Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a feminist, LGBT, fresh new take on a Snow White retelling. But it’s not preachy – I really enjoyed this book!
Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Source: Raincoast Books for review
Description from Goodreads:
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.
What I Thought:
This was such a fresh take on fairy tale retellings.
I almost feel like rather than a retelling, it would be more of an “inspired by” story. The general themes and ideas are still there – stepmother, beautiful young girl, a huntsman, a mirror. But Bashardoust takes the story in a much more exciting direction. And there is nary an irritating dwarf in sight!
Also – THE MIRROR. I love what Bashardoust did with the mirror! So interesting and so different than what I’ve seen before.
The feminist aspect of this book was stellar – both women need to have courage to stand up to the men in their lives – men who feel like they are entitled to direct and control the women’s actions and destinies. And I loved that the relationship between Mina and Lynet was complicated, but not unrealistic. I mean, how many stepmothers out there would really order their stepdaughter murdered solely because of how beautiful she is? Life doesn’t work like that.
The will-they-won’t-they relationship between Lynet and the female surgeon, Nadia, was very well written. I love slow-burning romance, and this LGBT one was great.
Some people have described it as slow, and I’m not sure if it’s because I read it all in one day, but I didn’t find that to be an issue for me.
I do wish there was more world-building, since that was sort of glossed over. But that was my biggest complaint.
I would give this book a PG-rating for language, violence, sex, etc. Very appropriate for younger teens!
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