#ATBR2020 – Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Another stunning new release!

Thanks to Flatiron Books for the free copies in exchange for our honest reviews

GIRL, SERPENT, THORN – Melissa Bashardoust (Released July 7th, 2020)

You can see our reviews on her other book, GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS, here

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Book Description:

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.

Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars

“She was a Princess.  She was a Monster.”  BOOM. SOLD.  I LOVE fantasy and monsters and, sometimes, even princesses so I couldn’t say no! But here’s where I’m SO happy I have a rule to always give an author another chance if the first book I’ve read by them didn’t work for me.  Girls Made of Snow and Glass was NOT the read for me and I didn’t even realize this was the same author until after I accepted this galley.  So needless to say, I wasn’t mad when the publishing date got moved from May to July because let’s face it y’all – even though I have that personal rule, it still kinda made me go “hmmmm”.  And now… NOW, I’m kicking myself in the ass for not reading this sooner since it’s been in my possession since April! Can you tell I loved this one? Does the star rating give it away?

You absolutely must read the Author’s Note in this book as well.  To see how she pieced together so many things to create this magical land was truly fascinating.  We’re talking ancient Persian Mythology mixed with fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty and Rapunzel…. every damn character is unreliable.  And she gives these characters such depth that even the ones you shouldn’t be rooting for, you just DO.  I felt myself gasping at certain parts, enraged at others and thrilled for Soraya for finding her way in SO many different facets of her life.  Love is love and not all monsters are monsters.

If you love fantasy and fairy tales and just a fast paced story with a protagonist you’ll absolutely fall in love with – put this on your TBR.  Then come to me so we can discuss! I’ll just say you’re welcome in advance. YOU’RE WELCOME.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

It’s no secret that I love a good fairy tale retelling or a fairy tale like book with some dark themes and twists to it. GIRL, SERPENT, THORN was everything I was hoping it would be. The synopsis instantly intrigued me and I can’t believe I let it sit on my shelves for so long. I read Bashardoust’s previous release, GIRLS MADE OF SNOW AND GLASS, and it was good but not my favorite book from that year, but I didn’t let that deter me from picking up this one.

With most fairy tale retellings or similar genres, it’s usually the same stories. A new take on Cinderella, Snow White, Belle, etc. Bashardoust brings us Persian Mythology and I absolutely loved it. This was such a unique story and reading experience – definitely unlike anything else I’ve read. Imagine not being able to physically touch another person. On the surface that doesn’t seem too bad, but the longer you think about it you realize there are definitely some emotional and mental strains that go along with that. Experiencing the inner turmoil that Soraya goes through as the story progresses really brought her to life.

You find yourself falling in love with Soraya and her journey, there are so many unreliable characters, twists, secrets, and so much more that I don’t want to spoil. I recommend going into this with just the knowledge of the synopsis. Incredible writing, a fast pace, and a memorable story with a standout protagonist. If you’re a fan of the fantasy genre, then this is an easy choice for the TBR. I’ll be anxiously waiting to see what Bashardoust releases next.

 

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