Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Published by Flatiron Books
Published on: September 5 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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FROZEN meets THE BLOODY CHAMBER in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale
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.
Retellings have been coming out of the woodwork these last several years, with SNOW WHITE being a crowd favorite, but as much as I love fairytales (and I really, really do), there are only so many ways a story can be retold in a short period of time before it gets tired.
Which is why if I’d more carefully read the blurb, I probably wouldn’t have requested GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS by Melissa Bashardoust . . . And that would have been a mistake.
SEE?? Sometimes my habitual neglect works in my favor.
You: What’s so different about this retelling?
Me: So. Many. Things.
I hesitate to call it feminist in nature, b/c I’m a literal person, and feminism—BY DEFINITION—is the opposite of chauvinism. *googles feminism* At least it used to be. The definition appears to have shifted into a more egalitarian meaning, so I guess I do call it feminist in nature.
But not in the heavy-handed way that made me reluctant to brand this lovely story as FEMINIST. *men cower everywhere*
It’s about a woman married to a man who doesn’t love her the way she deserves to be loved finding her own happiness. It’s about a girl refusing to be stifled by expectations.
Lynet smiled and nodded and thanked them until the Pigeons were finished. Perhaps it was flattering to be fussed over, but she knew their fondness wasn’t for her own sake. They loved her mother, and Lynet looked like her mother, so they thought that they loved her, too.
It’s about two women, traditionally at odds with each other, finding a way to coexist . . . More than coexist.
And it’s so natural, so elegant, it makes you wonder: how am I only hearing this version now?
GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS from debut author Melissa Bashardoust is a retelling apart from others. You may think you know this story, of Snow White and her Evil Stepmother, but you would be mistaken. Bashardoust manages to retain the integrity of the original tale, keeping it easily recognizable, while simultaneously turning this often told story on its head. The end result is nothing short of remarkable. Highly recommended.