Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Quiet Kind of Thunder~Sara Barnard | Review

Title: A Quiet Kind of Thunder
Author: Sara Barnard
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 Pages
Release: January 2017

I received a copy of this novel through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I was really excited to read this novel. A few years ago I became very interested in learning American Sign Language (ASL) in order to be able to communicate with the deaf community, so novels that include deaf characters are always intriguing to me. Note: This story takes place in the UK, so they use BSL instead of ASL. The main character is also selective mute, which I have been curious about for the past few months, so the overall concept of these two characters' lives connecting was an interesting one for me. 

Parts of this really worked for me and others did not. I will outline some of my likes and dislikes below. Although there are certain aspects of this that I don't like, I know that a lot of readers would enjoy this novel. 

What I liked

Steffi, our main character's, anxiety was presented really well and overall made her easy to relate to. I found myself able to relate to a lot of her thought processes and fears and appreciated that she had highs and lows as the story progressed. 

Rita, Steffi's dog. It was nice to have this grounding for Steffi and to see her at ease with Rita and the other animals she worked with at the shelter. 

I also really liked how being deaf, and the deaf community in general, was presented here. Rhys was a believable teenager and his struggles with finding his place in the world were completely understandable. 

Some of our side characters were fairly likable as well, particularly Steffi's dad (and her other parents), who, for the most part seemed like real individuals. 

What I didn't like

At times characters were introduced purely as plot devices, which I didn't like. This was mostly true of Rhys' friend Meg. 

While Steffi and Rhys had a mostly cute relationship, I didn't like how it seemed to quickly devolve to almost an entirely physical attraction. In the beginning they were getting to know each other and it was cute, but that didn't seem to last long. 

The overly clean ending was one of the more frustrating aspects of the novel. The conclusion was rather sudden and didn't have a lot of conflict. Steffi had just done things that she thought would bother her parents, she and Rhys had a somewhat negative experience together, and Tem, her best friend, was angry with her for various reasons. All of that was thrown at you there in the last 10-15% of the novel and the resolution happened within pages. It didn't make you think that everything was going to be perfect, but it also didn't give satisfactory resolution to the conflict. 

So overall this wasn't terrible, but I found myself being frustrated and annoyed rather than actually enjoying the story. The writing was also a little choppy for me. This started out well, but as I read it lost some of that initial spark and toward the end I just wanted to be finished. 

There were things that I liked, but overall this was not a favorite for me. 

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