I didn’t hesitate to download the graphic novel “Turtle Bread” since it was available for free in my Kindle Unlimited subscription. The bright, glossy, and cute cover caught my attention, and the length seemed manageable. However, I was slightly surprised by the black-and-white retro style manga artwork inside, which wasn’t particularly captivating.
“Turtle Bread” is the debut graphic novel by British baking star Kim-Joy (whom I had no knowledge of until the end of the book), with illustrations by Alti Firmansyah. The story revolves around 23-year-old Yan, who is navigating the job market while dealing with anxiety. Her life takes a positive turn when she joins a baking club and encounters a group of sweet and confident individuals, each of whom has their own set of challenges.
Unfortunately, Kim-Joy gives us no context as to why Yan is such a kill-joy. Yan constantly worries about what others think of her and struggles to appreciate the support she receives. The secondary characters in the book are very generic and there’s a very cliched climactic twist which just wasn’t necessary for a baking-focused book like this.
While there are a few cute moments in “Turtle Bread”, the storytelling feels disjointed, abrupt, and lacks a smooth flow. Moreover, the artwork didn’t resonate with me, leaving me less than enthralled. I wouldn’t recommend it, but you can get a copy if you have a kindle unlimited subscription if it sounds like your cup of tea.