Feminist Fairytale | Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Friday, March 08, 2019

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: 9/5/17
Pages: 384
Source: purchased
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 shed 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 kings heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that shell 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 queens image, at her fathers 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 shes 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.
Mina will stop at nothing to remain queen. She is heartless, after all, and her inability to love helps her strive for what she wants. However, when Lynet, the young princess, discovers secrets that were better off hidden, Mina must confirm that Lynet will not take her crown. Or else. In this marvelous retelling of Snow White, Melissa Bashardoust gives us a feminist take on the classic fairytale.

mad the queen GIF

  • The fantastical atmosphere certainly sets the mood. The bite of winter at Whitespring is perfect to read about during the colder months. Whitespring creates an immersive landscape that follows along with the chilling plot. 
  • The writing is gorgeous; yet, it did get a little too flowery at times. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is prettily descriptive, a lovely piece of work. However, there were instances where I wanted a little bit more action and was sorely disappointed. As much as I adored getting to know the characters, the action buildup was slow and calculating. Readers will be able to tell that something is coming—something big. Bashardoust shrouds the journey in mystery, leaving us anticipating her next move. 
  • The magic elements of the story brings the retelling to life. The fantastical mirror was such an amazing tool. The possibilities of wielding snow and glass seemed endless and imaginative. Bashardoust takes the tale and puts a unique spin on it. 
  • The chapters move back and forth between Mina and Lynet’s perspective. However, in the beginning, Mina’s chapters take place 16 years before Lynet’s chapters. This adds depth to the moving timeline, the past comes together at the same time as the present. It was a bit confusing at first but the structure allows for more surprising reveals as each timeline happens simultaneously.
  • This book is filled with amazing women, no matter if they were made of snow or glass, they were all awesome. 
  • Lynet’s relationship with Mina is motherly which was such a surprise considering I anticipated an evil queen enacting her revenge. Bashardoust has Mina enact her deeds in other ways that are both clever and curious. 
  • All of the conflict could have been avoided if only Mina and Lynet had talked to each other. Girls Made of Snow and Glass takes this frustrating trope to the next level. Not only do we get communication difficulties galore but we get to see everyone's true colors this way which really opens readers’ eyes. 
  • Nicholas, Lynet’s father, has rather demanding and high expectations of his daughter. And as much as this is discussed in the beginning of the novel, it felt like such expectations could take a grave toll on such a child so young. This aspect of the novel held a lot of potential to be explored but doesn’t go beyond a certain point when the main plot interferes.
  • The tension between Nadia and Lynet builds to the highest point. It certainly is a fantastic slow burn romance! Though, the ending rushes their relationship—I would have enjoyed seeing their relationship develop further. Bashardoust rushes it, however, to make sure the end ties everything together. It’s a fairytale ending that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a wonderful, yet flowery, take on Snow White like you've never seen it before.

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