Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Taking place in a land plagued by endless Winter, this Snow White retelling focuses on two young women. The first, Mina is startled to learn her father created a replacement heart for her– made out of glass. Unable to love or feel like others, Mina instead focuses on power, ultimately marrying the recently widowed King and becoming step-mother to little Lynet. Unfortunately, it’s quickly revealed Mina’s magician father also played a hand in Lynet’s creation— by shaping her out of snow, in the exact image of the dead queen.
This is absolutely one of the most interesting retellings I’ve ever read. It seamlessly incorporates the original mythology with a new fantastic story. Often, retelings feel a little stale, or predictable, as they can only stray so far from the initial plot, but I genuinely didn’t know how this was all going to unfold. Partially because the ‘evil-Queen’ is such a well-established and developed character. Believing herself incapable of love, Mina simultaneously pushes others away and hates being alone. Her struggles were very fleshed-out and she immediately became a sympathetic character, despite (or maybe partially because of) her calculating mind. Lynet’s own struggles are all about identity and agency, but just as enticing. How much of her is just a copy of her mother? Where is her own identity? How does she even establish one without disrespecting the woman whose image she’s made in? However, I feel like Bashardoust focused more on character development rather than the plot. While there was plot it wasn’t as developed as I would have hoped.
Overall, the book was amazing. The characters were so well developed and the ideas behind every character were so well thought out. Since the plot wasn’t as developed as I thought it should have been, I’m giving this book a 9 out of 10. If you’re looking for a mature or interesting retelling of Snow White or just a darker version of your classic fairy tales, I would totally recommend this book. It was well worth the read.