Girls Made of Snow & Glass

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale as you’ve never seen it before, tracing the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start: the beautiful princess and stepmother queen.

 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.

It’s the age of fairytale retellings so next up is a feminist take on the Snow White tale. This novel tells the story from both the point of view of Mina (Stepmom) and Lynet (Snow). In some ways it reminded me of Disney’s Maleficent or the TV Show Once Upon A Time in that we get this backstory on who the Queen was before she became the person we all love to hate. By swirling their stories together we can see how their relationship, and the impact others had on it, was destined for a disastrous ending unless they can rise above the journey they got forced on.

 Melissa Bashardoust does a wonderful job of not falling into the trap of just relying on what others have done with these types of characters before. Instead of lifelong arch enemies she allows them to explore a softer, more supportive side to being in each other’s lives. This story is so character driven readers are lucky that Bashardoust knows how to write effective character development so that you really feel like you know who they are and about their motivations.

 She sets up her scene work with lots of detail so you feel like you could be right there. It’s very heavy on exposition though the author is so creative in her writing you feel like you get swept away to this unique and hauntingly beautiful world with not time to get bored. One of the fun elements was playing a version of Where’s Waldo by finding the elements from the original tale she incorporated into this version; it’s like easter eggs buried in a movie.

 As a mother of daughters I’m always on the lookout for books that showcase women in strong positions and I was glad to find a book that paints women in a positive light without resorting to boxing them into pathetic stereotypes.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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