Welcome to my stop on the ‘A Quiet Kind of Thunder’ blog tour!!!
I am lucky enough to review the book and also post and exclusive Q&A with the author, Sara Barnard. It’s an awesome novel about first love with an original twist to the story.
Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan Australia for this opportunity and also for publishing this great novel!
A Quiet Kind of Thunder
by Sara Barnard
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.
The stunning follow up to Beautiful Broken Things is a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.
Girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy meets girl, sparks fly, they kiss, they have the adventure of a lifetime.
It’s actually been a while since I’ve read a classic contemporary romance and I’ve been missing them a lot lately. This novel is entertaining and satisfying with characters you’ll love. However, some of the actions in the characters can sort of be questionable – will explain that later on.
Steffi is selectively mute brought about by severe anxiety and shyness. After deciding to take medication, Steffi begins to find the courage to speak out, make brave decisions and think about what she wants to do with her life. Rhys is the new boy at school who is deaf and as the two of them become closer, feelings happen and you get the rest.
One of the main positives of this story was that a good chunk of it was about their romantic relationship rather than them getting to it. Do you know what I mean? Unlike most contemporary romance, Steffi and Rhys are actually together for half of this novel rather than just chasing their feelings around in circles and then admitting everything at the end. I prefer when the book follows their romantic relationship because we get to see that the beginning of one isn’t the happily every after. Steffi and Rhys still undergo challenges as boyfriend/girlfriend. Interestingly enough, Rhys is the one with the most challenges. Steffi sort of comes of out of her shell when she’s with Rhys however he has to face his own insecurities about being left out in conversations. The book is unconventional like that. You think Steffi is the most ‘troubled’ one but she begins to overcome those problems and then WHAM, Rhys – who you think is the outgoing one with high self-esteem – is in fact, also facing problems of his own. It’s great, huh? The typical contemporary romance is tipped on it’s head.
Now onto what I found sort of unrealistic. I could pretty much feel Steffi’s anxiety at the beginning of the book and I don’t know how long one get’s over this issue but it seemed like she was selectively mute for the beginning half of the book and then BOOM, as soon as she started dating Rhys, it was like that was completely gone. Personally, I felt like that was an unrealistic switch though maybe things happen like that.
I also really love the role family plays in this book, especially with Steffi’s dad, I LOVE THAT SO MUCH!!! We didn’t se as much of it with Rhy’s family but we definitely got the point that they were supportive and accepting. Steffi’s mother was a little more complicated which provided a lot of nuance to the story. She wants the best for her daughter but cannot help being so frustrated that she takes some questionable measures. I wish we had more of them in the story, it would’ve given me a break from all the lovey-dovey stuff. Does anyone ever feel like a third wheel reading romances sometimes? Like you’re just with these two really close friends who have serious PDA? Does anyone else feel the same??!!!!
All in all, it’s a great contemporary romance with character you’ll fall in love with. It’s got an original and interesting twist to the classic romance. I definitely loved reading more about selective mutism and anxiety.
How was writing A Quiet Kind of Thunder different to writing Beautiful Broken Things?
The main difference was really timing – I had over a decade to write Beautiful Broken Things but only a year to write AQKOT! I was also writing it knowing it was going to be read, which is a very different experience than just writing with the hope that maybe someone will read it one day.
What is one thing that you loved most about Steffi and Rhys?
I love how understanding and considerate they are of each other. The world can be such an unkind place sometimes, especially if you struggle to express yourself in a way that society recognizes as “normal”, and so having someone who understands you is an amazing thing. Steffi and Rhys are really good at being like that for each other – being the other’s safety.
Was there anything that you disliked about them?
No! I always love every part of my characters, even the bad bits, because the bad bits make them real. It’s so much more interesting to write characters who are flawed. Rhys and Steffi don’t always get it right with each other, and that would be frustrating in real life but much more fun as an author!
That’s the end of this blog tour! Now all you have to do is read it!
Let me know what you thought of the book in the comments if you’ve read it and if you haven’t, you’re welcome to comment anyway. Preferably about food.