Book Review – A Quiet Kind of Thunder

A Quiet Kind of Thunder / Sara Barnard / MacMillian Children’s Books / 2017 / ISBN 9781509810987 / 307 Pages / Young Adult


Book Blurb –

Steffi doesn’t talk. Rhys can’t hear. They understand each other perfectly.

Love isn’t always a lightning strike. Sometimes it’s the rumbling roll of thunder…

My Thoughts –

I brought this book when I was in Melbourne last month. I have finally read it, and it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. Everyone on my social media is going on and on about this book and how much they loved it, but I am still wondering what made them love it so much.

The story follows Steffi, a girl suffering from selective mutism and anxiety, plus a few other medical issues that are mentioned in the book. Striving to make this year at school different than the last, to prove to herself and her parents that she is more capable than they all realise. Just as things get going, enter Rhys, a hearing-impaired boy, is introduced to Steffi for help and potential friendship. Rhys and Steffi become great friends and then eventually become more than friends as the story progress. Throughout, Steffi struggles with her anxiety, Rhys tries as he might to be the man Steffi deserves and need. But more than that, Steffi and Rhys become the people they want to be and finally do things they have always wanted to do.

Here is my problem with the book. It’s slow. I put it down a few times vowing I couldn’t go back, but then I didn’t, guilted that my sister brought it for me all the way in Melbourne and we had to bring it all the way home. If not for that this book would not have been finished. It’s slow and sometimes very predictable. The writing is great, that I can’t fault. I love the text messages and the special bits of extra information about Steffi and how she is thinking and feeling are tucked into the book. I love the strength and courage of both Steffi and her beau Rhys. But that is about it.

I don’t think her anxiety was portrayed as well as it could have been, but everyone with anxiety acts differently and I think I am just projecting my own anxiety onto the character, but it’s hard not to. I wondered if most of what happens between Steffi and her best friend Tem, which is a weird name and confused me throughout the book, is needed. I feel like it is a forced friendship that is being made to be played out so that Steffi does indeed have friends, when I would have better accepted Steffi and a lack of friends.

I’m a bit confused about this book, in hindsight, this book isn’t for me and I think that there should be an asterisk* somewhere at the front or back of the book, warning people that some serious mental illness is talked about in this book in a large amount of detail.

If you like a different yet predictable outlook on a young adult romance, then this is the book for you.

I give this book 2.0 out of 5 Booky Stars!

You can grab a copy of this book from links on the right-hand side of this blog.

Stick around…



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