Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust

There are no spoilers in this review.

A spotlight shined on Girls Made of Snow and Glass last year, as the book was released and tons of book bloggers were talking about this debut positively, marketed as a retelling of Snow White, on their own blogs and social media. It’s not (only) because of these rumors that I wanted to add the books to my TBR, but it’s also because I have been getting into retellings more and more and that book’s premise sounded fascinating. I was not disappointed.

A great focus on characters.

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β€œThere are worse things in the world to be than delicate. If you’re delicate, it means no one has tried to break you.”

Told from two different point of views, we are following Lynet, the king’s daughter, and Mina, the king’s wife, as they trace their own path in Whitespring, the Northern Kingdom forever covered in snow and ice. For a book that’s marketed as fantasy, the character lover in me appreciated a whole lot how vivid, developed and three-dimensional these characters felt, as much as in a contemporary which solely focuses on its characters. That’s one thing here, actually: Girls Made of Snow and Glass found myself very surprised by this focus, instead of developing the world, it shone a light on its complex characters.

Both Lynet and Mina were amazing main characters to follow and root for, right from the beginning, because they are both far from being perfect. They make questionable decisions, they are flawed, they act on impulse, they have their own twisted motives and I absolutely loved following their course and their struggles through the pages as they slowly had to get against each other.

And an emphasis on family relationships.

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“The truth still hung like a vicious blade between them. Only one of them could be queen. Only one of them could win.”

Before anything else, Girls Made of Snow and Glass was a story about its characters and the characters’ bonds to each other. I loved how it tackled and emphasized, for the whole story, the deep bond between step-mother and daughter, between Mina and Lynet, how close they grew in the past and how conflicted they were about having to go against each other in the present. That’s what I call family bonds and I LOVE IT. I also loved seeing a glimpse of the conflicted relationship between Mina and her own father. Family, definitely, was at the heart of Girls Made of Snow and Glass and for that, I say, YES.

This book was also heavily marketed as an f/f romance and, on that aspect, I have to admit that I found myself a little disappointed… but not so much. The romance between Lynet and Nadia started slowly, complicated by the events of the story as it went on. From strangers, they became friends, then slowly feelings grew and grew and YES for that slow-building, slow-burning romance. I found that the romance was not too present in the story, it was there, but not the heart of the story.

Less world-building, but still very fascinating.

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β€œWeak or strong – she didn’t know what they meant anymore. Maybe they didn’t mean the same thing for everyone.”

Girls Made of Snow and Glass was, despite its heavy emphasis on the characters and their family relationships, a retelling and had a particular atmosphere, hints of fantasy and magic that were quite fascinating, even if the story did not rely on it too much. The idea of girls, literally, made of snow and glass (LOVE the reference to the title), was quite amazing and the discovery of the characters’ own magic was amazing just as well. I think the book could have used a little more world-building, but I didn’t mind too much, really, because…

I was so engrossed into the story, right from the first page. Melissa Bashardoust dragged me into her story with her words, managed to make the characters come alive on the page and I loved it all the more for that.

OVERALL

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Girls Made of Snow and Glass was a very character-driven book, giving life to complex characters and intriguing magic. I would definitely recommend it to everyone loving a good fairytale retelling. Even if the world-building lacked a little bit, the focus on characters, family relationship and women taking over the narrative made this story fantastic.

Final rating:Β  4 drops!

Trigger warnings: Parental abuse–mostly verbal/emotional abuse and some physical intimidation, but including instances of physical abuse. Mentions of suicide, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.Β  Violence/assault (but no sexual violence/assault). Death and grief *


Melissa Bashardoust, Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Β Published by Flatiron Books, September 5th, 2017.

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At sixteen, Mina’s mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyoneβ€”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 doβ€”and who to beβ€”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 everythingβ€”unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Did you read Girls Made of Snow and Glass? Do you want to?

Do you have any recommendation of great retellings? Or great fantasies with amazing character-focus? Let me know in comments!

Also, do you like this new, a bit more illustrated review format? Let me know!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

48 thoughts on “Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass, Melissa Bashardoust

  1. This sounds really interesting! I don’t mind character-driven books, however, when it’s Fantasy I ALSO want the good world-building. I don’t know if it would actually bother me while reading this particular, because it’s different with every story, but I will keep an eye out for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get that. I thought the world-building was good, we just don’t know much about it, I mean… it’s not to Schwab’s level, hahaha πŸ™‚
      Of course, you’ll have to let me know if and when will read it πŸ˜€
      thank you so much, Kat!! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This review is so amazing, you sold the book for me, Marie!!! Also, the photos are so breath-taking, it looks like such a beautiful book (I’m checking Amazon as I’m writing this, I have needs). I’m sorry that the romance wasn’t that present, I feel like this happens to so many f/f romances, they are there, but not really the focus (ever), it makes me sad. But I love seeing familial relationships being the focus in books, I’m off to checking and comparing prices. Byeee. Thanks for the great review! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHHHHHHHHH yes you have needs and you need to get this book right now πŸ˜€ I have a feeling you could really love this πŸ™‚
      I agree with you, f/f romances aren’t the focus in so many stories… somehow, here, it didn’t bother me that much, because I loved the emphasis on the stepmother and daughter relationship so much ❀
      Thank YOU for your sweet comment! I can't wait for you to read this ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Brilliant Review Marie!
    I kept seeing the cover for this book everywhere but never looked into the synopsis so I kind of assumed it was somehow like a mystery novel! I didn’t expect fantasy (not sure why I thought that)
    The plot sounds interesting though! Definitely will have to try this one out one day x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really was interesting – and I loved the characters and their relationships so much. I hope you’ll give this one a try, I feel like you could enjoy it πŸ™‚
      thank you so much for your sweet comment! x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh great review for this book Marie, I saw some of the positive things that were being said about Girls Made of Snow and Glass when it was released and had to add it to my to-read list too. As a major fan of fantasy and fairytale retellings it sounded like the perfect book to me. πŸ˜€
    I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but based on my TBR list that’s probably not much of a surprise.
    I love what you said about this one as well. It’s kind of rare to come across a fantasy book that focuses on family relationships like this one seems to. It’s a shame the f/f romance wasn’t quite what you’d hoped given that was how the book was marketed, and a shame about the world building a little too but it seems like overall it was still a good read.
    Again great review! πŸ™‚ ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Beth! I feel like this could be your kind of book, knowing your bookish taste and everything πŸ™‚
      It still was a great read – I just thought it’d be nice to have a little heads-up, and not to expect a great place for f/f romance in the story πŸ™‚ it’s there, but the real emphasis was on mina and lynet’s relationship πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes yes yes! I love reading reviews on this book! …even though I haven’t read it yet. Is that weird? Anyway, I adore Snow White and I LOVE retellings, and I’m so intrigued by how this books seems to have taken the idea of a retelling and completely run with it. Traditional retellings are fine, but books like this that really take the core elements of the original tale and morph it into something new are so, so glorious. I can’t wait to read it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh NO it’s not weird at all- somehow I love reading reviews for books I haven’t read, but plan on reading as well. Just makes me all the more eager to get to it sometime πŸ˜€
      I am so, SO impatient for you to read it, hope you will enjoy it as much as I did! Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀

      Like

  6. WHAT! I totally didn’t know this one had an f/f romance. I bought it on a whim after seeing the haunting cover and reading the synopsis. XD I tried to start this one already, and I LOVED what I read–definitely already seeing the awesome relationship between Lynet and Mina, but unfortunately I haven’t felt like continuing it yet. I hope I get in the mood soon, because I’m all for awesome characters and slow-burn romances. ❀

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is one, but it’s slow-building and sort of on the side of the main story, the focus really is on Mina and Lynet’s relationship, which I LOVED. I hope you’ll get in the mood to go on with this read soon, Aimee, I would LOVE to hear what you think of this one ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Like

  7. I really need to read this. Because it’s on my bookshelf. I bought it before Christmas and just haven’t had time to get to it!

    I’m so glad that you said it great atmosphere! That’s the number one thing I want in my retellings and it’s just SO GOOD when the authors get it right!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I get it – so many books, so little time, ahah. I’m really happy to hear you already have this on your shelf, though – I hope you’ll get to read it soon, it was such a cool story πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This sounds like a very interesting and complex story. I loved that the romance built up slowly and didn’t outshine the rest of the story. I love that you added some photos to really set the feel for the book. I’m totally digging the format. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed this and the added pictures πŸ™‚
      I hope you will get to read this one someday, it’s so refreshing when the spotlight isn’t on the romance in any book, really πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. Fantastic review! I haven’t read this book because I’m really not fan of snow white retellings but I’m glad that you loved it. As for the recommendations, I would recommend The Bear And The Nightingale By Katherine Arden, Cinder & Ella By Kelly Oram, The Lunar Chronicles BY Marissa Meyer, Unhooked By Lisa Maxwell, Dark Breaks The Dawn By Sara B. Larson, The Scarecrow King By Jill Myles, Alice In Zombieland By Gena Showalter, Hunted By Meagan Spooner, Entwined By Heather Dixon, and finally The Language of the Thorns By Leigh Bardugo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, Raven! πŸ™‚
      And wow, thank you for all of your amazing recommendations! The only one I’ve read so far is The Lunar Chronicles, one of my favoite series ❀ I need to check out all of these, Hunted is already on my TBR, that one sounded great! πŸ˜€

      Like

  10. I loved this one! I’m such a sucker for re-tellings and I loved the way so many of the Snow White things were turned around. Also always about queer re-telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I remember this book doing rounds on Instagram last year and how people were raving about it. I am glad you enjoyed it too.
    Fairy tales retelling is such a fascinating subject, isn’t it? Though I haven’t read many myself, I am particularly drawn towards them.
    I love the stories with great relationships. ANd this has f/f relationship? This is certainly a news.
    I am adding it to my TBR right away πŸ˜€ Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is fascinating, I haven’t read many, but I loved every single one I read so far, it’s such an interesting genre ❀
      I hope you'll get to read that one sometime, it was such a great story πŸ˜€ Thank you so much!! x

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m so glad you weren’t disappointed with this one! I’m so keen to read it! Delighted to hear characters are so three dimensional. And wow the conflict sounds so good and well done. And I really appreciate slow burn romance as well πŸ™‚ I like the sound of atmosphere even if it could’ve used more world building. Awesome review!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Oh, I love this review, Marie! I read this very recently, and I really loved it. The fairytale aspect was woven in so beautifully, and I LOVED the relationship between Mina and Lynet; it’s something we need to see more of in YA!

    I also agree that more worldbuilding could’ve been done, but her writing was so engaging that it barely bothered me. And while I love slowburn romance, I was really expecting more from the romance (and found myself wishing it had been gayer), so I felt a little disappointed there. But it was still beautiful!

    Great review! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, May, so happy you enjoyed this ❀
      I have to agree, we need more relationships like this one in our YA books ❀ I understand your point on the romance though, I was surprised that it didn't take a bigger place in the story. In the end, I really liked it this way, but I can get your frustration, haha πŸ™‚
      thank youuuuuu so much!!<3 ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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