ABOUT THE BOOK:
Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publishing: September 5, 2017 (Flatiron Books)
Format: Paperback, 372 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
“She was blood and snow, and so she would be like the snow, like the pine needles, like the winter wind: sharp and cold and biting. Snow didn’t break or shatter, and neither would she. All she had to do was be true to her nature.
Cold as snow, sharp as glass. Lynet rose to her feet. She still had a long way to go.”
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale.
At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.
Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.
Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a masterfully written spin on the tale of Snow White.
Growing up, I only paid attention to the blissful side of fairytales. I loved the “happily ever after” and ignored the struggles the characters experienced along the way. In more recent years, however, I have grown to appreciate the part of the story that portrays life as less than perfect. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is just that; a story of how the lives of the queen and the princess, a mother and a daughter, are less perfect than they seem.
In her debut novel, Melissa Bashardoust absolutely captivated me with her writing! She had a very crisp, natural style, and I found it very easy to enjoy the narrative because the writing itself enhanced it. One of my favorite things about this book was simply the prose.
I also thoroughly enjoyed the format of the book. The chapters weaved the stories of Mina, the daughter of a powerful magician who grew to become the queen, and Lynet, the daughter of the king and step-daughter of Mina. The reader gets a glimpse at both of their pasts, which helps us to understand their present. The duel points of view fills out a more complete picture.
Generally speaking, this is a retelling, so the basic premise for Girls Made of Snow and Glass parallels that of Snow White, but there are so many unique aspects and twists regarding the characters, that I found myself truly in wonder to where the plot would progress. I loved the feminist and diverse elements that Bashardoust incorporated, too!
I thought most of the characters were well-developed, but I also found myself wanting to know more about or see more from a few. Because of the book’s format, we learn a great deal about Mina and Lynet, and I did find myself extremely invested in them. I also grew quite fond of the Hunstman, Felix, and the surgeon, Nadia. I think they are both major lights in this book, in my opinion. I even thought the dark and evil Gregory is an amazing character, but his origin or past is one I would have liked to know more about.
There was one thing that carried on through a large part of the book that nagged at me as a reader, and that had to do with the constant back and forth that Mina and Lynet felt towards each other. For a little while with Lynet, at least, I chocked it up to naivety, but it happened so much where both characters went from hot to cold and vice versa with each other that it eventually wore on me.
Overall, Girls Made of Snow and Glass met all of my high expectations. I am rather difficult to please when it comes to retellings, so I was thrilled with how much I enjoyed this book. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy retellings, as well as to those who are looking for a unique, diverse read.
Until next time…xo
*Thanks to Flatiron Books for providing me with a copy of this book. Please note that it, in no way, had an effect on my opinion or review.