Monday, 30 January 2017

Book Review: A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Author Info: Website|Twitter|Instagram
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
Publication Date: 12th January 2017
Rating: 5 stars

Tell Me About It
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
Going into A Quiet Kind of Thunder I didn't really know what to expect from the author, but as soon as I began reading I was hooked, and any doubts were quickly brushed away.
I've heard about selective mutism before but didn't really understand it completely. But Steffi gives us a great explanation to what it is so I'll leave that bit for her.
So what am I? I'm a natural introvert with severe social anxiety and a shyness that is basically pathological. When I was a kid, this manifested as a form of mutism, known as selective mutism. The 'selective' part sometimes confuses people, because it makes it sound as if I had the control over when to 'select' my speech, but that's not the case. Selective means it's out of my control. Progressive mutism is when your childhood mutism gets worse as you get older.
As you can see Steffi suffers from a lot of things, which makes it hard for her to communicate, especially in stressful situation. Her close friend and family are who she feels most confident around, and can find the words to talk to them. When she is asked to help the new student, Rhys, Steffi isn't exactly happy about the idea, until she gets to know Rhys. Although Steffi can't talk, and Rhys cant hear, this duo communicate via BSL, text messages, and messenger apps, with some of thier messages leading to some pretty funny mishaps
stefstef: can you send links through this thing
rhysespieces: yeh, tap the icon that looks like an arrow in a box and put the link in
stefstef: one sec
rhysespieces: erm. stef . . .
stefstef: doesnt the link work?
rhysespieces: sure it does. my ears don't.
stefstef: FUCK. OH MY GOD.
A Quiet Kind of Thunder was a book that really made me think about things, and want to understand mental problems more. It fascinated me how Steffi and Rhys lead a normal life, mixing in with both 'worlds' with minimal problems. Seeing how thier family and friends wanted to keep then safe was heartwarming, but it also made me want to fight back for them, to tell thier family to let them spread thier wings and try, without being smothered by love and protection.

How the author, Sara Barnard, has portrayed these issues in a very tasteful but realistic way made me want to see what comes next for this duo no matter if it's good or bad. Seeing how they can overcome thier own problems to help the other person out was a true act of courage, and I admire them for achieving this.

Final Verdict
While my review may be vague and not very detailed, just know I loved this book. I want to read the authors other work, but also wish that in some not so distant future we may get to pop back in on Steffi and Rhys, and see what they are up to.

1 comment:

  1. Ohh great review I don't know if this is my kind of book, but I am really intrigued about it. So I might give this book a try. Thank you for your awesome post.


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