“You’ll see too, one day. Once you grow older, someone else will be waiting to take your place, someone younger and prettier than you. I knew that day was approaching for me. I knew even when you were still a child. So why am I so surprised to learn that I’m being thrown aside? Why am I always so surprised?”
Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Publication: September 5th 2017 by Flatiron Books
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
You know those times when you struggle to get into a book regardless of its wonders? That is how I felt with Girls Made of Snow and Glass. Honestly, I can’t tell you if it was over hyped or if I simply missed the underlying message of what was going on. I’d heard amazing things about the book. I’d heard it was a wonderful feminist retelling of Snow White… but I struggled regardless. There was, is, so much more beyond the surface of this book and, in all honesty, I simply didn’t give it the time it deserved.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass is imaginative, but slow. There was so much background in the beginning, and while I understand its importance, it bogged down the pacing this book needed. The beginning of the book is like dragging your feet through the mud, it’s hard to get through but it builds up some of the most important muscles in your body. There was a lot of important information in the opening half of the book, but it was too much and it was done too slowly in my opinion. There are a lot of different ways to build backstory, and I simply don’t think this method worked out in the book’s favor.
I still loved the book, don’t get me wrong, I just had a hard time getting to the depth of it. I didn’t want to wade and swim and fight through the muck, I wanted to dive right in and find myself entranced by the whirlpool of imagination I was told the book contained.
There is still a lot on the plus side for Girls Made of Snow and Glass. It was fun, the way the legend of Snow White was woven in was quite amazing. Furthermore, the cast was astounding. The main characters, the strong women, and the diversity were wonderful to read. All of the benefits, however, couldn’t make up for the pacing and, despite the information dumping, lack of world building in the story. I barely scratched the surface of the book’s potential, and the pacing did the book a large disservice.
I think it’s worth trying, though. There is more than meets the eye, it just takes a bit (albeit a bit too long) to get there. The relationships are perhaps the strongest building block in Girls Made of Snow and Glass, it’s just not enough for me to sing the praises.