A Shadow's Breath

Nicole Hayes

Random House Australia

February 2017

$19.99 AU

330p pb

ISBN: 978-0143781097

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A Shadow’s Breath is an Australian contemporary young adult novel by Nicole Hayes. The story centres around Tessa Gilham, a seventeen-year-old whose life is slowly getting back to normal after a series of struggles. Her mother, a recent ex-alcoholic, has finally left her abusive boyfriend, and their relationship is steadily mending. Tessa has also begun painting again, as well as dating Nick Kostas who is in the year above her at school, and popular, smart and admired. All of that is changed with one accident, a car wreck, after which Tessa and Nick become stranded in the hot, scorching, Australian wilderness with serious injuries and supposedly no means of survival.


This novel was fascinating, and I would recommend it to both younger and older readers, as it is easy to read and comprehend. It is told in alternating chapters--flashbacks called Then, and glimpses of the present called Now--and features mature issues such as fitting in, changing friendships, and domestic abuse. With a surprise plot twist ending, A Shadow’s Breath was emotional, suspenseful, and a great book to enjoy.

Janet, age 12

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