Love overcoming obstacles

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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 Steffi’s knowledge of basic sign language gets her assigned to help him grow accustomed at school.

To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk.

Steffi may be silent, but she has so much to say, and Rhys may not hear but he can listen. As they find ways to communicate, Steffi discovers that she does have a voice and that she may be falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

“A Quiet Kind of Thunder” by Sara Barnard tells the story of a mute girl and a deaf boy overcoming the obstacles of life and developing a tender relationship that helps both to grow and expand their worlds.

The contemporary offers insight into the lives of mute and deaf people and how they experience the world a bit differently from other people. It also explores relationships of first love as well as friendships and relationships between parents and their children.

The relationship development between Steffi and Rhys is slow, but it is never boring or dragging. In fact, it is realistic and adorable. It has a nice pace that is always entertaining. The story exhibits awkward moments, misunderstandings and cute moments of tender affection. It’s a roller-coaster of feelings. When Steffi feels awkward, it’s easy for the reader to feel her awkwardness.

When a cute moment happens between Steffi and Rhys, a bubble of warmth forms in the heart. It’s easy to get caught up in the plot and characters and all the feelings that transpire.

It’s a refreshing romance that displays all the developments of a relationship as well as diversity in the fact that the two main characters live differently than most people. Yet, it also exhibits that love comes in all types of forms and grows in many different ways.

Along with the transition of Steffi and Rhy’s friendship to a romantic relationship, the reader sees a transformation of Steffi’s character and her slow transformation from a mute girl to a person who finds her voice.

The novel explores anxiety, growing up and how to live for yourself. It also displays the ups-and-downs of friendship and familial challenges. In a way, it is about finding a place in the world.

“A Quiet Kind of Thunder” is a refreshing contemporary that showcases diversity, growing up, friendships, family, discovering yourself and the development of love. Just as any good story should do, it paints the characters and their situations in such realistic ways that they feel real and tangible, and also makes readers feel empathetic in many different ways.

Not only does it allow for readers to feel immersed in these relationships and characters, but it also teaches about anxiety, deafness and muteness. A good read should always have readers walking away with newfound knowledge and various feelings, and this new contemporary certainly did just that.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)