Review | A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard

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Title | A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author | Sara Bernard
Pages | 320 pages
Publisher | Macmillan
Series | None
Release Date | January 12, 2017
Find it on Goodreads and Amazon

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.

b-o-r-d-e-r

So the highly anticipated second novel of Sara Bernard hits all leading booksellers this week, but I’ve had my hands on a copy since November. My thoughts in the time period between then and now however, have not altered. This book was absolutely brilliant. Moving, heartwarming and just a little bit cheesy, the love story of Rhys and Steffi will go down in the history of Childishly Passionate as one of the greatest I’ve ever encountered.

As soon as Sara Bernard’s Beautiful Broken Things was awarded with being one of Zoe Sugg’s ‘Zoella’s Book Club Picks’, it was clear that great things would arise from this author. Perhaps leading the UKYA wave right now, Bernard has delivered with her second novel, A Quiet Kind of Thunder and has succeeded in earning herself on the ‘authors to watch’ list. Here at Childishly Passionate, we live and breathe for the leading UK young adult authors, and Sara Bernard is very clearly one of them.

With a clear and fluid writing tone, you feel as if you’ve stepped into Bedfordshire with Steffi. You’re not watching in on the kindling romance, you’re there – besides Steffi urging her to give her heart to the boy with brown hair. The ability to immerse your readers into your novel is an amazing feat, worthy of praise and award. The pace of the novel could have been quicker, but in retrospect, this would have reduced the reality the novel provides.

There are times when a girl just needs to read a cute romance novel. A Quiet Kind of Thunder fits the bill. However, Bernard put a great deal of effort into highlighting themes that still get labelled negatively in society. Aside from Natasha Preston’s ‘Silence’ and ‘Broken Silence’, I have never come across a book that discusses mutism. The stigma that sits beside the label of ‘mute’ is unjust in society, and quite frankly uncivilised. I adored how A Quiet Kind of Thunder placed a spotlight on the real side of mutism, breaking down those negative ideas and replacing them with the truth. Similarly, the theme of anxiety can lead to certain labels that may be hard for a person to shake. Bernard puts all the myths and ideas to rest with her story, and instead highlights the real struggle that sufferers have to go through. Also, in dealing with the theme of disability, Bernard excelled massively. Rhys was not held back by his inability to hear – a thought that many may have when meeting a deaf person in society. A Quiet Kind of Thunder helps break down these barriers and can be really admiring to read – especially when influential teens read this story.

I don’t think I have anything bad to say about this book. While I wasn’t a massive fan of the beginning of the first book, this one has made me seriously reconsider shelving the first. I think a visit to Beautiful Broken Things is in order.

5 stars

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