Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust
Published: 2017 by Flatiron Books
Genre(s): Young Adult, Retelling
I entered the world of Girls Made of Snow and Glass with moderate expectations and ended up incredibly turned off by the starting, but liking it enough by the time I passed the middle of the book.
There are two factors in the beginning of this book which nearly had me ditching it. The first is the writing. Even though Lynet is fifteen (the book starts off with her perspective), the narrative still somehow sounds younger than expected for a young adult novel. I would’ve mistaken it for a middle grade book had I not been aware of it’s actual genre. Moreover, the narrative had me cringing more often than I’d like because of how awkward the sentences flow. There are many paragraphs of just information dumping, causing the story to sound more shallow, boring and less packed with emotions.
The second factor is Lynet’s character and her narrative. She’s pretty much your typical YA heroine—lots of whining and oh-poor-me‘s because just about everybody sees her as her mother’s copy instead of who she really is. She’s a princess but she doesn’t want to be queen and blah, blah, blah. I know I make it sound like she’s a Special Snowflake (and oh boy, do I really want to joke about this so bad) but she isn’t actually one of the worst YA heroines I’ve encountered. This is especially because she matures and changes as the story progresses so I grew to enjoy reading her point of view.
As for Mina, I love her since the very beginning. Sure, she has her own faults but I find her strength and her will admirable. She’s a well written character—her relationship with glass is one of the more interesting aspects of this book—and certainly not the Evil Stepmother archetypal character some might be expecting.
However, I can’t say the same for many of the other characters in this book. Nadia, who is Lynet’s love interest barely has any presence in this book. There is no solid characterization to her—no real feel to who she is as a person. I’m pretty much convinced that her romance with Lynet is a sham because she’s so wishy-washy with her loyalties (her reasons sure as heck don’t convince me). Mina’s father is your stereotypical evil person which is a shame because I can see the potential of him being a gray character while Lynet’s father is just…sad.
Truthfully, it’s Mina and the matured Lynet who saved this book for me. I was very enamored by the focus on their relationship instead of the romances. The transitioning between the points of view in this book are done really well too. There isn’t a distinct cliffhanger feel to the end of each chapter and I find that brilliant.
All in all, Girls Made of Snow and Glass is an alright read for me. It didn’t blow my mind but it isn’t terrible either.