A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
[actual rating: 4.5]
Those books where you feel like (your) mental illness is portrayed accurately are few and far between. I found a gem in this book. Well-researched, sensitive to the intricacies of BSL, and so thoughtfully laid out.
For those reasons, if anyone ever asks me to recommend a book that deals specifically with certain anxiety disorders, I would handpick them this book. The thing that I always hate about the stereotypical synopsis like these (mentally ill character falls in love with boy and gets magically cured or suddenly gets better). This makes me want to scratch my head and shout "WHY!" in frustration because of the unrealistic expectations that this puts on.
So, this book is about a love story in essence. Steffi has been diagnosed with being "selective mute" since she was five years old. She's trying to get healthy by starting to take medication, seeing a qualified psychiatrist to help her along her journey of recovery. Wait for it, after she meets a new boy at her school, Rhys, who just happens to be deaf. That doesn't hinder their communication in their relationship, because they continually use sign language (BSL.)
Alas, her life isn't all sweet cherry pie(although this book made me feel like sweet cherry pie inside). She's a struggling human being who keeps on wondering if the only reason why she's in this relationship a mute and a deaf know how to naturally communicate with eachother. (basically doubting her love). Her day-to-day life still has struggles and her mental health isn't "magically cured", in fact the book describes her deathly thought spirals in detail.
My favorite part was seeing some kick-ass female friendship that Steffi had with Tem. These best friend moments were some of the funnest and real parts of the story by far. I felt a little bit jealous and found myself wanting to have such a close-knit bonding type of friendship in my life.
The only problem with this book in my opinion, is that near the beginning we get a description that Rhys is "brown-skinned" and Steffi's best friend Tem has experienced racism in the past and is of a minority. That's it. That's all the mention that we get of their racial and ethnic background. I was on the lookout for more specifics with this physical image and was disappointed that he author left this extremely vague.
However, seeing Steffi expressing happiness and seeing her being glowingly joyful made my heart burst with all the feels. That's why this book was worth the read.
**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange of my honest review.**
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