Publication date : September 5th, 2017
Publisher : Flatiron Books (Macmillan)
Page Count: 384
Synopsis : 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. (From Goodreads)
CW: Emotionally abusive father, blood, passing mention of suicide
*I received an Arc of this book from Macmillan in exchange of an honest review*
Girls made of Snow and Glass has been on my radar for MONTHS before its release. I am absolute trash for retellings and hearing that this one is a Snow white retelling with Frozen and The Bloody Chamber elements propulsed it up my TBR. Then I finally got my copy, and I gotta say, I’m perplexed at to where The Bloody Chamber similarities are because I couldn’t find them. THAT BEING SAID, that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of the book in any way, it was amazing in so many ways that I forgot about that little detail and that folks, is an accomplishement considering how much little me was fascinated with that gorey fairytale.
The writing in this book is absolutely gorgeous, it’s timeless, it reads like those old fairytales we all grew up on (or most of us at least) so that really helped fully immerse me in the setting and give me that eary whimsical dark fairytale feeling. Girls made of Glass and Snow alternates between two POVs, Mina’s (aka the evil but not so evil queen) and Lynet (aka Snow white with a dash of the snow queen). At first, Mina’s perspective is set in the past while Lynet’s in the present but halfway around the book both entertwined and start following the same timeline and that was an absolutely brilliant move because we got to follow Mina and see how she’s become the way she is in the present timeline, how her relationship with Lynet came to be and how her character developped.
You know what one of my favourite things about the book was? HOW SUBVERSIVE IT IS. It took the main elements from the original fairytales, gave the complexity and turned them upside down. I loved the magical elements, I love the character depth and growth, I loved the relationships. THE RELATIONSHIPS!!!!! My other favourite thing about this story is the mother/daughter love-hate relationship between Mina and Lynet, the rivalry, the doubt, the inner conflicts, the outter conflicts, the self-inflicted ultimatums, the life inflicted ultimatums and so on and so forth. All these things combined with the circumstances made that relationship so raw and strong, so believable in all its complicated glory.
Mina is such a fantastic, loveable, morally grey character. She was my favourite. Her character development (like I already said HAHA, but really I’m in love with it) is some of the best I’ve ever read. She’s ambitious, cunning and deeply insecure, the result of growing up to an abandoning mother and an unloving manipulative father. The way she threads through life, calculating, jumping at every opportunity, distancing herself from people because she doesn’t think herself capable of loving or being loved was such a fascinating arc to read. Especially when you come to see the barriers she puts around herself and the kind of relationships she has with the people around her.
Lynet is the other main character and a great one as well. She’s adventurous, gentle and strong. Her development was amazingly well done as well, I loved seeing her navigate the expectations everyone had for her (especially her father) as well as what SHE wanted for herself, then break out of those expectations and bloom and grow into the kind of queen she wanted to be but was too scared of the weight of that responsiblity. She’s also a sapphic character and has a relationship with Nadia, the castle surgeon, and although I was really excited for that I felt like it was underdevelopped (which is honestly the only reason this book didn’t get a full five star rating), it was sweet, but not without tension but was lacking interaction and build up in my opinion.
All in all, if you love retellings (and even if you don’t), like complex characters, complicated relationships, dark fairytales with a light at the end of the tunnel, PICK!!! THIS!!! ONE!!! UP!!! You won’t regret it.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read Girls made of Snow and Glass? If so, what did you think?
Which character arc did you like better?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.