Title: Girls Made of Snow and Glass
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books (Macmillan imprint)
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.
Girls Made of Snow and Glass is full of sorrow and strength, full of searching. Searching for love, for a place to call one's own.
Lynet is inquisitive and compassionate. Curious about the people that visit the castle, because she's never left the wintry world that surrounds Whitespring. She's a sheltered princess looking for something that's hers, something that can only be hers. Something that means she can come out from her deceased mother's shadow that so many people keep her under. People like her father. Her stepmother Mina is the only one who understands, the only one who sees her as herself. But when Lynet discovers the truth about herself, that she was crafted from snow and blood, she wonders what else was kept from her. If she will ever be able to be her own person.
Mina is lonely, unloved and uncared for. Her father only raises her because she owes him her life, that without him crafting her a heart of glass she would've surely died as a child. But what about love? Mina craves a place that's hers, a love that's hers. Isn't she worthy of being loved, even if she has no heartbeat? And when she finally has something that's hers, what will she do when it's taken from her?
I found the premise of this to be rather intriguing, a Snow White-esque retelling all about the princess and her stepmother, the circumstances of their situations and the evolution of their characters. It's so interesting, how they were each crafted of something both fragile and strong. The way glass shatters, the way snow melts, but the way glass reflects and reveals, the way snow can compact and protect. This was surprising, it's all about these young women discovering who they truly are, discovering what makes them strong, and the compassion that runs through them. I would definitely recommend this to those looking for unique fairy tale retellings.
(I received an advance copy of this title to review from Raincoast Books.)