Sep 292020

I blindly picked up this book, with no pretense or idea what it was about or who it was targeted towards. I admit this because I hesitated reading in but am so very glad I did!

Sometimes new books and new authors can surprise you and Deborah Hemming did just that with Throw Down Your Shadows. A young adult book, this story touches on some pretty sensitive topics as it’s told from Winnie’s perspective as a 16 year old living in rural “wine country” Nova Scotia. Life as a teenager is never really easy but it was for Winnie until someone shook up her world as if she was in a snow globe.

Having a group of four good guy friends and no real girl friends, Winnie thought her life was complicated but somewhat predictable. With many traditions including a trip to the market with her single mom and nights alone while her mother tried to find ‘the one’, lazy summers with her friends who were dependable and didn’t always need to speak to understand, until they met Caleb.

It really just takes one pin to make a balloon pop and the world you’ve known comes crumbling down. It’s up to all of us to pick up the pieces and make something new but how will Winnie manage without her safety net of 16 years?

Set just outside of Wolfville, Nova Scotia, the characters are strong, relatable and weave a mystery that is sure to shock and awe the reader throughout. This story could be great for middle grades but there are some scenes and situations that make it a definite young adult/ adult read.

The only gap I see is that I want to know about the man at the fireworks but the rest of the fireworks and smoke distracted me and ensured it was a fast read!

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

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Throw Down Your Shadows by Deborah Hemming and published by Vagrant Press (a Nimbus imprint)

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