Saturday, March 3

All the #GirlLove You Can Imagine in Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

“Weak or strong - she didn’t know what they meant anymore. Maybe they didn’t mean the same thing for everyone.”

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.




Wow, I expected to like this one very, very much, what with it being a feminist, Frozen-esque, retelling of Snow White, but my god, Girls Made of Snow and Glass fully exceeded all my expectations. This was so epicly, unapologetically feminist and female centric that I was left there smiling brightly hours after I finished the novel, because this, THIS is the Snow White retelling girls all over the world deserve.

Like I said, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a 1000% female-centric novel, which was so lovely to see I can't even tell you!! Yes, there are some important male characters in the book, - like the king, Mina's father and the huntsman - but they never felt as prominent as Lynet, Mina or Nadia. I could mention various books where the male lead's story arc and development are above everyone else's, but not many - or any, to be frank - where there is such a concentration on the female lead(s).

Even better than that, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a book where girls are allowed to be flawed, where they are allowed to not only be powerful, but to desire power. A book where girls make mistakes, awful ones that hurt others, but it is also a book where girls admit to these mistakes, learn from them and try to make up for them. A book where girls find their voice, raise it above all the mothefuckers trying to silence them, and become who they've always wanted to be. It is a book where girls support each other, even if their courage and belief in each other wavers from time to time. But, most importantly, this is a book where girls not only learn to love and forgive each other, but also to love and forgive themselves.

Besides writing absolutely awe-worthy characters, Melissa Bashardoust is also excellent at portraying complex, kinda messy, kinda painful, BUT incredibly realistic relationships. Obviously, the most highlight-worthy are the complicated dynamics between Mina and Lynet, but the romantic relationship between Lynet and Nadia, or Lynet's relationship with her dad are also worth mentioning.

“Every time you shudder from the cold or wrap yourself more tightly in your furs, it reminds me that somewhere, the sun shines more brightly than it does here. You carry it in your skin.” 

I love to see family issues being discussed in fantasy, and I believe that Lynet's utmost desire to not disappoint her father will resonate with many readersShe was brought up coddled and protected by his dad, who wants her to be 1000% like her deceased mother. Lynet wants exactly none of that, she is fierce, brave, dreams of adventure, which may-or-may-not mean that she adores climbing on the walls, and jumping from rooftop to rooftop. (Hint: it totally means that.) The contrast between Lynet's desire to be her own person, but also to please her father was portrayed so, so, SO well.

It's a bit harder to discuss the romance, because that was the only part of the novel I wasn't fully satisfied with. *cries* Okay, let's talk about all the good first. Lynet and Nadia were absolutely precious together! I loved their relationship when it was cutesy and adorable, but I loved it all the more after they worked through some complex, painful issues together. They went from having an instant connection to a couple I can 1000% see staying together for a long time.

I was also totally pleased with the way Mina's romantic relationships were handled. She was taught from a young age that she would only ever be loved for her beauty, and so her self respect relied heavily on how men felt about her. It was amazing to see her develop tons throughout the book, and to accept that, yes, she deserves love, she can be loved and she is loved.


Now onto what was a bit disappointing - early marketing led me to believe that the F/F romance would be more heavily present in the story than it was. And it's not just me either, I've seen folks being disappointed by how little of Lynet and Nadia was in the story. By the way, this, in my opinion, has little to nothing to do with Melissa Bashardous, so this is me criticizing the marketing, not the author or the book.

"You'll see too, one day. Once you grow older, someone else will be waiting to take your place, someone younger and prettier than you. I knew that day was approaching for me. I knew even when you were still a child. So why am I so surprised to learn that I'm being thrown aside? Why am I always so surprised?"




I left the best for last - the deliciously complex and beautiful relationship between Mina and Lynet, aka the "evil" queen, and her stepdaughter. We have two young women who are brutally pitted against each other, who, in some areas of life, ARE competing against each other to an extent. Yet, these women manage to overcome all the obstacles standing in their way, and become more resilient, more powerful and more epic by joining forces. This, my friends, is where Girls Made of Snow and Glass truly, truly shines bright, and the reason why THIS version of Snow White will forever and ever be my favorite. 

The story idea: 5/5
The realization of the story: 5/5
The characters: 5/5
Enjoy factor: 5/5
The cover: 5/5

    

6 comments:

  1. This sounds amazing. I'm trying to keep away from the library and read my own books, but I think I'm going to just have to check this one out anyway. I love the sound of these characters. Your line about letting female characters have power and desire power has me rubbing my hands together like some kind of villain. Fantastic review!

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    1. I'm trying to do that as well, but lol, it is SO HARD when there are just so many amazing books being discussed in the book blogging community! I'm ECSTATIC my review made you want to read this a lot!! Will be looking out for your thoughts on this. Thank you.

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  2. Ahh I've been seeing so many love towards this book, I can't wait to read it! It seems to have amazing female characters and interesting mother daughter relationship :)

    Tasya // The Literary Huntress

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    1. Ooh, yes, Tasya, I daresay you'd like this a lot!! And, yes, it absolutely has some of the most amazing female characters AND the mother-daughter relationship was EVERYTHING.

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  3. This sounds so amazing! Feminism + Snow White + Frozen + all the realistic relationships = happy Laura! I feel like every time I see this, I tell myself, I need to read this ASAP and then I never actually do which needs to change (I fixed it by making a priority TBR Goodreads shelf which should solve the problem for exactly 4 minutes before it's overrun with all the books). Lovely review, Vera!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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    1. It really, REALLY was amazing, so I hope you'll love this. Also, RELATABLE, that's me with so many books. (I used to have a priority TBR, but it didn't really work haha, hope you'll have more luck with it!) Thank you!!

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