*ARC provided by Flatiron Books in exchange for an honest review*
“There are worst things in the world to be than delicate.
If you’re delicate, it means no one has tried to break you.”
I’m sad to say that I hadn’t heard about this book until it literally landed on my doorstep. (Thank you Faltiron Books for that!) As soon as I saw the cover, I was immensely intrigued and after finding out that it was a Snow White retelling, I had to start it right then and there! I’ve never read a retelling that wasn’t Beauty and the Beast and I was super excited to expand my horizons!
This story follows 15 year-old Lynet, a young princess with an unusual upbringing, and her step-mother, Mina, who is hiding a dark secret. Only one of them is meant to be Queen and we follow them as their stories take a turn in order to make that happen. Both of these girls/women stole my heart almost immediately. I could never choose between the two even as they turned on each other but I’ve no regrets about it. Both of them led such difficult lives that I was heartbroken for them at every turn of the page. I just wanted to reach into the pages and console them, let them know they had a devoted friend in me. But alas, I couldn’t.
The characters in this novel were well written and complex, just as I love them. I loved how this wasn’t true just about the main characters but side ones too. Each one had absolutely intriguing character developments and I was kept on the edge of my seat trying to figure out how (and if) they would all make it to the end. Don’t get me wrong, just because I was interested in their development, that didn’t mean I liked the characters themselves. I absolutely loved Lynet and Mina but everyone else was despicable, in my opinion. They sparked a lot of hatred deep within me that only an incredible writer is able to do.
“Her beauty was merely a shell, and a shell was always in danger of cracking.”
This book was like nothing I’ve read before. I’ve only read books that follow a romantic couple but this was the first book I read that follows a girl and her step mom. We get both of their POV’s throughout interchanging chapters taking place in both present and past events. I was massively impressed by Melissa since this was her debut novel and if I hadn’t read that on her bio, I would’ve never believed it!
This book pulled at my heartstrings so many times that I lost count. Pretty sure I was busting out tears more often than not. It had many amazing quotes scattered throughout the pages so I had difficulty choosing just one… So I chose three.
Oh, and last but not least, this book deserves INFINITE kudos since it incorporates the LGBTQ+ community in a beautiful manner. Not only is this a unique take on a classic tale, but it’s also diverse in a deliciously subtle way. I’m glad to say that this book left me fulfilled and I can’t wait to read more by Melissa! I thoroughly enjoyed being inside her mind and witnessing this incredible storyline through her eyes. I can’t wait to own the finished copy of this beauty because it’s so shiny!
“Mina would have embraced her then, this girl whose heart was so strong and so full that it could beat for the both of them.”