This is a completely dazzling book with the best characters and the best magical-ness.
This book is a feminist (and queer!!!) retelling of Snow White which hello? I absolutely LOVED.
It was so freaking sweet and I loved Lynet and I loved Mina and I loved everyone as of EVER. (Except for Lynet’s dad. And also Mina’s dad.) BUT EVERYONE ELSE.
The writing is also BEAUTIFUL and can I please patiently wait for Melissa’s next book to come out?? GIVE ME ALL THE RETELLINGS PLEASE AND THANKS.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
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.
*throws all the stars*
HELLO YES THIS BOOK IS BRILLIANT.
The characters are absolutely wonderful and so well defined, and they’re all so broken inside* and I LOVE IT.
Excuse me while I go to the corner and laugh manically.
The book has two different points of view, which are from Mina’s (the stepmother) and Lynet’s (the stepdaughter). Lynet’s takes place in the present, while Mina’s takes place in the past and gradually speeds up to the future.
Mina has a heart made of glass, while Lynet is made of snow. (This is revealed in the synopsis, hence the title.)
When they find out, they’re shocked and horrified but as the story progresses they learn what it means to truly be human and how to love.
From the beginning, Mina is framed as the antagonist and it’s so interesting to see her character development from the beginning of the book to the present.
At the first section of the story, Mina’s father reveals to Mina that she has a glass heart, and it was so sad to see how horribly Mina’s father was treating Mina.
(I HATE MINA’S FATHER WITH THE FIRE OF A THOUSAND SUNS.)
*Shush I know I say “broken inside” but I HAVE A LIMITED VOCABULARY AND YOU MUST STOP JUDGING.
Mina believes that she can’t love or be loved, because she has a “fake heart” but NO MY SMOL CHILD IT’S OKAY.
She’s struggling with herself internally and she’s constantly telling herself how nobody loves her/how she’s all alone and I was just screaming at the book, “NO IT’S ALRIGHT MINA YOU are A COOL PERSON.”
Lynet was also one of my favorite people. Like, she climbed trees and didn’t want to listen to her music lessons (except I love music but still) and just watched people?? And her father constantly berated her and told her how much she looked like her mom.
(She was shaped to look like her mom? I find that a little bit creepy, honestly??)
And noooooo, why couldn’t her father just let her be?? And he was so determined to keep her away from the stepmother and just NO.
Why are all the fathers in this book so horrible okay.
(It kind of seemed like the father wanted Lynet to just replace her mother and sorry but NO THEY ARE SEPARATE PEOPLE.)
Also, Lynet was queer and there was a small queer romance during the book! It was a slow burn and didn’t take up much of the plot, but YES FOR QUEER REP.
(I’m not queer myself, so I can’t speak for the quality of the representation.)
The ending was also so sweet and it wrapped everything up so nicely I wanted to cry.**
**But I didn’t because I HAVE A COLD HEART.
Overall, this was a fantastic retelling and it had elements of Snow White but IT WAS SO ORIGINAL and why didn’t I read this earlier? IT’S SO GOOD.
(Also apologies for posting two reviews in a row!)
Have you read this book and did you like it? Do you enjoy reading fairytale retellings? Do you like feminist retellings? Do you like reading about antiheroes?