Category: social anxiety

Author: Sara Barnard

Rating: 4.5/5

I actually loved this book. With contemporary novels, especially YA, I often find them too cliché or too wooden – and I think this one is neither. Yes, it’s a little cheesy. But, in my opinion, it has enough actual content to make the cheesiness worthwhile.

What drew me to A Quiet Kind Of Thunder most was the representation: the narrator has severe social anxiety and is in the recovery process of selective mutism, and another main character is deaf. Now, I’m not deaf but I can speak for the severe social anxiety rep and I think it was portrayed pretty accurately. It was small things, like there was a whole page literally naming all the anxious thoughts that the main character had whilst just on a bus, that made me resonate with this book so much. Her thought process was so completely relatable and raw that I have to commend the author. Still on the mental health topic, this novel focusses on recovery, something that YA doesn’t seem to cover much, and I respect that a lot. This includes the family dynamic that’s explored throughout this book too, and how it’s not only mental health issues affect a family, but recovering from it too.

Following on from that, this novel defies the ‘girl meets boy and all is better now’ trope which I’m SO GLAD ABOUT. They have a good, healthy (in)dependence and, by the end of the novel, have complete understanding of each other and their strengths and weaknesses. That said, I love their relationship too – just pure awkward, teenage emotion that is clumsy and real.

The only thing I can’t comment on without more info is the deaf representation – so if anyone in the community have read this and have thoughts please let me know!

After reading this I now have an overwhelming urge to learn BSL, which I think is a good thing. 

Image source (x)