Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Type: YA Fantasy; Fairytale Retelling
Length: 384 pages
Published by: Flatiron Books
Pub date: Sept 5th, 2017
Source: A digital copy was provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
My Rating: ★★★★☆
The short version: This is the Snow White retelling I never knew I wanted! Full of great characters, unique magics, and just a touch of romance, this was a truly great read!
The long version: I’m gonna be honest with you guys: Snow White has always been my least favorite fairytale, aside from maybe Sleeping Beauty. BUT, I’m also a sucker for good retellings. So, when NetGalley promised me a “feminist fantasy reimagining” of Snow White, I warily requested it. And I am glad I did.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass follows Princess Lynet and her stepmother Mina as they try to figure out what they want in life, and how to get it with the odds stacked against them. Both of our lead ladies live lives they feel are incomplete, and see what they think they need in the other.
“Could she ever burn as brightly as her stepmother when she was made of snow?”
For the first half of the book, Bashardoust weaves Mina’s past with Lynet’s present, using each story to hold a warped mirror to the other, allowing readers to learn more about each woman through the other’s story. Then, at the 50% mark, the story picks up fast, and we are in the present with both ladies until the end, as they struggle to fill absences left by their own choices.
“Perhaps she was so broken that she had become unbreakable.”
Plot-wise, the story is incredibly slow up until that halfway point. There isn’t much world building at all, but there is A LOT of character-building, so we don’t see a lot of action until later in the story. Now, I’m not usually big on character-driven stories, but I actually really enjoyed that first half. It made the characters seem more real, and since it was broken up into two points of view, it didn’t feel like it was dragging on.
That first part did a great job making the characters more realistic, but it also did the same for the relationships between them. None of the relationships seemed forced or fake, and, because of the character-building, the choices made for the sake of those relationships seemed very natural.
While I’m on the topic of relationships, let me talk about the romance for a sec. I LOVED it! A lot of retellings I’ve read have been very romance-heavy, which makes sense because the original fairytales are usually very focused on prince/princess love. But in Girls Made of Snow and Glass, the romance wasn’t the main focus. All of the characters were their own people first, and then romance blossomed from there.
“All she had to do was stay true to her nature. Cold as snow. Sharp as glass.“
Overall, I thought this was a great read. It has a great cast of diverse ladies, awesome themes of family and friendship, and was much more engaging than the original Snow White tale. Definitely a rad retelling!
Thanks for reading!
What was the last retelling you read? Have you read this one yet? If you have, what did you think? If not, do you plan to? Let me know in the comments below!