Review: The Shape of Thunder by Jasmine Warga

The Shape of Thunder is beautiful and emotional.

Dealing with grief, loss, and guilt. Told from the different perspectives of Cora and Quinn. Both have lost their siblings on the same day, in the same incident. Yet the circumstances rip their friendship apart. As we see their stories unfold, we realise that whilst their situations are different, their feelings of anger and guilt are matched.

I resonated with these girls, for all they have been through they are still ‘regular’ 12-year-olds. I can remember thinking I can solve things myself, being with my friends thinking I could do magic and willing things to happen that of course never would.

Both girls have been through trauma and we see the support (or lack thereof) they are given in trying to cope and move forward. The book also touches on issues of identity and culture, gun ownership and absent parents. We see the importance of being able to talk about these things, and ask questions freely, for the sake of your mental health.

As the book progressed, I was desperate for Cora and Quinn to talk to each other and be that ‘constant’ in each other’s lives again. We learn about forgiveness, not only of other people but of ourselves, so frequently we blame ourselves for things that are out of our control, or for saying or doing things that with hindsight we wish we hadn’t. We see here how unhealthy this is and how important it is to reflect and forgive.

This book conveys the emotions and lessons learnt perfectly for a middle grade audience. It has been written in such a way that it is accessible for children without being condescending or shying away from the rawness it presents.

Thank you Edelweiss+ and Balzer + Bray for the e-arc.

Publishing June 2021. Balzer + Bray. Author Jasmine Warga.

Review by Katrina.

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