Experiencing a Different Kind of Heartbreak

Girls Made of Snow and Glass Book Review


Sheridan Thomas

Melissa Bashardoust’s debut novel, cover designed by Anna Gorovoy. Published September 5th, 2017, Bashardoust has been an aspiring author since she was young. Her second novel, Girl, Serpent, Thorn, was released on July 7th, 2020.

       Melissa Bashardoust’s debut novel is a magical retelling of the famous story Snow White, but is captivating and spellbinding in ways that make it a fable of its own. Exploring the complex relationship between a stepmother and her stepdaughter, each must decide what’s truly important in life: their ambitions or the love they have for each other. 

       Girls Made of Snow and Glass features two main characters, Mina, the stepmother, and Lynet, the stepdaughter. The love they have for each other is seamless.

       At first. 

       Love dissolves into distrust and jealousy as Lynet begins to acquire everything Mina has worked her whole life for, undermining her hard work. And there is more to Mina than meets the eye—the connection Lynet thought that existed between her and her stepmother weakens as Lynet learns that Mina is harboring secrets…not only about herself but about Lynet as well. 

      Mina believes that the only thing that matters is power. After all, it’s what her father has been telling her her whole life, along with the fact that she’s unable to love. She and her father believe that only one of the two girls can be queen, so they, or rather, her father, concludes that Lynet has to go. Her father believes that this will be an easy task for Mina. After all, Mina is heartless—in a literal sense. Her father, an infamous alchemist, cut out her heart and replaced it with a glass heart to save her life. He’s sure that if Lynet is the only obstacle in her way, then it should be an easy path to power. Yet to his surprise, Mina is capable of much more than he realized.

        A story where the character’s heart breaks- 

       But not just because of romance.

       A story where the character’s heart breaks… literally.

       Because it’s made of glass.

       The characters in Girls Made of Snow and Glass are incredibly complex. There’s so much depth to them; they’re not your typical evil stepmother and damsel-in-distress. In fact, they’re neither of these things. Bashardoust has a way of making you empathize with the villain and has their motivations make sense. Bashardoust makes you question who you really should be rooting for. Not only that, but the characters are relatable. They seem human. They’re understandable, so even if you wouldn’t like them as a person, you fall in love with them as a character. 

       What I loved most about this book was how it made me feel. I experienced not only a wide range of emotions, but sensations, too. Most notably, this book made me want to feel. The vivid descriptions of Lynet running across the rooftops and feeling free by climbing trees made me want to do the same. I wanted to run, to hear my heartbeat pounding in my head, to have my lungs scream for breath and scrape my palms against rough bark. So many books have made me feel before, but none of them have made me want to feel. This book did both.       Overall, this story is lovely. Melissa Bashardoust is a masterful writer. I would recommend this book to anyone who searches for vivid imagery, complex characters and relationships, LGBTQ+ representation, layered plotlines, and emotion in YA novels.