I love to read young adult and fantasy books more than a person my age probably should, but I really do believe you can learn so much from books, even if their plot is more magical and fantastic than any situation you would encounter in real life. I was recently intrigued by a book that comes out in September and other reviewers have described as a feminist fairy tale. The book is called Girls Made of Snow and Glass, by Melissa Bashardoust.
This book is a retelling of the Snow White story, Lynet (the snow white) is literally made from snow, and Mina (the evil queen) has a heart of glass aka she is heartless. The reality of it is, this book is so much more than a retelling of a usually one dimensional story. The characters in this book are all complex, they have desires, they have flaws, and they are trying their best to live their best lives. One of the things this book does well is that it humanizes Mina, the character that would usually be just an evil queen. She has been told that because she has a glass heart she can’t love and be loved. Many of her decisions are based on this assumption and her longing for love. Lynet, who would usually be just a naive princess, in this story yes she is sheltered, but she is also strong willed and in constant search of her independence.
Mina and Lynet have formed a bond, but that bond is tested when Lynet comes of age and her father wants to crown her queen. Lynet doesn’t want to be queen, but she doesn’t want to hurt her father, but if she takes the crown she would hurt Mina. Because there can only be one queen and there is an external force with hidden interest, Mina and Lynet are pinned against each other.
I had few issues with the story. I would say at least for me, it did take a while for the intrigue to start. Once it did, I was hooked. Also, the idea that Lynet is shaped from snow to resemble the dead queen is a bit creepy, I mean it’s her father who wants a copy of his dead wife and is raising her. That is pretty messed up, but I guess it could make for good discussion.
I would say this book is not only a feminist fairy tale, its a progressive story with strong female characters. These are the kinds of fairy tales we should have more of. The women in this story build their own paths and aren’t competing with each other. I really enjoyed reading it and would definitely recommend it to any YA or not YA reader.
You can find Girls Made of Snow and Glass here.