I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Published by Flatiron Books on September 5th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
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 was easily one of the best retellings I’ve read this year. Melissa Bashardoust worked magic in creating this story that was at once immediately recognizable as the classic fairytale while also spinning a narrative entirely its own. There were unexpected depths to this story that made it utterly enchanting. I’m definitely going to be picking up a finished copy of this beauty!
While I could be wrong, I believe that this book is based off both Snow White and The Snow Queen. Lynet is a princess made of snow and blood, built as a replacement for a Queen who died too soon. Mina is her stepmother, a queen with a glass heart, left unable to love by the process that saved her life. Girls Made of Snow and Glass chronicles Lynet and Mina’s stories, from their respective childhoods to the ultimate conclusion. The story shifts back and forth between the present and the past, slowly revealing the entire story.
I was surprised by how character-based this story was. At first, it was a little too slow for me but then I was swept away and would have been entirely happy if it had been longer. I loved Lynet’s journey, I could really relate to her struggles to define herself outside of other’s expectations of her. Mina also went through a similar journey and there were moments when my heart broke for her. Both of the main characters were beautifully written and I absolutely adored them. Lynet’s snow magic and Mina’s glass magic were marvelous additions to the story, adding just the right touch of enchantment to the story.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass was a wonderful feminist retelling of two of my favorite fairytales. This fantastic debut combined magic, love, and family to make a story that was both captivating and relatable.