Hello everyone! ♥ if you pay attention to my posting schedule, you’ll know that Tuesday is for random posts and review is supposed to be posted on Thursday. This Thursday is almost the end of March, which means I’ll be posting my monthly recap. So here’s a review on a Tuesday! 😀
This is the story of Steffi, a 17 year-old high school girl with selective mutism and anxiety. On the first day of school, Steffi was introduced to Rhys, a new guy at school who was deaf. The school staff thought it would be great to pair them up, only because Steffi could speak BSL and therefore could help Rhys settled in. What started out as annoyance on Steffi’s part quickly turned into happiness because Rhys is actually a really great and adorable guy.
From the very first chapter, I instantly connected with Steffi. Not because I share her condition, but simply because she’s a very relatable person. That, and the fact that she has a really sarcastic sense of humor really charmed me. I loved how Sara Barnard explored Steffi’s condition as a selective mute and as a person with anxiety, and how no matter how much she wants to get better, there’s the fear of losing her sense of self if she suddenly be able to talk all the time. The way she described her anxiety, it was so easy to understand for someone like me. Between AQKOT and Queens of Geek, the book I just finished recently, books are doing really good job explaining anxiety.
Rhys is downright adorable, but I’ve said that before. He’s so friendly, sweet, patient, and genuine, but now without his angsty side. Just like how it is with Steffi, being deaf plays a hugeee part of Rhys’ life. It’s not all he is, but it is a central part. I love seeing how he navigates between both worlds, the hearing world and the deaf world, and how sometimes everything just frustrates him beyond belief. It was all so real. Reading about Rhys also made me realize that as a hearie, there are so many offensive things I could do without realizing that they are in fact, offensive. Things like raising my voice when talking to a deaf person, talking too fast, or not looking at them while talking. This is all so important and I’m glad the book managed to touch these issues effortlessly.
Their relationship is both simple yet complicated at the same time. The way they understand each other? It was effortless. But there’s also the barriers, starting from the most basic one like how Rhys can’t hear and Steffi can’t talk, to the usual couple problems of miscommunication. I love reading their texts, super adorable and I really think texting is one of the most exciting element of a new relationship. It’s also nice to see that although they bonded over their limitation in communication, it’s not the reason why they are in love with each other.
And I think… every couple can relate to their problems, because their problems aren’t exclusive to deaf, selective mute, and anxious people. Misunderstanding, insecurity, saying things we don’t actually mean, it could happen to every couple. It does, actually, so it’s kind of nice to see that even if Steffi and Rhys have their own situation, it doesn’t always have to be the source of the problems. Obviously, I’m not trying to downplay their struggles and say that it’s not a big deal, because it is.
Let’s not forget that friendship and family also play a big role in Steffi’s life. I love her relationship with Tem and the conflicts within it. It’s wonderful and multi-dimensional. And her family, albeit far from perfect, is a realistic portrayal of family life. I love Steffi’s dad, Lucy, and her mum, though she’s definitely not my favorite person in the book. Also, also, cheers to how much animal appreciation there is in the book! I feel like I love Rita ♥
I also appreciate that being with Rhys doesn’t automatically cure Steffi from her anxiety nor selective mutism. I admit, I was so worried that there would be some romantic cure but as far as can tell, that’s not what happened. Steffi gets better, but it’s not only because of Rhys. Like the book said, it was a combination of medication, Rhys, and being ‘forced’ to go to school without Tem. I like how comprehensive it is because as far as I know, that’s what actually happens in real life. A combination of things.
ALL IN ALL, A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a wonderful, quick read that effortlessly handles so many important issues. Deafness, selective mutism, anxiety, family, and friendship, among other things. On top of it all, this book is also incredibly sweet and adorable it would make you giddy with happiness. Highly recommended for a fan of realistic fiction contemporary 🙂
Book Title : A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author : Sara Barnard
Publisher : Macmillan Children’s Book
Release date : January 12th 2017
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.
Have you read A Quiet Kind of Thunder? What do you think about it? Do you have other book recommendations similar to it? Also, has anyone read Beautiful Broken Things? I’m thinking of ordering it because I love Sara Barnard’s writing and also the covers match each other. I’d love to hear your thoughts ♥
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