The Quiet and the Loud

Judges Comments

A multi-layered coming of age story that explores big themes, grounded with some solid characters and a realistic setting. There is a lot to unpack in this story with issues of climate change and trauma impact sitting at the fore. Elements of mental health, alcoholism, friendship and first love also form a large part of the storyline with a solid LGBTQI+ focus. These elements are all masterfully weaved into the plot and are given space and relevance. The use of art throughout the story is significant as it counters some of the big issues discussed by offering healing and empowerment. The story is balanced with well-drawn primary and secondary characters, exploring the dynamics of friendship and family. The language is rich, making this a vivid and real read that will resonate with the upper end of the young adult readership.

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