A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard: A Book Review

It has been a while since a book made me laugh, cry and then root for the characters so hard that you forget they are fictitious. But then, if we get that book every time I read it won’t as special right? So A Quiet Kind of Thunder will be one of those special books. 

About A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Quiet Kind of Thunder

Book Name: A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Author: Sara Barnard

Genre: Fiction – Romance, YA

Characters: Steffi Brons, Rhys Gold, September “Tem” 

Setting: Bedfordshire, England, The United Kingdom

Plot Summary of A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Steffi has been a selective mute since her childhood. But when her parents assume she may not be able to pursue her studies in a University, she decides things has to change. With her best friend, Tem moving off to another school she realizes she has to do this alone.

Or so she thought.

Rhys is deaf and entirely relies on the sign language to communicate. Since Steffi knows a bit of British Sign Language (BSL) she is introduced to him to help him out. She is mute and he is deaf and her rusty BSL is all they have to communicate and it also means they have an entire language just for them, more or less.

But when her parents decide college would be too much for her, she rebels and she rebels with Rhys. You need to read A Quiet Kind of Thunder to know how that goes.

Book review of A Quiet Kind of Thunder

As I might have already mentioned I loved A Quiet Kind of Thunder. 

The romance didn’t make me roll eyes. Yes there were cutesy moments but they fit so perfectly into the story. Even when they do the typical teenage-y things it worked. 

But again, they were typical teenagers who had physical disabilities and that is a point that A Quiet Kind of Thunder never failed to remind us. They can’t be much different from the other teens, can they? Well almost. And that is where the author and her research shine through.

What worked for me

  • A Quiet Kind of Thunder has a great diverse representation with people of color, mental illness and physical disabilities, and none of them felt forced. 
  • Not everything is pink. There are people who do not understand them, there are ones who behave around them like they walk on egg shells. But I loved how real that made the story.
  • Of late I have been ranting a lot about how much I dislike the ‘love solves everything’ trope. And I am happy to say this one defies that. 
  • The YA parents are THERE the whole time and they are protective as they should be and even too much at times.

What could have been better

  • It is a typical teenage romance without a stronger conflict. 


I would recommend this to anyone who loves YA romance and want to read books with great diverse representation. 

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Let’s chat

Have you read A Quiet Kind of Thunder? Do you look for books with diverse representation or they just a bonus to a good story? Let us discuss.


  1. the orangutan librarian

    So glad you loved this and the teenagey parts worked! And even better that the romance didn’t make your eyes roll 🙂 Great review!

    • Gayathri

      I hope you give it a try as well.

  2. jennifer gaarder

    I get a lot of reading done when the book engulfs me.

  3. Eline

    This sounds great! I would say that diverse representation is mostly a bonus for me. I do feel it’s important and I support own voices authors. But in the end, it’s the story that counts most.

    • Gayathri

      I love how you put it in the perfect way.

  4. Whispering Stories

    Great review, It sounds adorable and love the cover too.

    • Gayathri

      I loved the cover too much too.

  5. Christina

    Hmmm looks interesting – love some good diversity. Great review!

    • Gayathri

      It was a great book.

  6. Lindsi

    This sounds lovely and unique! I don’t think this one is on my list, but I’m definitely going to add it! I also love it when the parents in YA books are involved. I feel like nowadays they’re nonexistent, cruel, or just don’t care about their kids. Thanks for sharing this one!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

    • Gayathri

      I hate absentee parents characters in YA too!

  7. DJ Sakata

    I love being able to lose myself in a book like that!

  8. Laura Thomas

    I love it when a book brings out all of the feels and I enjoy character driven stories. Thanks for the wonderful review.


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Gayathri has been reviewing books since 2010. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she works as a writer and a digital marketer. Head over to meet me!