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ARC Review: Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Summary

Frozen meets The Bloody Chamber in this feminist fantasy reimagining of the Snow White fairytale

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.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Sourced from Goodreads 

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Review

My rating:

black4

Hi, everyone! I’m back with another review, this one being Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. I remember a while back when I mentioned how excited I was for this title in an #ARCstravaganza post. Ever since, I’ve been itching to read it. Now that I finally have, I can say without a doubt that Girls Made of Snow and Glass is a unique and well-written story.

I think what I liked most about this book is the way it subverts the Snow White fairytale. At times, you can see a little easter egg of the older fairytale, but there are twists that make it almost unrecognizable. I’m a huge fan of that kind of retelling. Sometimes, I come across the opposite, where the retelling doesn’t really do anything new with fairytale other than setting or different characters, so it becomes predictable. And in some cases, I find that to be really problematic because we’re either given the same flat characters or we’re given messages that do not represent our time or what we are striving towards. Overall, I can honestly say that Girls Made of Snow and Glass isn’t like any other Snow White retelling I’ve read.

At the same time, this retelling is trying to convey a message that women shouldn’t be trapped in a system that doesn’t serve them at all. That women shouldn’t be admired based on an idea, but who they are. Throughout the novel, Lynet and Mina suffer from this as Lynet is never seen for herself but merely an imitation of her mother. Mina has to pretend to be something she’s not in order to keep her place in society. But it’s grating at them both until they finally come to a resolution, no matter how hard-earned it may be.

I also really liked how fleshed out the characters were in this novel. Even the secondary characters, who are sometimes never heard from, have depth to them and makes you want to know more about their thoughts and motives. Plus, the flashbacks were amazingly vivid and had relevance to the story at hand, particularly in Mina’s case. The only character that didn’t have the opportunity to be fleshed out is Gregory, the magician and Mina’s father, although I think that’s on purpose, so I don’t mind it as much…

Well, that’s all I have to say about Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. Are you excited to read Girls Made of Snow and Glass!  For those of you who are interested, Girls Made of Snow and Glass comes out on September 5th, 2017, so mark your calendars! If you have any other thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave a comment in the section below! Have a nice day, everybody!

–  Sumaya

I received an advance reader’s copy from Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Review: The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson

My rating: green1-5

(DNF at 33%)

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hello, again! Another day, another review! This one is on The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. Now,  I don’t believe I’ve ever written a DNF review, but there’s a first time for everything. The story is based on The Little Mermaid and follows Evangeline, a ward of King Richard, as she tries to escape her a political marriage by running away and pretending to be a mute servant. Along the way, she meets Westley, whose kindheartedness and good looks she falls for. But things get complicated as the truth about Evangeline’s true standing becomes known. When NetGalley granted my wish for this request, I was really excited. Especially since I enjoyed the author’s previous book, The Merchant’s Daughter. I’m sorry to say that I had to DNF this book at 33%. The reason behind this was that I didn’t want to read a book that I had a lot of problems with. For instance, I felt as if the book had more potential to be uncovered by the author. The amount of dialogue in this book compared to description is a lot more, and I didn’t think it was that developed. The story premise was intriguing to me, so maybe if the book is worked on a bit more, then it would have reached its potential.

Then, there was the insta-romance. When it comes to love and romantic relationships, I really hate instal-romance. I feel as if it’s a quick way to get characters to connect with each other for the purpose of the story. It didn’t seem like Evangeline and Westley were really attracted to each other, but more of their ideas of the other. I’d rather have a build up when it comes to emotional attachment, instead of characters liking the first pretty face they saw and just trusting them because of that. In fact, what really bothered me was the fact that in this novel, pretty equaled good guys and ugly equaled bad. If this was simply meant to be a fairytale set in the 1300s, I get it, but come on; this is a fairytale adaptation. It should be at least more complex than that.

Other than that, it just didn’t feel real enough to me. The story depends on people being kind hearted to Evangeline in a time where things were really tense since the peasants’ Uprising happened recently. And I’m not just talking about respecting others. I’m talking about how no one minds that she can’t really work even though she’s pretending to be a servant. Wouldn’t anyone be suspicious of her real talents? Overall, I think that I was expecting more from the premise, but the book didn’t meet my standards.

That’s all I have to say about The Slient Songbird by Melanie Dickerson. I didn’t really enjoy it, but maybe it gets better in the second half of the book. Who knows? If you have any comments or questions, please leave them in the section below. Thanks for reading!

–  Sumaya

Review: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

My rating: green3

(2.5 stars)

Hello, everyone! It’s review time again! Today’s review is on The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins, author of The Sweet Trilogy, which I loved btw! This book is actually a retelling of a Grimm brothers fairytale and is about a beast who terrorizes the land of Lochlanach. In order to motivate the men to kill it, the king gives away his daughter as a reward, as well as inheritance to the entire kingdom. Along comes a guy named Paxton, who wants nothing to do with royalty, thinking them as merciless and haughty,  merely wanting the beast gone. However, he is thoroughly surprised when he meets Princess Aerity, and a spark of interest ignites between them. When I heard that Wendy Higgins was writing a new book, I immediately added it to my TBR pile, just waiting to read it! But then all the other books on my TBR caught up to me, and so it took me a while to get to this book. Upon reading it, however, I felt differently towards this book.

There were some things I liked about it, though. What I liked about The Great Hunt was that it had an interesting mythology around the story. I was really invested in reading about the history rather than the present with the boring and predictable characters. When the Lashed Ones were mentioned, I always wanted to know more about them. It might have been one of the reason why I wasn’t interested in reading about Aerity’s royal life. That and the fact that I didn’t feel like she was doing anything worthwhile.

I mean, yeah, she was selfless enough to sacrifice her future for Eurona’s (the continent in which Lochlanach is located), but I don’t know if it’s the same as the hunters and people of Eurona who are sacrificing their own lives to hunt the beast. Everyone and their grandmother likes to mention Aerity’s sacrifice for the kingdom and how brave she is, but they rarely say anything about the hunters’ sacrifice. It just kind of irked me. Other than going on and on about her sadness or how she somehow liked somehow who held her in contempt, Aerity didn’t have much going on as a main character. Not that Paxton was much better as a love interest. Once the mystery surrounding him was revealed, I immediately grew disinterested in him, finding him way too prejudiced for my liking. Overall, I didn’t really like Aerity and Paxton’s story, but the other stories surrounding them.

That’s all I have to say about The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins. I don’t think I’d recommend reading this unless you are thoroughly interesting in reading a fairytale retelling of the Grimms brothers. If you have any thoughts or questions about this book, feel free to leave them in the Comments Section below. Have a nice day!

–  Sumaya

30 Day Disney Challenge #2

Back with the 30 Day Disney Challenge. For those of you who don’t know, it’s easy. Just follow the instructions of the chart above depending on which day of the challenge you’re in.

For me, it’s Princess day! Since 1937 till now, Disney has been using princesses and their stories to entertain us. There are so many and some are similar while others are really different. Today, I choose my favourite Disney princess and out of all the movies I’ve watched, I’m going to have to pick Belle from Beauty and the Beast, who is also a notorious bookworm. 🙂

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Now, that I’m done answering that question, I’ll ask you: who’s your favourite Disney princess? Tune in for tomorrow’s challenge!

-Sumaya

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