The Quiet and the Loud is a story about friendship and boundaries. About the end of the world and change. If you’re looking for an introspective character driven story that manages to be both quiet and loud, then read this one. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.
George’s life is loud. On the water, though, with everything hushed above and below, she is steady, silent. Then her estranged dad says he needs to talk, and George’s past begins to wake up, looping around her ankles, trying to drag her under.
But there’s no time to sink. George’s best friend, Tess, is about to become, officially, a teen mom, her friend Laz is in despair about the climate crisis, her gramps would literally misplace his teeth if not for her, and her moms fill the house with fuss and chatter. Before long, heat and smoke join the noise as distant wildfires begin to burn.
George tries to stay steady. When her father tells her his news and the memories roar back to life, George turns to Calliope, the girl who has just cartwheeled into her world and shot it through with colors. And it’s here George would stay—quiet and safe—if she could. But then Tess has her baby, and the earth burns hotter, and the past just will not stay put.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
The Quiet and the Loud is a book that balances emotional highs and lows. With a title like that, Fox delivers scenes about climate change and natural disasters and also our friendship breakups and questions about our future. All the things in our life that feels both quiet and loud. The ways these ‘quiet’ events can feel so loud they can drown out our feelings. Or the immense stillness in the terror of the world. It’s a story that revolves around George.
About her friendships, her difficulty to say what she’s thinking, or her struggles to exert limitations. What it’s like to have an absent parent, one struggling with addiction, and also to reconcile who they are with who you love. Or a friendship which seems to change in front of our eyes into something unrecognizable. And a love which springs out of the unexpected. The Quiet and the Loud is about the weight we shouldn’t have to carry.
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The weight we need help carrying. And the words we never say. It’s one of those brilliant stories with a rich emotional tapestry. The theme which hit the closest to home to me, was the one where we have to the bravery to tell someone we want something different. We can think it’s too late. But it’s such an important step we have to take and one we never outgrow. Find The Quiet and the Loud on Goodreads, Storygraph, Amazon, Bookshop.org, & The Book Depository.