Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Queer Rep Summary: Lesbian/Sapphic Main Character(s).

This is a retelling which turns the foundational elements of Snow White (queen, girl, mirror, snow, huntsman, poison, love interest, etc.) into a story where they are recognizable but wholly transformed. The queen/stepmother has actual reasons to have a difficult relationship with her stepdaughter. The tension between the stepmother and stepdaughter is complex and understandable. Their respective fathers are important to the story and drive foundational elements of it but don't take over the story (except when parts of the narrative are about feelings of lost agency and someone else driving the story). The huntsman is well-placed with decent characterization without taking up too much room in a story that isn't really about him. The love interest is shown through the princess's eyes in way that was really endearing. I think someone could enjoy this story without knowing anything about prior versions, it takes the bones of the story but isn't trying to be referential once the reader is immersed in the tale.

I like the alternating narrators, it works really well here. Given that part of the story is about characters who feel misunderstood or dismissed by those around them I think it's especially important that both of them were able to tell their side to the reader. I especially love the gradual change within the two MCs as they shift from repeating what other people told them about themselves to figuring out what they actually want and what they actually think. It's gradual and very well executed.

CW for domestic violence, blood, gore, body horror, suicidal thoughts, suicide (not depicted), parental death, child death, major character death, death.

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