Thursday, September 14, 2017

Book Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: Young Adult | Retelling | Romance
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Format: ARC
Source: ALA

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 (goodreads)

Girls Made of Snow and Glass was a delightful retelling with extraordinary female leads. 
Plot: Girls Made of Snow and Glass boasts that it is a cross between Frozen and Snow White. The Frozen aspect comes from the fact that Lynet had control over snow, but that's the extent to the comparison. Regardless, I loved this retelling for its complexities and subtle nods to classic fairy tales. The main conflict came from Lynet's father, Nicholas. He made it clear to Lynet that he expected her to rule as her late mother had, and he didn't have much time or affection for Mina, Lynet's stepmother. Girls Made of Snow and Glass kept it interesting by switching between the perspectives of Lynet and Mina as well as Mina's perspective from when she first met Lynet and King Nicholas. I enjoyed learning more about Mina's motivations and how Mina's relationship with Lynet evolved. 

Characters: Lynet and Mina were both fully realized characters, but I preferred reading from Mina's perspective. Mina played the role of the "evil queen", a title that was unjustly given to her. I saw her more as Anne Boleyn or Regina from Once Upon a Time. She was just a young woman who was trying to rise and make the best of a situation. Lynet was a beloved child and apple of the king's eye. She was naive, which was expected of her Snow White personality, and a pure soul overall. She desperately wanted Mina's affections and was testing the waters on speaking her mind. There was a very sweet love story between Lynet and the court surgeon, Nadia. Nadia's role was very much so the supportive role so there wasn't much I could comment on regarding her personality, but I loved the idea of the two of them as a couple. 

Worldbuilding: The world of Girls Made of Snow and Glass was made up of two lands - the northern and the southern region. Although both regions were one kingdom, it was the north that housed the Royal Court and received a lot of the kingdom's funding. I liked that the northern region was steeped in mythology, but I would have also loved to have learned more about the southern region where Mina and her father were from. 

Short N Sweet: Girls Made of Snow and Glass was an original take on some fairy tale favorites, I wouldn't mind returning to this world for another adventure!


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