Book Talk: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

BOOK: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

AUTHOR: Sara Barnard



A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a contemporary YA Romance, telling tales of how Steffi (a selective mute) and Rhys (deaf) come together and face their struggles of staying together.

As a fan of YA Fiction, I’d say the book was good. It wouldn’t go as far as oh-so-amazing like I feel for some other YA books, like An Abundance of Katherines, but it is what I’d like to call good. Just good.

The read of A Quiet of Kind of Thunder was a smooth one for me. The language that Sara Barnard uses is simple and homely – which totally justifies the POV of a teenager who has trouble socializing. This, well, is another reason I really liked reading the story even when nothing massively shocking or shift-the-earth-off-its-axis happened.

I don’t have such a major issue of introversion, shyness, and social anxiety bundled up together in me, but that trait nevertheless exists to some scalable degree. And therefore, I could, at least to some extent, understand how selective mutism worked for Steffi.

One thing that I liked about the book was it was not all romance; it had shots of family drama and internal drama all wrapped together rather well from both ends of the protagonists. Rhys had his own share of demons to deal with, Steffi had her own, and Tem (Steffi’s friend) had her own too – a character I feel that often went under-appreciated in the books.

Let’s move over to the part that I failed to appreciate, and left me a little disappointed.

The clichéd girl and boy run away to some distant city to discover themselves.

I have lost count of how much this has been done in books and movies. Although the trip played a major role in forming the end of the book (and also forming the only adrenaline-rushed experience in the entire book), I couldn’t help but breathe out a sigh when they planned their adventure. This is so overdone.

Honestly, I was expecting much more conflict regarding this than a simple mishap on the tour. But well, maybe the book intended to make use of subtle incidents to push forward the storyline.


But all things aside, the book represents small victories and discovering strengths when you’re with someone you’re comfortable with. It shows that sometimes the choice instead of lying with you, is best when handed over to someone you trust.

Agreeing that Rhys and Steffi are the couple you’ll find in most Teen Fiction books and that there is nothing that looks starkingly new in their romance, I’d also say that the struggles brought up in the last few chapters do balance out a little for the statement mentioned above.

It lacked drive, sure; but maybe it can be seen as a brisk walk instead.


DEAR SARA: Thank you for writing this down. Among many things, this story has pushed me to learn Indian Sign Language, and I am already on my way of being familiar with the basics.


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.



book talk is less than a critical book review but more than a book news. as i have already stated before that it is not in my ability to critique a book, so i have come with book talk – the space where i talk about books i have read and discuss the likes and dislikes regarding the story.

that being said, the books most probably won’t be brand new releases. but hey, it’s something to start with. (sub-text: i’m broke af to afford books that have just released)

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