• Booktastically Amazing

A Quiet Kind of Thunder

by Sara Barnard

Spoiler-Free Synopsis:

Steffi doesn't talk, but she has so much to say.

Rhys can't hear, but he can listen.

Their love isn't a lightning strike, it's the rumbling roll of thunder.

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 her knowledge of basic sign language means that she's assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn't matter that Steffi doesn't talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she's falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

From the bestselling author of Beautiful Broken Things comes a love story about the times when a whisper is as good as a shout.

This book was tea without sugar.

And without tea.

It was just a cup.

- An Annoyed Booksy, 2021.

Rating: 😐😐😐 3 dull faces.


You know what I've learned? That sometimes you get so many disappointments lined up in a neat row, that you just stop feeling the slaps when they inevitably attack.


To be honest, it wasn't the worst thing to happen to me. And it wasn't the best. See, I'm in the middle of a competition with Fate as to how I can further lose my hope in books, and so far? Well, let's just say I'm not winning.

The following paragraphs will mostly be a rant (plentiful rants to be exact), so I apologize in advance, and of course *clears throat* Minor spoilers will be present. I'll warn, of course. And yes, it is mostly spoiler-free because since it's a rom-com, it has zero to no plot twists worthy of talking about.

The plot was okay. It was there. In all its bland glory. And by bland, I don't mean to say that it was bad or anything. In fact, it was so very cute but at times, basically unseasoned, and of course, it still tasted okay. It just didn't blow my mind. The sweetness was present and even when there were certain 'twists' it still felt dry and innocuous to the story itself. More like... filler episodes in a series. We don't actually need them, and they don't actually add anything to the story, apart from extra time for extra annoyance. Bottom line, Gordon Ramsey would've had a field day.

He can't judge much on the cuteness factor, which was very there, and frankly, one of the things that helped me get through this without any major mishaps like say... death.

The writing was good, entertaining and yes, another one of the few things that kept me focused on the fact that I never DNF and that I didn't want to start now. (no offense if you DNF by the way, I'm just not that strong. Or smart. I like to torture myself, can't you tell?)

Now the characters, oh my goodness.

The characters.

Hahahaha, we're going to have so much fun.

Well, the characters in a conjunctive state were present and there, at best.

See, the main character was an annoyance. Pure and simple, annoyance. She was selfish, self-centered, extremely self-absorbed, thought nobody had problems except her, was rude to everybody, intensely set on being the most crappy human being possible, and of course, how could I forget?

She was in looooooooooooooove. (apart from the other things that I shall not mention because if I were to mention them, I would be here alllll day)

And she let me know of that fact at least 578 times, and that's an approximation. I loved the anxiety rep that was present throughout her whole part in the story, alas, she managed to make it all about her and her needs. I was supremely proud when she was able to slowly, but surely grow stronger in herself and that made my heart, *sigh* it made my heart sing.

And that lasted about .3 seconds.

*frustrated grunting sounds* I don't know where it went wrong (oh I know, the moment she and her boyfriend escaped for a road trip, didn't tell anybody, and almost got severely hurt in an accident. Apart from the fact, that her BFF needed the wench, but nooooo, too occupied with lover boy) or when I started to dislike her (the times when she thought everyone was pressuring her by asking if she was ready for college, blind to the fact that the girl herself KNEW her difficulties in those environments. Which is totally okay, but come on, they're looking out for you. Stop acting like you're above everything) however, I know for sure, that there are about 1 million words in the English language and none of them can accurately express how much I want to hit her. With a machete.

So bottom line on her wonderful personality, I despised her just a healthy tad.

The following are a few of the 5794720 instances in which I started to dislike her:

“I’m not sure how to take all of this. On one hand – yay! I’m not in trouble! On the other – this is quite patronizing and offensive, isn’t it? Aren’t they basically calling me a sad excuse for a teenager?

‘I think I’d rather you were angry,’ I say, frowning.”

(the weird thing is, she actually meant that. And started being rude. Hm- the logic, where?)

“I get sick of playing interpreter, but I do it anyway, of course”

(I get sick of listening to you, but I still do)

“I’m more confused than hurt. I don’t understand why she’s being so defensive with me, when she knows I’m the last person in the world she’d ever need to be defensive with.”

(she says, whilst forgetting that she hid so many things from her BFF and that her BFF KNEW)

On to the BFF, she was a nice best friend. Always there for Selfish Wench (S.W). The number of times in which she came to S.W's rescue is intense and STILL S.W had to betray her more than once. The friendship between them was annoying at first, decent later, and disaster at the end. They just weren't compatible. At ALL. Yes, that's all I have to say. Apart from you know, letting you know that the MC got angry with the BFF for hiding stuff, WHILE THE S.W WAS HIDING A BUTTLOAD OF THINGS. AHHHH, I am getting riled up again. *deep breath in* *deep breath out*

(I am literally listening to Don't Worry Be Happy on repeat)

As always, I love bashing in love interests. Ha, I really don't, it's just inevitable. Rhys was actually really nice, and overall a cute boyfriend. Albeit a little of a doormat concerning S.W.


S.W: Can we not talk about this? It is really annoying me. Just STOP.

C.G (cute guy): Okay, okay. (even if he hadn't said anything at all)


I mostly felt sad for him, I think he had more potential. I loved the aspect that they were introducing more BSL signs, be it in chapters or little guidelines. All of that helped me understand him more. And yes, that is it on him. Sad, I know.

The rest of the characters are not that important at all. Like, at ALL. Their importance level is down there with Hades. Chilling, sipping molten lava cocktails.

Oh! And how could I forget-? The romance.

I hated it with a PASSION. They were teenagers for goodness’ sake, a week after meeting, S.W was already saying 'I love you'. Two weeks after that, they were taking a private trip (and no, I don't consider it a spoiler. It is THAT dumb), in which the guy got hurt. Wow, such a SuRpRiSe. Ugh, I swear if I read one more book with a crappy romance, that's it. Booksy has been eliminated.

That up there shall be my motto from now on unless a miracle crashes into me and the romance in a book is actually halfway decent.

(Text conversation between the two parties)

“Because I want to be able to look after you. (guy)

You can do that too!

But I didn’t. I finally understand what the expression on his face is. Frustration. He’s buzzing with it. I didn’t look after you. I just made things harder. I can’t take that. It’s too hard.”

Disclaimer: Any and all opinions said up there are my own, and please feel free to call me out for any errors or any offensive comments, so I can get right on it and get it fixed!


  • The way her BFF handled Steffi (the MC which I've dubbed S.W for the duration of my dislike). I loved it so much! It was like watching a boxing match. Bootiful.

  • I think the purpose was to entertain, and it did so. Also, it brought light to mental illnesses that happen to a great number of people and that aren't talked much about.

  • The end.

  • The end.

  • The end.

On a closing note, I feel the need to say that although I finished the book, it shall not take place in a reread. The plot was good, the writing was good, the characters were decent, and the romance was... it was. I hope they broke up along the way, I swear.