Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)'s Reviews > Girls Made of Snow and Glass

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
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*I received an early copy of this book from Netgalley, but that does not change my feelings on the book overall*

I went into this book with little to no actual plot knowledge. I knew it was a retelling of Snow White, I knew it was being marketed as having "feminist" elements, and I had an inkling that the Snow White character would be queer. These things are all accurate to the story, but they in no way to justice to the plot, characters, and heart of this book.

Lynet and Mina are remarkable characters. Princess Lynet has been forced every day to grow up an exact copy of the mother who died before they ever met; Mina has been an outsider her entire life, first in the village where she grew up, and then in Whitespring where she meets a King and hatches a plan to at least be respected, even if she could never be loved. Their relationship together is the driving force of every element of the story. The depth with which the mother/daughter relationship of the Snow White and the Evil Queen is dealt with is compelling and occasionally heart-wrenching.

On both a story level and a meta level, Lynet and Mina are characters whose ability to define themselves on their own terms has been taken away. On a story level, their fathers both manipulate and control their daughters to become who they are expected to be. But on a meta level, Lynet and Mina have become archetypes without any control: they are the Princess and the Evil Stepmother. But neither of them is willing to accept any of these definitions that have been put on them any longer. The story is deeply about agency and about self-definition, about relationships and the power to control your own connections to others in your life. Is is about, especially, the viability of female relationships and about how, even with the men in their lives trying to control how they relate to one another, the connection between these women has the power to go beyond that control.

I could honestly gush all day about how excellent and complex the mother/daughter relationships in this book are, but I'll try to talk about other stuff now. Suffice it to say, I sobbed through the final paragraph of this book because it just brought everything I've already explained to a conclusion incredibly well.

The other best part of this book, in my opinion, is the subplot of Lynet having a crush on another girl. Lynet spends a lot of the book confused about her feelings towards Nadia, the new surgeon in the castle. This is absolutely a subplot, not central to the story, but I thought it was handled remarkably well and I loved the twists they went through together throughout the book. I also thought that the power imbalance between them was handled in a way that helped make their relationship much stronger as the story went on. Beyond that, though they aren't named or in more than one scene, there is a very small scene with a wlw couple where they are clearly in a relationship in a public place and there is no mentioned homophobia or feeling that they are anything less than accepted by the community at large.

My only real problem with this book came with the pacing. There is a lot about this book that feels slow and peaceful, which I enjoyed a ton. So weirdly, my complaint isn't that this book needed to be faster but that it could have taken a bit more time with certain plot lines. I think there should have been more periods of time that were allowed to go slowly, especially later on in the story. I know that the plot has to constantly keep moving, but I think if those moments had been stretched out some of the reveals would have had more impact. Other than that, I thought this book was incredibly atmospheric and magical in a much more understated way.

This book was magical, complex, romantic, and fascinating. It was driven by female characters taking control of their stories and destinies and I absolutely loved it. Seriously, this book is not to be missed.

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Reading Progress

September 16, 2016 – Shelved
September 16, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
September 16, 2016 – Shelved as: anticipated-of-2017
September 16, 2016 – Shelved as: lgbtqia
April 11, 2017 – Shelved as: e-arcs
August 21, 2017 – Started Reading
August 21, 2017 –
9.0% "First read for #boutofbooks !"
August 23, 2017 –
80.0% "I have had tiny issues with the pacing, but overall this has been amazing so far. I'm really excited to finish it."
August 23, 2017 – Shelved as: female-protag
August 23, 2017 – Shelved as: read-in-2017
August 23, 2017 – Shelved as: split-pov
August 23, 2017 – Finished Reading
March 9, 2018 – Shelved as: my-books

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Stephanie Gillespie Im currently half finished and Im loving it <3

Mike and Becca  (Books and Looks) Currently reading and cannot wait to finish!!!

Lori Lamothe Great, in-depth review!

Marisa Your review is what convinced me to give this book a try, and I’m so glad I did. It’s one of my favorite fairy tale retellings ever.

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