Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust is a retelling of Snow White. It is a YA fantasy story about Lynet and her stepmother Mina with magic and is about friendship and family and love and it’s just amazing.
Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairy tale
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.
The book starts off a little confusing (at least that was because I had mixed up Mina and Nadia). We start off with two big reveals that I thought would be the main reveal of the story, but it wasn’t so that threw me off a little as well. However, once we get introduced to the story and the characters I couldn’t help but fall in love with it. The story is about Mina and Lynet, and their relationship. Mina’s story starts off with the past and continues until Mina and Lynet’s stories align and we read about both points of view in the same timeline. In the beginning, I liked Lynet’s point of view the most, but near the ending, and especially during the ending, I loved Mina’s point of view the most.
“There are worse things than to be delicate. If you’re delicate, it means no one has tried to break you.”
Lynet is a girl made of blood and snow, Mina is a girl with a heart of glass. Both struggle with their own inner demons. Lynet’s father expects her to become her mother, something she really doesn’t want to. She is brave and wants to be her own person. Mina is unable to love and has a horrible father who treats her with no love at all.
Both Lynet and Mina’s characters are strong, have flaws and strong points. Especially Mina’s character is very complexed and layered. I loved that about her. During the story, Mina is set as the antagonist, but she is one of my favourite antagonists ever. Her story was just as, and maybe even more interesting than the protagonist’s (Lynet). I loved reading about their relationship and everything they went through. I feel like I’m not doing this book justice when I say that with talking about the mother-daughter band they had, because this book is so much more than that.
“Lynet still held all the pieces — all of the moments she and Mina had shared together, the feel of Mina’s hands braiding her hair, the small comforts she had offered — but they seemed to be scattered around her, with no way to repair them without creating a distorted image, a cracked mirror. And in the spaces between all those cracks were Mina’s secrets, the Mina who claimed she was unable to love, the Mina Lynet had never known.
I loved the way Melissa Bashardoust took the original Snow White story and twisted into something completely different and original. A lot of the original story has been used in the story but not in the way you expect it to be used. I loved finding all these little easter eggs in the story! Having not only this retelling aspect of the story, but having the world building and the characters made it a truly enchanting story.
“I would have been chasing ghosts and memories instead of fighting for something real.”
Some other things I need to mention before ending up this review are the ending and the LGBT aspect to it. The romance plot is not a major plot line, it is small but that doesn’t make it less of a story. I loved that it was there and it gave it an extra dimension. And then, the ending. I LOVED the ending. I loved everything about it, and sadly I can’t tell you what it is, so you’re going to have to find it out by yourself.
Overall, I am going to give this book 4.5 stars (maybe even 5). The beginning was a little slow to me, but I adored the rest of the book so much. It was magical and feministic and I loved the fairy tale aspect to it. I loved loved loved Mina and Lynet and the only thing I would change about the characters was to give Nadia a little more depth. I loved the overall message of the book as well! So if you are looking for a magical YA fantasy with great family/love story lines and is just amazing overall, I would definitely recommend this book. I could keep writing on about everything I loved but I think I should stop here haha.
** I would like to thank Flatiron Books for sending me a copy for review, my opinions are all my own**
Girls Made of Snow And Glass will come out on September 5th.