*Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to read this book early in exchange for my honest review
Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardout
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Flat Iron Books
Genre: YA Fantasy, Fantasy Retelling, Magical Realism
My Rating: 4.5/5
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.
I enjoyed this story so much. It was such a refreshing take on a story we have all heard before. The author had such an amazing way of writing that I really felt that I was there inside the story. For most of the story the pacing worked really well for me. There were slow moments and then it would really pick up and then it would be back to slow moments which helped to really build up the suspense. I did find the beginning to be a bit rushed though which is why I took of half a star.
The author did such an amazing job with really developing the characters throughout the whole story and giving them such well thought out motivations for the actions. I love how strong both main characters, Lynet and Mina, were. They both came from such different places in life but their lives and stories are so entwined in such a beautiful way. This book did such an amazing job of showing the complexities of relationships, not only with others, but with ourselves.
I also thought that the romances were really well done. There was no insta love, instead everything really built up organically and nothing was over the top. In fact, all the relationships were so realistic and believable. For it being a Snow White, retelling everything felt fresh and new, which I wasn’t expecting at all.
Another plus to the story was the format the author chose for the story. The whole story was told from both Mina and Lynet’s perspectives. The majority of Mina’s part was in the past and told us the story of how Mina came to be where she was. There were a few times when Lynet and Mina’s parts concided and I thought those times really showcased what a brilliant writer Melissa Bashardout is.
As you can tell, I really loved this story. I loved it so much I preordered my own copy. I was going to get the hardcover but when I imagine myself rereading this I picture a nice floppy paperback so that’s the one I ordered. There is no date for that copy, but I will keep you updated on it when I find out. Also, I hope it is actually a floppy paperback, but now that I’ve said that it probably isn’t haha.