This Is What It Feels Like

This Is What It Feels Like

by Rebecca Barrow


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This tender story of friendship, music, and ferocious love asks: what will you fight for, if not yourself? You Don’t Know Me But I Know You author Rebecca Barrow’s next book is perfect for fans of Katie Cotugno and Emery Lord.

Who cares that the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is fifteen grand? Not Dia, that’s for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn’t got a shot at winning. Because ever since Hanna’s drinking took over her life, Dia and Jules haven’t been in it. And because ever since Hanna left—well, there hasn’t been a band.

It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now—and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship.

But like the lyrics of a song you used to play on repeat, there’s no forgetting a best friend. And for Dia, Jules, and Hanna, this impossible challenge—to ignore the past, in order to jump start the future—will only become possible if they finally make peace with the girls they once were, and the girls they are finally letting themselves be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062494238
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 595,776
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rebecca Barrow writes stories about girls and all the wonders they can be. A lipstick obsessive with the ability to quote the entirety of Mean Girls, she lives in England, where it rains a considerable amount more than in the fictional worlds of her characters. She collects tattoos, cats, and more books than she could ever possibly read. You can visit her online at

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This Is What It Feels Like 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Take_Me_AwayPH More than 1 year ago
When I first saw the cover of this book, I KNEW I needed it in my life. I didn't care what it was about, I didn't care about who blurbed it, none of that. And these are usually all things I take into consideration when I'm reading. But this one looked so intriguing, and I needed to get my hands on it. I wasted no time in making sure that happened. Winning the Sun City Originals Contest should be easy right? But without a band how is that possible? Dia, Jules, and Hanna used to have one, but over times things changed. Rehaab, babies, relationships, death, all of these things happened and it broke them apart. Can they put their differences aside to win the contest and take the money? I LOVED the characters in this one. These were some of the most real characters I've read in a long time. Putting them together made them even better. I loved seeing their friendship evolve and grow. What they experienced was not easy, so seeing them learn and grow and apologize and still work together was amazing. I know it was no easy feat, so for them to accomplish it was pretty amazing. All those characters have a place in my heart. I also liked all their side stories. In a book like this one, it's not usual that I like all the back stories as well as what the story is actually about, but I did like these. Everyone's home life was interesting and it made me feel like I was besties with the characters like they were with each other. I really enjoyed reading about all the characters too. Like Autumn and Lala. Loving everyone's home life speaks volumes on how much I adored Barrow's writing style. This is the only thing by her that I've read and after this I know it won't be the last thing I read by her. The only reason I didn't give this 5 stars, is it got a bit repetitive for me. The plot kept coming back to them playing, arguing, and flashbacks. It felt like I was reading the same thing over and over. With me reading so much, I wanted a little more umph to make it different. I also wasn't a fan of the ending. Why cut it off right there and pick it back up later?! I wanted to know what happened! lol As a lover of contemporaries I wasn't surprised that I liked this one. This book about friendship and music was really enjoyable and I found myself lost in Barrow's words and her character's stories.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
This is What It Feels Like is a beautiful story about lasting friendship, fighting the odds, and a deep love for music. For these three girls, music is a thing they share so deeply that it is entwined in their soul, and what brings them back together after being fractured from a fallout two years ago. For each of them, coming this far has been a challenge – whether it is to raise a kid while still in school, realize what they want out of love, or find a voice for themselves. The novel begins at their high school graduation, and looking into a summer filled with work and hopes. Each of the girls have their own journey, but Hanna’s feels like a major developmental arc in the book, for herself and for her relationships with her best friends. This was because it was her alcoholism that broke their group, and she has been making amends to her family ever since. Meanwhile, Dia, who has raised her kid after her sorta-boyfriend died, is finally feeling comfortable in her role as a mother, and looking forward to a future in music, and conflicted about taking a chance on getting into a relationship; she has control issues and a superstitious fear about her loved ones. Jules, a romantic, whose first and only relationship ended due to incompatibility, is falling for Autumn, the new girl at her store, and struggling with how to proceed in their relationship. And central to this all, is the fact that the three of them are getting back together for a big band competition, which means they have to get along and work together. The story carefully develops these characters, giving each enough focus to concentrate on their interpersonal relationships, as well as what they feel about music and their bond with another. The significance of their music comes across so well in how their practice sessions are described, making you almost feel the energy of that space. Some of their parents don’t think them getting back together is a good idea, considering everything that happened, but their music is the one thing untainted by that time. Also, it calls to that bond that girls share, where anything seems possible, where you can depend on each other, and yes, even hurt each other very badly. I could go on and on about how wonderfully their relationship was rendered, in all the good and bad parts. Also, I loved that their friendships didn’t overshadow their sibling relationships or family dynamics; Molly was such a good example of that. The only parts I didn’t like were Elliot’s POV chapters, because I didn’t feel they served anything to the plot; at the most, it just reinforced the magic of their music and friendship at that time, but (a) that already seems magical enough in the present, and (b) I would have much preferred the flashback parts to come from one of the girls instead. Also, the individual romances were sweet, and both the love interests adorable, but it didn’t have much in the way of development. Which, to be fair, wasn’t the focus anyway as this book was about the girls getting back together. Overall, a beautiful story about friendships, about loving your passions and deciding what you want from life.