Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: September 5, 2017
“Weak or strong – she didn’t know what they meant anymore. Maybe they didn’t mean the same thing for everyone. All she knew as she turned away from the churchyard was that it was time to discover what kind of strength lived in her.”
I’m going to be really honest with you all, I was never a fan of Snow White. I never really enjoyed the movie and I didn’t think Snow White was an engaging princess. I can say that Girls Made of Snow and Glass surpassed all of my expectations. This book is so much more than a Snow White reimagining, it’s a story of love, family, discovering your inner strength and power, and making your own choices. We follow Princess Lynet as she nears her sixteenth birthday and discovers truths about herself and her mother’s death that she isn’t ready to face. We see Mina at sixteen, trying create love and happiness by becoming Queen. We follow Lynet and Mina as they begin to drift apart, and desperately cling to their own hopes that their relationship isn’t broken.
Things I Liked:
Lynet and Mina’s relationship was my absolute favorite part of the story. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and completely original. This isn’t a wicked stepmother who is jealous of a younger, more beautiful daughter and vows revenge. This is the story of a broken woman, who thinks she is incapable and undeserving of love. Combined with her daughter who is now unsure of who she is and who she can trust, while still greatly admiring her stepmother. It’s a deeply complex and emotional relationship that is a joy to read.
I loved the different fantastical magical elements in the story. I love that the characters have magic that is unique to them. It made the magic more personable and accessible for the reader. It wasn’t a vague concept, but smartly grounded with our characters.
I love that we got to see Mina when she was sixteen. I think these chapters were my favorite parts of the story. (I did slightly prefer Mina over Lynet). We really get to see her develop as a character. She could never only be the evil stepmother, because she is so well developed especially in these background chapters.
The story is such a fantastic retelling. The characters are reimagined beautifully, the relationships are well established. (Although I did find Lynet’s romance with Nadia a little lacking.) The story is uniquely crafted and distinct, while still feeling familiar.
Things I Didn’t Like:
There was very little world building in the story. We get to see a bit of both the North and the South, but we don’t really get much history about Whitespring, their culture, or customs. I would have liked to know more about this fantastical world.
There were two instances of miscommunication or assumptions (both by Lynet) that really frustrated me. Miscommunication and assumptions as a plot device is one of my least favorite things, it’s always frustrating and usually makes me like the character a little bit less. I can understand where Lynet was coming from and why she acted rashly, and didn’t want to hear any explanations. But as the reader, we know more than her, we know she should stop and listen, so it was mildly frustrating that she didn’t.
I don’t think I can properly articulate how utterly captivating Lynet and Mina’s relationship is. Everyone should read this just to get all the feels from all of their interactions. This is such a breath of fresh air in the world of retellings – you get more than you expect and are left completely satisfied. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is an alluring tale of family, friendship, trust, expectations, and love.