As per usual, I skipped Lysette and me’s pick for Online Tea Party. We end up buddy reading it so we have to pick a good time for both our schedules. This weekend is what we settled on so I read A Quiet Kind of Thunder as my first book of August.
I don’t want to give away too much so here’s the blurb from the back: “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. ”
As my boyfriend can tell you, I’m not a selective mute by any means. I also am not deaf so I can’t give much about how accurate the portrayal was. If you are, feel free to leave your thoughts down below. While I can’t tell you how accurate it was, it seems like Sara Barnard did have respect for her two characters.
There weren’t many things I disliked about this book. I admit, the pacing is a little bit slow at first but it picks up. It actually took me a few chapters to get into the book but I was hooked after. I didn’t like how Steffi’s mother was portrayed, I know it was probably realistic but she irritated me the whole book.
I had luke-warm feelings on the ending. I can see why people liked it, but it’s sort of left me wanting more. I wanted at least an epilog or something. The ending wasn’t bad, but it didn’t wow me like the rest of the book did.
Now onto the things I liked about the book. I loved the two main characters: Steffi and Rhys. As well as being selective mute, Steffi also suffered from anxiety. I think Barnard portrayed that extremely well and as someone who suffers from it, it felt almost too real at times. Steffi was a lovable character and easily one of my new favorites.
Rhys is deaf in the book and it’s awesome to see how Barnard portrays him talking versus how other characters talk. If you read it or have read it, you’ll know. He had an awesome personality and didn’t let anything hold him back. Paired with Steffi, they balanced each other perfectly.
Speaking of Steffi and Rhys, the two had such a unique relationship and I think it played out very realistic. It wasn’t instant love and they felt like an authentic couple. I also loved how Barnard portrayed their relationship has ups and downs.
Some of my other favorite characters included Tember, Steffi’s best friend, her father/stepmother and Rhys’ family. Each plays an important role in the book as well as the character’s lives. I liked Tember the most and her actions at the end of the book only cemented that.
This book covered a lot more topics than I had imagined. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and this book far exceeded all my expectations. It was all capped off by Barnard’s beautiful writing. If you get a chance to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder, please do it. You won’t be disappointed.
I give A Quiet Kind of Thunder 4.5 out of 5 stars.