from, she eventually just started feeling suffocated. I thought it was a very important child-parent relationship.

    Hanna's sister, Molly, is also very involved and a lovely character. Seeing her relationship with Hanna, after everything they went through, was really precious.

    I don't think I've ever read a book about a teen mum. Often this will be the main topic of the story and it doesn't really interested me in these cases. But

    and really great to read. I also loved that it seems like most of her environment was pretty accepting. We never saw anyone make any appropriate comments about her young pregnancy (although we know these comments do get made) and on the contrary, people seemed very supportive and I really enjoyed that.

    Jules and her developing relationship between Autumn was another wonderful part of the novel. Seeing such a beautiful and wholesome f/f relationship in a book still gets me every time. There is also an incredibly well written sex scene between the two.

    On top of that female masturbation is mentioned twice, although just in passing. But I'm always glad to see it in any YA as I find it so important to normalize!

    And then there's Hanna's alcohol abuse which might have been my favourite issue that was talked about in this novel. Now while I was never addicted to alcohol,

    and seeing this in a YA and how much this could open some teen's eyes? It was fantastic.

    We shouldn't underestimate the power of alcohol, ESPECIALLY for teens. And as someone who grew up and lives in a country, where you can start drinking beer and wine with 16, this is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. While reading this novel, I thought a lot about how trivialized alcohol is. I remember a girl from my school who had to get her stomach pumped after a party and I thought a lot about how we talked about this back then, like it was just a funny mishap.. sometimes even like something to be proud of. Looking back at how this was handled back then absolutely haunts me until this day.

    On top of all these topics and issues, that were handled so very well, this also had a great storyline

    , reunite them. I loved the portrayal of the bond that you form when you make music together for a couple of years, especially when it's in your "formative" years. The way these girls found their way back together through music warmed my heart immensely.

    And that is still not all. There is also the aspect of grief. And there is a wonderful m/f romance as well. And as I said, almost all of these topics get portrayed from different POVs. So while Hanna's addiction is obviously important in her storyline, we also see the way Dia and Jules feel about it, the way it influenced their lives and the decisions that they made.

    Honestly

    packed into this and how amazing they all were.

    But I think you get the picture.

    I'm really mad that this will not get the attention it deserved due to the release date in November. This is a SUMMER CONTEMPORARY that absolutely should've been released in early summer. I know this will be overlooked by many, only due to this release date.

    But please pack this onto your must-read list! It is so great and important and

  • Marie

    This was such a fantastic read. I loved the focus on friendship, loved the characters and their growth thorough the book, the romantic relationships were adorable, too. Definitely recommend it!!

    Full review coming soon :)

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  • mahana.
  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)

    I had absolutely no interest in this and could not focus, which is a shame because it has the potential to be at least a 4 star read for me, but my enjoyment was maybe a 2. This is probably one of the elusive DNF books that I’ll consider picking up again sometime in the future because I desperately want to like this but I don’t know if the timing was off or I’m just in a rut of perpetual 2 star and under books. This is a case of it’s not the book, it’s me. So put no weight on this review, it’s j

    I had absolutely no interest in this and could not focus, which is a shame because it has the potential to be at least a 4 star read for me, but my enjoyment was maybe a 2. This is probably one of the elusive DNF books that I’ll consider picking up again sometime in the future because I desperately want to like this but I don’t know if the timing was off or I’m just in a rut of perpetual 2 star and under books. This is a case of it’s not the book, it’s me. So put no weight on this review, it’s just my present experience trying, and unfortunately failing, to read it.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    every time I think about this book's release I feel better. this is such a soft and aestheticy cover. sapphic band girls are such a nice concept. it's just very soft okay

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