Blogtober Book Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

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GoodReads Summary:
A captivating and utterly original fairy tale about a girl cursed to be poisonous to the touch, and who discovers what power might lie in such a curse…
There was and there was not, as all stories begin, a princess cursed to be poisonous to the touch. But for Soraya, who has lived her life hidden away, apart from her family, safe only in her gardens, it’s not just a story.
As the day of her twin brother’s wedding approaches, Soraya must decide if she’s willing to step outside of the shadows for the first time. Below in the dungeon is a demon who holds knowledge that she craves, the answer to her freedom. And above is a young man who isn’t afraid of her, whose eyes linger not with fear, but with an understanding of who she is beneath the poison.
Soraya thought she knew her place in the world, but when her choices lead to consequences she never imagined, she begins to question who she is and who she is becoming…human or demon. Princess or monster.
Girl, Serpent, ThornReview:
I have to shout a huge thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with an advanced audio copy of Girl, Serpent, Thorn. It was my first advanced audiobook and I really enjoyed being able to listen to it via the new NetGalley app.
This story, I really don’t even know how to put my thoughts into words. I was a bit disappointed by the last book I read by this author, but this synopsis sounded too good to pass up. So, I didn’t have super high hopes about loving this one. I definitely thought I would enjoy it, but I liked it way more than that.
The story follows Soraya as she’s trying to figure out a way to rid herself of the curse she’s had since she was a baby. She is poisonous. Her skin has the power to kill. Her family hides her away. Her only happiness is when her mother visits and her gardens. But this year, when her family arrives, they bring a demon with them and keep her in the dungeons. This is when Soraya’s life starts to change. She meets a soldier that comes into town with her brother and they become friends. She opens up to him in a way she’s never been able to before. He helps her go to visit the demon, then to figure out how to get rid of her curse.
There’s so much I can’t talk about because I don’t want to give anything away. So, I’ll say that I really loved this soldier. He’s a very complex character and I thought he was a great addition to the story. But even more, I loved how dark the story was. A poisonous girl? Hell yes. A poisonous girl falling in love with a demon? Even more hell yes. I loved the mythology and the Persian folklore. The author talks a bit about the stories she drew inspiration from and the things that she changed in an author’s note after the story ends and I really enjoyed getting to know more about the inspiration.
Overall, I loved this book. The narrator was incredible. She really inserted emotion into the characters and told the story beautifully. This story was dark and twisted and complex. There were characters that had so much love for others, but were also extremely selfish which I thought was just fascinating. I’m sorry that this review is sort of nonsense, but as I said at the beginning, I really don’t know how to put my thoughts for this story into words other than saying that I loved it.

Quotes:

“Stories always begin the same way: There was and there was not. There is possibility in those words, the chance for hope or despair.”

“I was always afraid the poison would make me a monster, but what if trying to get rid of it makes me more of a monster than I was before?”

“She had read enough stories to know that the princess and the monster were never the same. She had been alone long enough to know which one she was.”

“Beautiful yet deadly, he had called her. Somehow, he made one sound as sweet as the other.”

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Summary:
Sixteen-year-old Mina is motherless, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone. In fact, her heart has never beat at all, but she’s always thought that was normal. Mina never guessed that her father had 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 kings 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 orders. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her to 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. Only one can win all, while the other loses everything-unless they can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.
Review:
This was a buddy read for me with some of my favorite ladies, Alana, Rae, and Stephanie. We read Skyward together and decided that we wanted to do another buddy read. Girls Made of Snow and Glass was a book we all owned but hadn’t read yet. I’m always here for a good retelling, but this was sadly not that.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this story and despite that, I was a bit disappointed. I think this story could have been so much more than it was. I don’t want to say that I didn’t like this book, but it could have been better. It was just okay. The characters were entertaining, but I wasn’t overly invested. I thought the story was interesting even though there were things that I would have changed.
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this book, so I’m not just going to go on and on about it. Overall, I was happy with the ending and where the characters ended up. I think this story had so much more potential and could have been done up so much better. I liked that there was a female/female romance. I liked the relationship with Mina and Lynet, especially the ending. It was an alright story, but I probably won’t read it again.

Keep on reading lovelies, Amanda.

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ABC Book Challenge |G|

Hello, Bookworms! This week we will be talking about books with the letter G.

For those of you that are new here – here’s the deal, each week we post about books beginning with a specific letter of the alphabet starting with A and ending once we’ve gone all the way to Z. We’re going to mention one or sometimes a few books that were super memorable with the letter of the week and also books that are still living on our TBR lists. So without further ado.

Read last week’s post here.

This week’s letter is – G

Most Memorable Books 

Amanda

(The) Glittering Court by Richelle Mead – I absolutely loved this book. It actually also is on my TBR list for a reread because the third and final book just came out. Check out my review here.

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow – This was a recent read for me but I’m still thinking about it. It was a powerful story about substance abuse, addiction, and self-harm. You can read my review HERE.

Antonia

(The) Golden Compass by Philip Pullman – One of my all-time favorite series since I was a child. I love everything about it, even if the third book makes me bawl my eyes out.

(The) Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson – I didn’t love this book. So why is it on this list? Because I pushed through to finish the trilogy anyway and ended up LOVING the second and third books. This book always reminds me to give the whole series a shot even if I wasn’t in love with the beginning.

 

Books Still on our TBR List

Amanda

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard – I finished reading Red Queen at the beginning of August. This is on my TBR list for the month as I slowly reread the whole series now that the final book has been released.

Girls Made of Glass and Snow by Melissa Bashardoust – This was a BookOutlet buy for me. The cover is pretty and I really enjoy fairytale retellings.

Antonia

(The) Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith – I’ve been wanting to catch up on her books for awhile and this one sounds particularly interesting. Since I’ve been in long-distance relationships (before we were married, my husband was stationed in Japan for two years while I stayed home in Massachusetts), I’m curious to see how Smith portrays it in her book.

(The) Glass Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg – I recently started the first book, The Paper Magician, on audiobook. I’m barely a half hour into it. Unfortunately, I’m not enjoying the narrator much so I might just switch to kindle for the rest of it. It’s so interesting though that I’m already excited for the second book.