Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of Girls Made of Snow and Glass from Flatiron Books and @starsabovejess' Instagram giveaway in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
We first meet Lynet, our “Snow White”, as she turns 16 and is being primed to become queen. Her father has married Mina, the “Evil Queen” of sorts. Switching between Mina’s perspective 15 years earlier as she vies for the heart of the King and a crown of her own and Lynet’s present day perspective, readers are treated to a deeper look at the motivations of these characters. Why is the Queen evil? Why is Lynet so beautiful and loved? The answer has never been more complicated.
As you can probably guess from the title, these women aren’t your average flesh and blood monarchs. Lynet is aptly created out of snow out of her late mother’s image. (Get it? she’s Snow White and made out of snow!) In fact, Lynet is the spitting image of her mother with every passing day, thanks to a little magic at the King’s request during her birth.
Mina, or rather her heart, is made out of glass after it was replaced for her original one by her magician father years before. Her glass heart leaves her unable to love, but it hasn’t affected her mind. Mina finds her way to the King’s castle shortly after Lynet’s mother (the late Queen) has passed away. She decides her only chance at real love is to win the heart of the King, and eventually Lynet. Mina does become Queen, but love is a complicated thing even if your heart isn’t made of glass.
As these women learn the truth about their identities, they begin to question everything abou themselves and so did I. I started to really think about those questions I posed to you earlier. Why does the stepmother have to be evil? Why can’t two women support each other rather than work against one another? To make a long story short, Girls Made of Snow and Glass shows that these relationships don’t have to be this way. Bashardoust reimagines these classic characters leaving you wanting to know how this will all turn out in the end. It may not be exactly as Walt Disney depicted it.
Now I don’t want to leave you thinking this read is going to teach you a grand feminist lesson. (It is advertised as a feminist retelling of Snow White, but I didn’t feel that it was overwhelming at all.) I’m a Learner (thanks StrengthsFinder), so I tend to search for the deeper meanings and lessons in all of my reads. You can certainly pick this one up and enjoy it just for the retelling, or you can dive a little deeper and examine what Girls Made of Snow and Glass says about strong female characters.
This one was clearly written for the young adult audience, but the majority of the reviews I have read have been from adults. I enjoyed it so much that I read it in a few hours at the pool. It was a bit slow-going at the beginning with the plot development because nearly everything that you learn on the book jacket takes places over the first several chapters. Otherwise, it hit page-turner status for me.
I highly recommend this for those who long for a classic story with a fun twist or two. If you’re a fan of The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter (a read I’m loving thanks to grad school), you’ll definitely enjoy Girls Made of Snow and Glass. This one would pair nicely with Carter’s short story collection.
TL/DR: If you’re looking for a familiar story with an interesting twist or two, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is for you.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
The way to Alexandra's heart is through a great book recommendation.