*Thank you to PanMacmillan Children’s for sending me a copy to review*
Author: Sara Barnard
Release Date: January 12th 2017
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.
Quite a while ago I came across the goodreads page for this book and the description had me intrigued, for some reason I hadn’t picked up this author debut, but I was really excited for this one.
Before I get into this I just have to say, I really enjoyed this book and think its one of the most beautifully written reads i’ve read in quite sometime.
As someone who has had social anxiety most of her life I really connected with the main character Steffi, specially her train of thoughts and how she is in public with interactions. Steffi had selective mutism as a child and now suffers with social anxiety and chronic shyness and in my opinion I think this was written about perfectly, it felt very believable to me and I loved seeing Steffi’s journey and her personality develop. This book had clearly been well researched and isn’t another one of those books where the main character is suddenly ‘cured’ because they have found love.
The plot itself..
Steffi gets buddied up at school with Rhys who is new & also happens to be deaf, because she knows a little BSL. The relationship in this book is really wonderful, the way Sara intertwines BSL into the book is great with the conversations between Rhys & Steffi, its also almost a tiny bit educational at the same time, its also realistic with Steffi being slow at first in understanding and Rhys also lip reading at times.
Rhys is such a wonderful character, his relationship with his family was really interesting to read about and I loved when Steffi met them for the first time, he also really helps Steffi to find her voice.
I also loved seeing a powerful female friendship in Steffi & Tem, I loved their conversations (Tem trying to drag Steffi along running was brilliant).
This isn’t just a romance story, everything isn’t always perfect, but its real.
I’m now tempted to go back and read this authors debut, Beautiful Broken Things!