A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Published by: Macmillan
Format: ARC e-book
Note: We received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
After reading and loving Beautiful Broken Things (so much it made my top fifteen books of 2015 before it was even published) I was so excited with Sara Barnard’s next book. Now that I’ve finished it, the exact same thing has happened. This is pure gold (and bronze) and I don’t think anything I write now will do justify to just how beautiful this book is. But, I’m still going to try, so here are some reasons to love A Quiet Kind of Thunder!
Social Anxiety perfectly executed!
Steffi, our protagonist, had selective mutism when she was a child, and now suffers from severe social anxiety and chronic shyness. This means that she struggles to speak in class and to other people she doesn’t know intimately well. Her best friend moved to a different sixth form and all of a sudden she’s left to fend for herself. There is this beautiful page that lets you into the spirally though process of Steffi and I related to her train of thought so much, I think I’m going to frame it to remind me that I’m not the only person that panics most of the time.
If you liked Am I Normal Yet? by Holly Bourne, then you’ll love this because it’s almost like the inverse. Steffi has just gone on to anxiety medication (as opposed to Evie coming off it) and it really does wonders to her mental state.
That’s one of the things I was worried about when reading A Quiet Kind of Thunder. I thought it would take the same stance as Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella, and suggest that Steffi’s recovery from her anxiety was solely based on the fact she had a boyfriend. It’s not healthy to promote that you need someone else to love you in order to get better, and that’s totally NOT what Sara Barnard suggested. Steffi is on the meds before she meets Rhys and is very aware that it’s not just an influx of love that’s helping her condition! Yay!
Sidenote: Everything felt very sensitively written and well researched too!
Romance so sweet you’ll contract diabetes!
I can’t stress enough how absolutely amazing the relationship between Steffi and Rhys was. There was communication for one thing, even if it didn’t involve actual words, and they really got to know each other before they dived into the lovey-dovey stuff. I really appreciate when love interests feel like friends, it makes the romance seem so much more genuine.
As much as this is a story about finding your voice in unexpected ways, it’s mostly about two people who are there for each other and complete one another. Not in a co-dependent way, but in a way I’ve never read before. For once, I felt that the characters were IN LOVE. I think that’s down to the fact that the relationship is so well developed. They go from strangers to acquaintances to genuine friends to love interests and it’s all a process.
I loved when they met each other’s families and friends and went on their romantic adventure to Scotland…it was beyond sweet, I had a sugar high for hours after I finished it.
So, now you’re thinking, is this just going to be 320 pages of pure joy, with no heartbreaking conflict whatsoever? Well, no… Steffi and Rhys do have some issues and its mostly to do with whether their love is real (I never questioned it) or just convenient because they’re the only teens that know how to communicate with each other. It was a struggle reading about this complex between them that would drive them apart, but I’ll tell you now that you can definitely expect a happy ending, especially when there are giant pink hearts on the cover.
You need more reasons to love this book?
I’ve never been one to mark favourite quotes in a book, but I put so many tabs in this one, it’s insane. There were so many moments that had me laughing out loud, so many things I wanted to read out to Bee, and so many times I squealed and clutching the book to my chest, protecting my precious babies, Steffi and Rhys.
This was an absolutely FANTABULOUS read and I can’t wait to get my hands on a physical copy so I can hold on to it forever and never let go. It’s a no brainer for me that this book deserved 5 stars, and definitely makes it to my favourites list of 2016!