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A Quiet Kind of Thunder Paperback – January 12, 2017
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Top Customer Reviews
Steffi suffers from anxiety and Selective Mutism - a debilitating condition where she is unable to speak in social settings. But, over the course of the book, it didn't seem like her mutism effected her daily life as much I would have expected. There were a few instances where she was unable to speak to people but, for the most part, she seemed to be able to overcome her social anxiety and mutism without much trepidation. Steffi's behaviour could be explained by medication and therapy - I just thought there would be more issues surrounding her condition. With Selective Mutism being new to me I wasn't sure if this was an accurate portrayal.
This was a slowly paced story about a sweet teen relationship but I was expecting their communication issues, social anxiety and Deaf culture to play bigger roles in the plot. Instead the focus was on the teen romance which had that sweet, first love feel to it. Ah, l'amour! That said, I felt their connection developed too fast with their bond having an Insta-Love vibe to it. And while I applaud the author for including BSL (British Sign Language) into her book I felt that Steffi picked up BSL unbelievably easily - we're talking about a whole new language.
This book addresses several relevant issues - mental health, teen sexual health, first love and a strong nod to relationships with parents and best friends. I liked seeing the different ways in which Steffi and Rhys' families dealt with issues surrounding Deafness and Selective Mutism as well as Steffi's relationship with Tem, her BFF. These secondary relationships were well drawn and added diversity to the cast.
Overall, this was a decent, slow burn kind of read which gives readers a general idea about being Deaf in a mainly hearing world as well as what it's like for someone living with Selective Mutism and social anxiety. I think other readers (who have more romantic souls) will enjoy this book more than I did.
Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to MacMillan's Children's Books at NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I am going to be honest and say that the blurb was 100% the reason why I chose to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder.
Steffi doesn't talk.
Rhys can't hear...
Anything that offers up a different take on your usual relationship is something that I am going to be interested in reading, and Sara Barnard absolutely pulls you into Steffi’s story from the very first page.
Sometimes, I just get tired of being me.
This isn’t a fast paced read, and the relationship that develops between Ryan and Steffi is very much a slow burn friends to experimentation situation, Steffi is seventeen at the end of the day, and has very much led a sheltered life, so if you are looking for a teen sex-fest, this is not the book for you. But the organic pace in the way things moved along and developed between them worked, Steffi with all her challenges isn’t a character that you can envisage rushing into anything, especially a full blown relationship with a boy.
Meekness is my camouflage,
Silence is my force field...
Add in a little family intervention, a few set-backs, and in essence two teenagers, going through life with even more challenges to deal with than your average youth, and it was just refreshing to sit back and read of more innocent times. I loved Steffi’s best friend Tem, she added color to the story as a whole, and weird as it sounds it was nice to step back and read of love blossoming in a more innocent and less drama and angst filled way.
This is my first book by this author, and I would happily read more from her in the future. She hit the teen voice and emotions of her characters believably, without using the usual lack of respect, crass language, sexperts and general disagreeability as characteristics that seem to be the normal portrayal of young-adults nowadays.
This is a voluntary review of a complimentary copy of the book.
Steffi battled everyday with herself to try and speak but words would mostly only flow when she was with family or her best friend. Even in school the words seemed to get lost.
I'm a very shy person and have been called a "homebody" because I prefer my books to most human interaction (I'm sure I'm not the only one out there lol), so I could relate to Steffi's stress and anxiety about people and doing things out of the comfort zone. I really felt for her.
I really loved watching Steffi come out of her shell. After she met Rhys she just seems to grow and blossom.
I look forward to reading more of Sara Barnard's work ^_^