Read This Book

Read This Book: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Welcome to Read This Book, a weekly newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

Girls Made of Snow and GlassThis week’s pick is Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust.

Content warning: None that I can recall!

Calling all fairy tale retelling fans! This is one of the best Snow White tales that I’ve ever read. Mina is a young woman with a heart of glass–her sorcerer father replaced her real heart and she grew up unaware, until one fateful day when she realizes just how different she is from other people. When her father secures them a place at court, Mina becomes convinced that she’s incapable of love, so the next best thing is being loved–so she’ll make the king fall for her. But marrying the king means becoming a stepmother to Lynet, the young princess.

Lynet has grown up in the shadow of her dead mother, pampered and over-protected when all she wants to do is run and explore. She adores no one more than her beautiful stepmother Mina, but when her father makes Lynet queen of the Southern Territories–where Mina is from–and then suffers a tragic accident, she sees that her stepmother is full of anger and hate, and she must flee her only home in order to survive.

This is a beautifully told, magical book about discovering who you truly are, and learning to be at peace with what you find. The fantasy world is also lush and intriguing, from a northern kingdom that’s destined to live in ice and snow, to a beautiful and exciting southern territory with universities, people, and exciting new opportunities. Bashardoust also rejects the idea of a prince character altogether, and instead creates a fascinating female surgeon who is keen to study medicine, and who intrigues Lynet to no end–it’s not much of a spoiler to say there’s a blossoming romance there! I loved how neither of the main characters is perfect–Mina’s guiding belief is that she’s unlovable, so she neglects to see just how much Lynet truly loves her, and Lynet believes that she’s destined to be just like her dead mother, failing to understand how she can bravely forge her own path. Bashardoust subverts the evil stepmother archetype by giving her a backstory and making her lovable, even if she doesn’t think she is, and the resolution to this story is so memorable that I can’t think of Snow White the same way ever again.

Bonus: The audiobook performance by Jennifer Ikeda is excellent, but I’m torn–I think I would love to experience this novel in print, since the language is beautiful and worth lingering over! Plus, look for Bashardoust’s newest fantasy book, based on Persian mythology, Girl, Serpent, Thorn out in July!

Happy reading!


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