A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

by - September 20, 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.


When I started this wonderfully sweet book, I was suffering from a severe book-hangover due to my reread of A Court of Mist and Fury. Something that one should just NOT DO. But, I decided to step out of the fictional world and embrace a bit of reality. As someone that is extremely shy when confronted with a lot of people, I could instantly relate to the character of Steffi. Most of us remember those dreaded days spent preparing for a class presentation, sweaty palms and nervous stomach growls included. This was one of the reason I wanted to read about Steffi and Rhysand. 

Initially, I was worried that Steffi's condition would cause me to grow annoyed easily. There's growing and then there is moving at a snails pace. However, I was pleasantly surprised that Sara didn't opt for this route. Instead she moved Steffi's progress at a decent rate, making this book easy to read. I blew through all 320 pages within one sitting, perfect for taking my mind off my previous hangover. I loved Steffi and Rhysand together, an innocent romance more relatable than most young adult stories these days.

Even though I felt like their relationship was unbelievably sweet and PERFECT, to the point that I was begging them to have a fight, I still enjoyed all the cute moments they spent together. Their story is about growing together, about entering a new relationship and more importantly, about respecting others for all their little quirks. 

One of my favourite parts of this book was their first time together. Look, as someone that has read a range of teenage sex scenes, this was by-far the best description of that life altering encounter. Things aren't always filled with fireworks and other word adjectives. If you have read the scene in question, I hope you read what I read, which is a natural and realistic approach to the sometimes controversial 'first time'. 

Even though I sped through this book, enjoying the time as the pages flew by, I don't consider this a heavy read at all. It was simple, sweet and adorable. Nothing about this storyline really questioned the way people treat others or how people living with disabilities are treated within society. Don't expect to cry because Rhysand has so many issues, which I actually appreciate. I didn't want Sara to exploit his problems and make him this depressed character who always had a hard time. Rhysand was happy, filled with positivity and love. 

If you're looking for a sweet read, encapsulating the modern day relationship and all its troubles, then this easy read is for you.

- Tina

Book was given to me by Pan MacMillan Publishing House in exchange for an honest review.  

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