Tuesday 28 February 2017


I was intrigued to read this book as we use sign language where I work and I wondered how Sara was going to incorporate this within the story.  First of all great idea with the chapter numbers.

Steffi and Rhys both have challenges to face.  Steffi suffers from selective mutism and Rhys is deaf.  Communication is obviously an issue but definitely not a barrier to the relationship that blossoms between them.  They are introduced at school by one of the teachers as Steffi knows some sign language which is Rhys’ main form of communication.

Tem is Steffi’s best friend but has chosen not to go to sixth form which leaves Steffi having to face school alone.  Their relationship is warm and funny and powerful.  However, as Steffi becomes more involved with Rhys she becomes less dependent on Tem.  Her courage grows through the story as she discovers she can use her voice although it is still a battle for her.

This books touches on so many things teenagers face.  Friendships, old and new, boyfriend/girlfriend, sex and the desire to chase your dreams.  In Steffi’s case, proving to her parents, and herself, she is independent enough to go to uni.  Watching her grow from a timid, introverted individual to a quietly confident one is extremely moving.  There is a lot of talk on social media about anxiety amongst teenagers at the moment and through Steffi the subject is handled in a very relatable and sympathetic   way.    

Tem is an interesting character.  Although Steffi sees her best friend as being uber confident we see a more vulnerable side to her.  Much of her confidence comes from her relationship with Steffi and once she goes off to college she struggles.  This highlights an intriguing dynamic between the two of them and I particularly like how their friendship is challenged through the story. 

Steffi and Rhys are very real and relatable.  They are both equally challenged but rather than let that define them they use it to help one another.  They fall in love slowly rather than having an instant attraction and this gives their story more credibility and depth. 

I like that this is the story of two teenagers who fall in love amidst all the usual angsts and insecurities of teenage years.  The fact they both have a disability doesn’t alter the fact they are no different from their peers other than in the way they communicate.  This sends a powerful and important message to the reader.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a great story.  If you haven’t read it yet I strongly
recommend you do.

Image result for a quiet kind of thunder image


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