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Girl, Serpent, Thorn

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Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn is “an alluring feminist fairy tale” (Kirkus Reviews) 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

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Girl, Serpent, Thorn:

Review

Named a Best Book of the Year by Booklist, BuzzFeed, Tor.com, Amazon, and more
Book of the Month Club selection
Junior Library Guild selection
Nominated to ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults List

A lush, dream-like tale about a princess whose very skin in poison, and whose isolation leads her to a journey of discovery that is both harrowing and beautiful. The author dives deep into ancient Persian myth. At the same time, she subverts fantasy tropes while delving into philosophical questions of personhood, individuation, and societal impositionsall with a narrative that is perfectly paced.” ―Sabaa Tahir, author of An Ember in the Ashes

“A can’t-miss LGBTQ+ YA fantasy that gleefully rewrites the fairy-tale playbook.” ―PopSugar.com

“Bashardoust draws from the myths and religions of her own Persian culture to create a world simmering with magic and treachery where no one is quite what they appear to be. With crystalline, sometimes sensuous prose, Bashardoust digs into her characters’ motivations and manipulations, deftly keeping readers on the hook until the final, stunning turn.” ―Bookliststarred review

“Bashardoust again draws elements from multiple folkloric and literary precursors for a relationship-driven tale in which sexual undertones are no less intense for being kept between the lines. Alert readers will spot nods to other classics as events whirl to a climatic close amid cascades of poisoned thorns, just deserts, and self-acceptance. Surefire for readers fond of princesses capable of embracing actual demons as well as the inner sort.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

“Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn has the lushness of a fairy tale and the boldness of the best contemporary YA fantasy. This opulent novel, inspired by traditional Persian stories, combines all the romance and intrigue of high fantasy with a deep exploration of the main character’s emotional world and relationship to her own strength.” ―Lamba Literary

“A delight­ful and energetic book, one that effortlessly avoids any hint of a sophomore slump to present us with a vivid world, a compelling cast, and a narrative that managed to deftly surprise…A twisty, fascinating, well-paced novel that builds to a conclusion that is more than well-earned. Soraiya is a compelling protagonist, and one whose struggles are very relatable.” ―Locus

“I adored Girl, Serpent, Thorn. It’s beautifully written, has a complex protagonist who goes on a hell of a journey, and it left me with a book hangover that’s made it hard to get into anything else since I finished it.” ―Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

About the Author

Melissa Bashardoust received her degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, where she rediscovered her love for creative writing, children’s literature, and fairy tales and their retellings. She currently lives in Southern California with a cat named Alice and more copies of Jane Eyre than she probably needs. Girls Made of Snow and Glass is her first novel.
Author can be found online at https://www.melissabashardoust.com/
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Additional information

Weight400 g
Dimensions22 × 18 × 5 cm
Binding Style

Paperback

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