Jennifer's Reviews > Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
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really liked it
bookshelves: ya-magical-realism, ya-fantasy

Mina is the daughter of a magician who is only interested in expanding his own powers and influence, by whatever means necessary. Her father has no affection for her, but rather sees her as a posession, a pawn in his schemes. She lives in the warm South, but is lonely and shunned by everyone because of her father.

Lynet is from the cold North, where it is always winter, and is the pampered and spoiled daughter of the King. All the people adore her, her father most of all. However, he has placed unfair expectations on her, expecting her to grow up and not only take her dead mother's place as Queen, but to be exactly like her in every way, without giving any thought to what Lynet might want.

Two young motherless girls who seem to have nothing in common, but share the same sinister secret of their existence, find their lives intersecting. At first, their relationship is innocent, even touching, but soon becomes dangerous due to the actions and influences of others and events beyond their control. Are they destined to be ever at odds as long as they are both alive?

This story is described by many as a "feminist" retelling of Snow White. I'm not sure I'd agree with that, but I suppose that depends on your definition of feminist literture. It is conspicously devoid of the seven dwarfs or any hansome prince coming to anyone's rescue, and it does feature strong female characters who are fighting to determine their own destiny, rather be controlled by their fathers. Plus it has the same-sex attraction and romance that seems to be requisite in today's feminist literature. But there is no over-arching theme of fighting for all women's rights, they were strictly concerned with themselves and their own realities.

I would simply describe it as a unique and very interesting re-telling of Snow White, featuring strong female characters that were much more complex and multi-faceted than the original tale, with it's good versus evil simplicity, and handsome prince rescuing the damsel in distress. I was first intrigued by the caring, mother-daughter relationship Mina, representing the "Evil Queen", and Lynet, representing Snow White, had, and the genuine affection they each had for one another. Then enters Nadia, the young female surgeon who replaces the handsome prince and the dwarves from the original story, but also serves as a device to introduce conflict, and things begin to change.

The story moves along at a fairly decent pace, changing back and forth in both point of view and timeline in a carefully woven tapestry, and the characters are very well-developed over time. I almost quit reading, because I really didn't want to see the touching relationship between Mina and Lynet be destroyed as events along with Mina's ambitions seemed to be forcing her to become the Evil Queen. But I pushed on and, hopefully without giving too much away, I found that I was very pleased with the ending, and I think most readers will be, too.

While I had a little trouble buying some of the magic (a glass heart? really? how does that work?), once I got past that as the story drew me in, I found I really enjoyed it, and honestly can't think of anything I really didn't like about it. I would recommend this to fans of fantasy or magical realism with strong female characters, particularly those looking for something with themes of learning to be independent and standing up against others' expectations in order to be true to yourself and determine your own future.

Recommended for ages 13 and up.

This appears to be the author's debut novel and is due to be released in early September, 2017.

[I received a digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review]
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
August 15, 2017 – Shelved
August 15, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-magical-realism
August 15, 2017 – Shelved as: ya-fantasy

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