Audiobook, Books, Fantasy, Fiction, Short Story

Short Story Short Review: True Loaf (A Balkan Folklore Inspired Short Story)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

True Loaf is a YA fantasy short story that can be read in less than 30 minutes. A strange man puts in a strange request at the bakery where our heroine Riley works, causing her to go on a small adventure to find an unusual ingredient. The story seems to be set in modern-ish times (the main character has a cell phone) and I could make a case for this story being magical realism. I absolutely love the cover, the art style is lovely and evokes a warm, autumnal feeling.

I listened to the ~16-minute unabridged audiobook version narrated by Penny Scott-Andrews. Johnson’s prose is very imaginative, playful, and engaging, which pairs well with Scott-Andrews’ sing-song-y narration style. One of the cool things about this story is that the author has partnered with One Tree Planted where one tree in North America will be planted for ever audiobook sold within the first year from release (July 27, 2021). I would love to see a full-length novel sent in this world, mostly because we didn’t lean much about the world in this short story.

The audiobook itself also has a ~9-minute bonus content read by Claire Glover about folklore analysis of the short story. I’m a big fan of folklore and especially analysis thereof, so I really enjoyed this extra content!

I received an advanced audiobook copy of this short story for review via NetGalley, but all opinions contained herein are my own.

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