Girl, Serpent, Thorn is One of the BEST YA Novels of 2020 | Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

8:30 AM


Things Melissa Bashardoust did: THAT. Seriously, this may be one of the best YA fantasy spins on fairy tales since The Hazel Wood. (For me, anyways.)


Girl, Serpent, Thorn
by Melissa Bashardoust

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, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
Rating: ★★★       

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

Y-E-S. That's the only coherent part of this review. Me spelling yes to you guys, as if you didn't already know how. It's just that Girl, Serpent, Thorn has completely and utterly captivated me to the point where my brain is all frazzled. I mean, we're "lucky" I even remember my name right now. (It's Jessamine. Right? No? Shit.) If I had a pom-pom, I'd probably be waving it around a little maniacally right now because THIS BOOK.

I was reading this one when I hit 25k on Tik Tok, but even the excitement of that milestone wasn't about to make me put Girl, Serpent, Thorn down. So, you know you're in deep when I'm not having an excited meltdown of unexpected proportions. Instead, Melissa Bashardoust had my complete attention.

Let's face it: she still does. I'm still thinking about Girl, Serpent, Thorn. Not sorry. Need a finished copy, immediately, because this one will definitely be reread again and again and again. (And again.)

Girl, Serpent, Thorn may be tied up there with Woven in Moonlight and The Midnight Lie as one of my favourite, and most imaginative, fantasies of the year. (Chain of Gold, too, oops. How could I forget my ride or die?) And how vivid it was! We all knew that I was going to love this novel due to its exploration of fairy-tale elements. Not only is Bashardoust's writing breathtaking and vivid, it's downright addictive in its own personal brand of intrigue.

The number one word that comes to mind for Girl, Serpent, Thorn is magical. Each page thrills with its unique, lively and cultural prose. Without a doubt, so many stories echo amongst each other in a way that is similar and repetitive, but this is not one of those books. It was nearly impossible to pull myself away from its pages, the simple combination of words gripping my heart and attention in an inexplicable way, and when I absolutely had to I felt that hum of disappointment.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn is exactly the type of book that readers never want to put down. Because when you do, it feels like you've set aside a part of yourself and it leaves you feeling a bit anxious. Is it possible to have separation anxiety from a book? Well, it is now, and this is one of those books felt impossible to be separated from.

Ultimately, I adored every inch of Girl, Serpent, Thorn.

It was breathtaking. The worldbuilding was fantastic. It was diverse and had bisexual representation. The characters were intriguing. Romance (F/F) was present without being overbearing and obvious. The fairy-tale vibes immaculate. Everything about this book felt like it was something special. Because it is.

If I haven't sold you yet, you should know this: Girl, Serpent, Thorn is the atmospheric, lyrical, feminist fairy-tale you've been waiting for you. AND. I'M. OBSESSED.

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