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Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

A Quiet Kind of ThunderTitle: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Series:  n/a
Pages:  307
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Date of Publication: 12th January, 2017
Source: Bought
Synopsis from Goodreads: Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.
Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life - she's been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He's deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.


My Thoughts:
I really liked Beautiful Broken Things when I read it last year and so before I even knew what A Quiet Kind of Thunder was about, I was excited for it. Then I read the summary, and I knew this was a book for me. I didn't know much about mutism or sign language, or any of the kinds of issues that are tackled in this book, and so I was excited to learn new things while following Steffi and Rhys' story.  And I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint - and I even liked it more than I liked Beautiful Broken Things.

Due to the nature of the book being fundamentally about Steffi and Rhys' communication issues, there were lots of different formats of storytelling, which was something that right from the start I really enjoyed, and helped me to get stuck in to the book.  When the two communicate in sign language, the text is in bold, and there are also sections of texts and instant messages, as well as lists and other fun things which change up the reading style and keep you hooked. It also made it very easy to fly through the pages!

The book is very informative about what it's like to a) have selective mutism and problems with speech, and b) being deaf.  Before reading Thunder I couldn't even begin to imagine how different life would be if I could not speak or hear, but now I feel like I could understand through Steffi's internal monologue and her conversations with Rhys. It's enlightening, and definitely made me realise I take these things for granted!

Steffi and Rhys' relationship was so great.  It says on the blurb that they get together so right from the start you can root for the two of them, and they progress through getting to know each to becoming more than friends so naturally that you can't help but cheer them on the whole way.  I feel like it was a true depiction of a first teenage relationship, including a few realistic and slightly awkward scenes of a sexual nature (which literally made me snort out loud in laughter on a silent bus journey), which I think is important to do well and Sara Barnard definitely did a really great job.

Overall A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a book not to be missed, especially if you're in the mood for a heart warming and realistic relationship story.  I can't wait for more from Sara Barnard in the future - with this release she has secured her place on my auto-buy list!


Comments

  1. I really enjoyed this book and thought it was very well written - it also helps pass on an awareness of anxiety that I don't think many people have. Great review!

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