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Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Young adult

Girl, Serpent, Thorn

by Melissa Bashardoust

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Quick Take

Rebel against “happily ever after.” This is a dark, feminist fairytale made for real, flawed people.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Feminist

    Feminist

  • Illustrated icon, Action_packed

    Action-packed

  • Illustrated icon, LGBTQ_themes

    LGBTQ+ themes

  • Illustrated icon, Magical

    Magical

Synopsis

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.

Why I love it

There is nothing I love more than stories about monsters, but most especially, stories with romance and monsters. I love when a narrative digs into what it means to be monstrous, when a girl convinced she’s a monster learns to embrace her own power. There is an alluring kind of beauty that comes alongside monstrosity.

Soraya has spent her entire life locked away because of a curse that turns her touch deadly. She lives in perpetual fear of becoming a monster. A series of catastrophic mistakes sees her brother usurped from his throne by a demon who wishes to make her his bride, and Soraya trapped. To save her family, she must reconcile the parts of herself that are just as monstrous as the demons she’s surrounded by.

This book is a Gothic wrapped in a fairytale. As it unfolds, more layers of mastery are shown as myths are seamlessly woven into a story about a girl on a journey of discovering who she is after being surrounded by lies. A story about beauty and terror and monstrosity and how achingly human it is. The prose is sharp, and it lingers, poignant and purposed, long after the book is finished.

Young adult
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Young adult
View all
Ruthless Vows
The Revenant Games
What the River Knows
As Long as the Lemon Trees Grow
Dragonfruit
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love
Divine Rivals
Legendborn
Foul Lady Fortune
Anna K Away
A Wilderness of Stars
Firekeeper's Daughter
Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Warrior Girl Unearthed
Bloodmarked
Star Daughter
Not So Pure and Simple
Throw Like a Girl
The Queen of Nothing
On the Come Up
Wayward Son
Anna K
The Rest of the Story
With the Fire on High
The Red Scrolls of Magic
This Time Will Be Different
Yes No Maybe So
The Gilded Wolves
Permanent Record
Wicked Saints
Dangerous Alliance
The Sound of Stars
All the Stars and Teeth
Where the World Ends
When the Stars Lead to You
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Ten Thousand Doors of January
The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Saving Zoë
Hello Girls
Mind Games
Storm and Fury
There's Something About Sweetie
Again, But Better
We Hunt the Flame
Sky Without Stars
You'd Be Mine
Opposite of Always
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager
Enchantée
The Astonishing Color of After
Top Ten
Little & Lion
The Impossible Fortress
Girls in the Moon
You Will Know Me