Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Published: January 12, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Goodreads Description: 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.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder was a pleasant change from the cliché, YA novels I usually find myself reading.
It follows Steffi, a selective mute with a general anxiety disorder, who falls in love with a deaf boy named Rhys. I was admittedly wary of this book as it’s not an own voices story. However, from what I’ve read in the book and other reviews, Barnard made an honest effort in researching and respectfully portraying the characters’ conditions. I appreciated how she urged the reader to learn more about BSL, anxiety, and selective mutism and even provided some resources just for that in her author’s note. A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a solid example of how diversity in books helps spread awareness.
Their love isn’t a lightning strike, it’s the rumbling roll of thunder.
I love the title of the book and its meaning. It actually comes from an analogy Steffi made when she was explaining to her best friend, Tem, what it felt like to be with Rhys. In short, Steffi explains that she doesn’t feel any jolts of electricity when she sees Rhys (something which it described a lot it romance books and movies), or anything for that matter. Instead, she feels a warm, comfortable feeling when she’s with him. I think that’s a sweet and, in my opinion, more realistic account of what it feels like to be in love.
This book had the type of awkward, first relationship experiences that I always appreciate reading about and relate to. There was also an emphasis on how being in a relationship means that you have someone to lean on when you’re struggling, but they don’t make all your struggles go away. In fact, Rhys and Steffi have their own set of problems between each other that they have to overcome. I think that’s a message YA needs to relay more to its audience.
This book was an honest depiction of first-love and offered interesting insight on BSL, anxiety, and selective mutism.
i really liked it