TITLE: The Shape of Thunder
AUTHOR: Jasmine Warga
PAGE EXTENT: 288
PUBLISHER: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
GENRE: Middle Grade
MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
SOURCE: Received a copy from HarperCollins India in exchange for an honest review.
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year. Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did. On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note.She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him. In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves. The Shape of Thunder is a deeply moving story, told with exceptional grace, about friendship and loss—and how believing in impossible things can help us heal.
I have seen a lot of people dismiss Middle Grade novels and I honestly wonder just how much they’re missing out on! Books like these repeatedly remind me why Middle Grade is my favorite genre and also how it’s one of the most powerful genres out there!
The Shape of Thunder is a poignant tale of two friends reeling in the aftermath of a school shooting where the brother of one killed the sister of the other. Once the thickest of friends, Cora and Quinn are no longer on talking terms after Quinn’s brother, Parker shot Cora’s sister Mabel. Quinn, in the hopes of mending their friendship, decides to build a time travel machine to set things right. What follows is a heartwarming tale of grief, heart, family and the sheer magic of HOPE. ✨
This is my first Jasmine Warga book and needless to say, I’ll be picking up every one of her books henceforth! Her writing style is smooth, fresh, unique and so full of warmth. It shows you how you can repair the past just by hoping for it to happen, however impossible it may seem.
Cora shut herself off from Quinn after the shooting and it touched me how she slowly began warming up to Quinn once again as they embark on an impossible quest to get Cora’s sister back. Cora wants to discover more about her Lebanese heritage and her innocent curiosity reminded me so much of the 6th grade me hehe. 🙈
One of my favorite characters in this tear-jerker of a tale definitely has to be Cora’s grandmother. She is a fierce, no-nonsense woman who has her own way of loving her granddaughter. This shows how love can have many forms and shapes and there is no set definition for love. She is a doting granny in her own right and she plays an active role in shaping Cora’s character growth in this story! Yay to more awesome grannies in books!
At one point, I loved how this was going along a sci-fi tangent and I ended up having high hopes for the ending. This would have been a solid 5-star read for me if not for the very normal ending. Somewhere along the way, I started to hope for the impossible along with Quinn and I would have LOVED it if the impossible had just become, well, POSSIBLE.
Nevertheless, this is one powerful Middle Grade novel that deals with hard-hitting topics such as grief, separation, loss of a loved one, shattered friendships and more in the most nuanced way possible.
Kudos to Jasmine for writing this beauty of a book! 💫