Short Story Review – Persephone (Into Shadow #2)

Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m returning to the short story collection Into Shadow, with my review of the second story, Persephone. You can find my review of the first short story, The Garden, here.

A teenage nobody crosses a line that will change her life forever in this short coming-of-age story by number one New York Times bestselling author Lev Grossman.

Ever since her dad disappeared five years ago, Persephone has quietly walled off the feelings she’d rather not feel. There’s no room for pain or anger when you’re just trying to get through the hell that is high school. But one day, the crush of taunts and disappointments is finally too much—and a power breaks loose inside her that she never knew was there.

I do love a good short story anthology, and this second installment just shows how a story collection can be little pomegranate seeds of wonder put together.

It starts off as a perfectly normal day, for a perfectly normal girl – until it isn’t. And the way both Persephone and the boy she is quickly thrown together with make on the spot decisions, bringing a sense of unity where they could have been thrown apart, is something that can’t be underestimated. It shows the strength of their characters, and the beauty of a sudden change in narrative.

It has to be admired how quickly you can become endeared towards characters. In a story like this, when the reading time is less than an hour for the whole thing, you still find yourself absolutely rooting for the protagonist, despite that reading time being the equivelant of “still getting to know you” in standard novel reading comparison. It shows the strength of the author, and the power of the story itself that it can stand on stable legs while being so short.

This particular story was one I found myself leaning into heavily, and developing strong feelings about, and while the ending was satisfying and it worked well as a short story, I absolutely would have read it as a full length novel. It’s clever, strong, and has a huge amount of heart.

Thanks for stopping by for this short story review today. I’ll be continuing to share my reviews of the rest of this series over the next few weeks, and the next review coming up really is of a stunning book!



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