Saturday, December 9, 2017

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Publish Date: January 9, 2018
400 Pages [Kindle edition]
Published by Simon Pulse

A girl who can’t speak and a boy who can’t hear go on a journey of self-discovery and find support with each other in this gripping, emotionally resonant novel from bestselling author Sara Barnard. Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jandy Nelson.

Steffi doesn’t talk, but she has so much to say.
Rhys can’t hear, but he can listen.

Steffi has been a selective mute for most of her life. The condition’s name has always felt ironic to her, because she certainly does not “select” not to speak. In fact, she would give anything to be able to speak as easily and often as everyone around her can. She suffers from crippling anxiety, and uncontrollably, in most situations simply can’t open her mouth to get out the words.

Steffi’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 help him acclimate. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers 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. But as she starts to overcome a lifelong challenge, she’ll soon confront questions about the nature of her own identity and the very essence of what it is to know another person.

My Thoughts:
I was gifted an ebook via Netgalley.
I think the synopsis is pretty good at giving an overview of what this book is about, as is its purpose. It's just not as vague as some are. In this book, there is quite a bit of rep - for sure, anxiety, selective mutism, and deaf rep. If I'm interpreting the story correctly, Steffi's best friend is a POC and Rhys is biracial. The story also involves a child of divorce and touches on grief. Just a heads up, it also contains cursing, romantic situations, and alcohol consumption. It is slightly different with some characters being 18 and of age to consume alcohol in the UK, but still a fair warning because an underage character does drink at one point.

I absolutely adored this story. I felt the characters were all pretty fleshed out and you do see a lot of growth from the whole cast. I liked that the story touched on Steffi using SSRI medication, but wish it had been touched on a little bit more. I felt very connected with Steffi and her anxiety, even though I cannot speak as far as her selective mutism goes. The story was enough fluffy contemporary mixed with real life issues that resulted in a wonderful story. There were times I was just smiling because I was so happy for Steffi. Also new favorite book couple!

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