{Review/Giveaway} GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS by Melissa Bashardoust

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O P E N I N G   L I N E:

  LYNET FIRST SAW HER in the courtyard. 

  Well, the girl was in the courtyard.

  The juniper tree in the central courtyard was one of the few trees still in leaf at Whitespring, and so it was one of the best hiding places on the castle grounds. Nestled up in its branches, Lynet was only visible to anyone directly beneath her. This hiding place was especially helpful on afternoons like these, when she had decided to skip her lessons without telling her tutors.

  The young woman who walked briskly across the courtyard did not pass directly under the tree, so she didn't notice Lynet watching. What struck Lynet first was the girl's clothing. Instead of a dress, the girl was wearing a long brown tunic over loose trousers, allowing her to move more freely, in a long, striding gait. She walked with purpose, dark eyes staring straight ahead.

  Lynet thought she knew every face at Whitespring, but she didn't recognize the girl at all.

(pg. 1, US hardcover edition)

"Being delicate had killed her mother, and yet he was so eager to bestow that quality on her."

GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS, Melissa Bashardoust's debut novel, came out this past week, and it is wonderful. It's very different from many tales out there in that readers are treated to both the stepmother's POV and the stepdaughter's POV--albeit when both are teenagers. So one tale is told in flashbacks and the other as it is taking place. The story is reminiscent Snow White, and it has been comped as "Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber.


Mina is sixteen and has just found out that her father, a well-known magician, "cured" her illness as a child by replacing her failing heart with a glass heart. She no longer has the ability to love. Then, she discovers that her heart could have been more real if her father had known more about his magical abilities back then. Now, as he saves the king's infant daughter Lynet through magical means, she becomes more flesh and blood and human than Mina will ever be. Mina and her father move to the castle, and Mina eventually marries the widowed king and becomes a stepmother, her life taking turns she never saw coming.


Fifteen-year-old Lynet is sick of walking in her deceased mother's shadow. She's sick of hearing how much she looks like her mother, of how much she she does that her mother never would. Her mother was delicate where Lynet is wild; she loves exploring and hates sitting inside, but her father doesn't understand. When a mysterious new girl enters the castle as the latest surgeon, Lynet is intrigued and follows her everywhere. Once the two become friends, Nadia tells Lynet the secret that had been kept hidden: she was born from magic, shaped out of snow. She's human, but also...not.


When the king dies unexpectedly, he leaves everything to Lynet. But in order for her to take her place as Queen, she must displace her stepmother...And Mina's not planning to step down lightly.

I really enjoyed delving into the lives of both Mina and Lynet. Interestingly, even though Lynet is the heroine of the story, I felt more intrigued by Mina for the longest time. Lynet's story moves slowly and picks up in the back half, while so much is going on with Mina that I really wanted to get back to the action right away. This method fleshes out both girls well and has you rooting for them both. This isn't a traditional retelling of Snow White: Lynet grew up loving her stepmother. She idolized her. She confided in her before her own father. Mina, too, is not the traditional evil stepmother. Both are complex characters, and I really love the dynamic between them as the facets of their relationship are explored.

The novel is also atypical in how curses are broken, not to mention how magic is used, and these elements were so intriguing to me. They gave the story whimsy and the feel of a fairy tale. It was also empowering to women: In a world where they are controlled by men and have little free will of their own, they both find a way to break the rules and take something to call their own.

In the end, GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS focuses on family more than it does love. This is great for every reader who complains that YA focuses too much on romance, that plot is secondary. But it's not so great for all the readers hoping for an epic romance between Lynet and Nadia. There is romance, but it's slow to develop and takes a back seat to the story and the emphasis on family. That said, the two are really sweet together, and I like the way their bond is formed over time and not a result of insta-love!!

Even though this book could be slow at times, I was completely invested in the story and love the unique spin put onto a traditional tale in a way that made it sparkling and fresh.  i finished reading my ARC and rushed out to preorder a finished copy!


Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

I don't remember. I read this SO long ago! SBD's books usually aren't that bad, although part of this fairy tale revolves around a forced marriage that results in a pregnant heroine looking to save her husband. I don't think the visuals are very graphic, but they'll be there!
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The cover doesn't stand out on its own; if I saw it on the shelf with no knowledge of the content, I might think it was an adult mystery.

BUT IT IS REALLY SHINY!!! I love that the black is shimmery. The cover also makes me feel very cold when I look at it. It's a good fit for the atmosphere hiding within the book! The title on the finished edition is also raised, so it feels nice when you run your hand over the cover.

My favorite part? THE MAP.

Look at this beauty:

It was designed by Rhys Davies, who also did the map for Stephanie Garber's CARAVAL! As soon as I saw the illustrations, I went sleuthhing to see if it was the same artist, and was pleased to find out it was!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: Out September 5, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books // Macmillan
Received: For Review


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. 



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