Written by: Melissa Bashardoust
Published: September 5, 2017 by Flatiron Books (Macmillan)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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 received an advance copy of this book from the publisher at ALA in an exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ***
I seriously loved this book. When I first heard about it, being pitched as a feminist Snow White retelling, I was super intrigued. And so I of course picked up a copy and even got a free download of the audio. It was this audio download that made me pick this up now, needing a new audiobook. And I am so glad I did because this book and it's audio was AMAZING!
One of the things I loved about this book was the atmosphere. So much of a good audiobook, and fantasy for that matter, hinges on the tone and atmosphere. This was definitely a good one. The writing was beautiful and descriptive which is something I like to see in my fantasy. It definitely pulled you into the story and immersed you into the world. The narrator of for the audio did a great job in doing just that. She captured everything so well you could see and almost feel it. It really all worked to create a fantastic atmosphere and setting.
But as far as the setting goes, I'm not sure it was too hard to establish that atmosphere because this was a fantastic setting and world. There is a Frozen comparison being thrown around with it definitely seems apt in more ways than one. One of the main ways is with the world. It's a world where a curse has frozen over the kingdom and the people are trying to cope. It's also a world of magic, including magic involving snow. That being said, this could have come off as a very uncreative magical system and it didn't. It felt unique and interesting. I like my magic to have clear rules and while this one could have used a little more explanation I still really liked it. It added a lot of dimension to the story and the world of this book.
But I think my favorite this about this book was that story. It was a very complex story full of surprises and lots of political intrigue. There are multiple perspectives and moments in the past and present, which can be tricky. But I felt like it all unfolded in a way that made sense and made for a creative and engaging story. Plus it was one of those books that feels like a modern fairy tale. It had elements and vibes of classic fairy tales but when it really came down to it, this was a unique story that felt original. As far as the retellings aspect I think it was one of those where the original story is merely a jumping off point. If you are looking for a strong Snow White retellings you will not find that here. But that was totally fine with me because I loved the story.
My only problem however was with the fact that much of the conflict in this book could have easily been resolved. We were in the head of both of the main characters and we therefore know what their thinking and what they want but the other characters didn't. At a certain point it just felt like it wasn't dramatic irony anymore and was just manufactured drama. It did all come together in the end with more of a big boss but for awhile there it was a little frustrating.
But I will say, that didn't get in the way of me liking the characters. In fact, I think the author was able to create some really complex and interesting characters. I'm typically a fan of strong female characters who act feminine and that's exactly what I found here. I found two women and a dispute over the crown. Normally that would lead to a lot of scheming and bickering but that did not happen here. They were kind rulers who cared about their people and both were kind rulers who cared about their people and what was best for their kingdoms which made them extremely likable. But they also cared so much for each other. The real heart of this book was in the relationships between Mina and Lynet. And that in and of itself was more refreshing and enjoyable than anything else.
On the whole, I really loved Girls Made of Snow and Glass. It was everything I had hoped it would be and more. It was a beautifully written story with a creative world, likable characters, and an engaging plot.
I give Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust 9.5 out of 10 stars
Have you read Girls Made of Snow and Glass? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by and HAPPY READING!