Hey everyone! So, I decided to make a Netgalley and this is the first book that I was approved for! I was so excited because I had been seeing a lot of reviews of this book recently and I so wanted to read & review for myself.
*Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to read and review this book before release*
Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Pub date: September 5, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
This book follows the story of Lynet and Mina, two girls who are completely different and yet connected in a special way. It is a loose retelling of Snow White and the Huntsman, with Lynet being Snow White and Mina being the ‘evil queen’. I put evil queen in quotation marks because Mina has a strong character development throughout the story that changed my opinion of her greatly: but more on that later! I want to note that the cover is also absolutely gorgeous and I love the simplicity of it.
The story itself was rich, gripping and told in a very fairytale-like fashion. I felt like I was reading a new fairytale as I read this book and I found myself entranced by the language. It had a light feel to it and even when there was peril, I always felt a sense of hope. Lynet and Mina were two truly beautiful characters. The story is told from both points of view, some from the present and some from the past. This narrator style gave me the opportunity to see the development of each character from her own point of view, as well as delve deeper into the lives of each girl. Mina was my favorite character in this book. I felt like I was able to see why she became so bitter because of the background elements of her life as well as how her personality affected the character. My emotional connection was mainly to Mina and it was quite strong, which is hard for a book to do, for me. The magical elements in this book were so unique and I think that it is one of the things that sets the book apart from other Snow White retellings that I have read. There is life, there is death, and there is a certain air of impossibility around the magical storyline and it was something that certainly interested me from the start. The book started off right away with the plot and that is one of the things I appreciated about it: some books drag on in the beginning, but this one jumped right in and made me want to keep reading. I felt the magic through the pages and like I was in Whitespring, watching these events happen for myself because of the descriptive narrative.
There is not much I didn’t like about this book, as evidenced by my rating. I feel like the character arcs—mostly for Mina—were so well-done that I was mostly focusing on her and Lynet rather than the other characters. I did love the inclusion of Nadia, who was the court surgeon and ended up adding an LGBT element to the story. That is something I wish I had been included more during the book. I am such a proponent of LGBT themes and characters in order to foster representation and I found myself wanting more! Also, this book was marketed as feminist and I completely agree with that statement. I felt empowered for both Lynet and Mina, through their actions and their interactions with each other. Mina, especially, exhibited this when she was dealing with conflict and I admire her for that. All in all, this book was an absolute joy to read and I felt extremely satisfied after finishing this story.
I would recommend this book to those who are fans of fairytale retellings, but aren’t afraid for some extra twists to be thrown in. This is not your typical fairytale retelling and it becomes its own version of a fairytale through its narrative, characters, and wonderfully powerful morals.
Happy reading! ~ Taylor
*I do not own the rights to the cover art depicted in this post – all copyright goes to rightful designers, creators and/or owners*