September 10, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust • September 5, 2017 • Flatiron Books (Macmillan)
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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.

myreview

I received this book for free from Macmillan for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Lynet first saw her in the courtyard.”

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest—let me stop there because Girls Made of Snow and Glass is not that fairytale. Generally, with fairytales, there’s always an evil queen or witch or stepmother who makes the main character’s life a living hell, but that is not the case for this book. Girls Made of Snow and Glass doesn’t follow those fairytales.

GREAT AND UNEXPECTED THINGS YOU’LL FIND IN GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS

  • It’s not your typical fairytale where there’s an evil stepmother trying to get rid of her stepdaughter.

Get that idea out of your head!

Usually, fairytales only give you one side of the story—usually the poor princess who has to face the evil queen or stepmother’s wrath. Not Girls Made of Snow and Glass. You get both sides of the story—Lynet, the princess of Whitespring, and Mina, the stepmother from the South. Their history and story switches point of view, so we see why they did the things they did. I loved seeing the stepmother’s story because it puts everything in perspective of her actions. Also, whereas traditional fairytales have the stepmother doing whatever it takes to get rid of her stepdaughter, that’s not the case for Mina. It’s not the ladies who are the evil ones.

There’s a few other things that I will discuss in the next bulletpoints.

  • It explores a caring relationship between a stepmother, Mina, and her stepdaughter, Lynet.

Lynet loves her stepmother a lot. (She pretty much idolizes the Queen, and it’s so cute.) But does Mina, stepmother, hate Lynet, her stepdaughter? Wrong!

Mina and Lynet are far from that. It’s just Mina is maybe incapable of truly loving someone on the account of her heart.  She cares for Lynet’s wellbeing, and never wants any harm done to Lynet. It’s frickin’ beautiful to see.

I love their relationship because it’s not manipulative. Mina isn’t terrible to Lynet, not even when Lynet is given control of the South (which is Mina’s home). Sure, she gets jealous (because Lynet has had everything handed on her platter and has the love of a father), but she knows it’s none of Lynet’s fault. Give me this level-headed queen any day!

  • There are no white knights. 

White knights? Psst, these ladies are the white knights. These ladies take charge of their situation and save themselves.

Mina is a perfect example of taking charge and changing her circumstances. She didn’t grow up with a great life (she was an outcast because her father is a magician), and didn’t get the love she craved, so what did she do? She took action; she made herself a Queen by working (or seducing, however you want to put it) the King.

Lynette grew to take charge of her situation when her life was threatened. She didn’t need a love interest to swoop in and save her or her stepmother. She did it herself. 

I love that these ladies didn’t idly sit back and let things fester. They took charge, and tried to protect themselves and each other.

  • You get a queer romantic relationship.

YES. THE LOVE INTEREST IS NOT A DUDE ON A WHITE HORSE. It’s a court surgeon, who Lynet becomes fascinated with! And it’s cute! The romance in this book isn’t the focus; the book focuses on family, but from the glimpses, Lynet and Nadia are definitely something more than friends. ;)))))

  • Men are awful.

It’s not at all unexpected or surprising that men are awful. (Because they are.)

All the men here are awful, and everything they have done are awful. All their lives, Mina and Lynet have been controlled by their fathers, but not anymore. This book emphasizes how awful this male-dominated society is and the treatment of women, especially with ownership and beauty. Mina and Lynet are breaking free from their holds. They’ve had enough, and take control of their happily ever after.

Should you read Girls Made of Snow and Glass? Yes!!!! Girls Made of Snow and Glass is feminist as hell. So long shitty representation of female relationships, depiction of men riding on their white horse to save the ladies, and patriarchal ideals. Helloooo, depiction of women taking control and saving themselves, exploration of healthy female relationships, awareness that men are awful, and an abundance of love between family, and so much more. It truly is a feminist fairytale that you always wanted. It may be a bit slow, but it’s worth a read. 

Have you read this feminist fairyale retelling Girls Made of Snow and Glass? What did you think of it? Are you excited to read it?

 

2 Responses to “(ARC) REVIEW • Cold As Snow, Sharp As Glass (Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust)”

  1. Your review makes me SO excited to read this book! I was burnt out on fairy tale retellings for a while (when it seemed like EVERYONE was writing them) so I’m excited to see that this one takes such a feminist stance and brings something fresh to the genre. Great review!

  2. Tasya says:

    I was uninterested in this book, but then the positive reviews started to pouring in and I was excited! Especially after reading your review, it’s concisely explain why I should read it and now I’m even more eager to read it. Thanks for sharing!


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