Review- Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust

Goodreads Synopsis: 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.

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fairytale Retelling, LGBT

Date of Publication: July 7th 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Length: 336 pages

My rating: 5/5

This book was not what I was expecting, and I was utterly delighted! At first, it had me a bit confused. While the writing was good and the characters were interesting, the plot seemed like your average fantasy romance. This didn’t really fit with the hype surrounding the book. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but feel like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. Thankfully, it did, and from that point on I couldn’t put the book down. 

The fantastical elements of the story, from the monsters to the overall setting really built up the fairytale vibe. I thought it was very cool how Melissa Bashardoust pulled different elements of Persian folklore and language to construct this unique story-world. Soraya is a relatable and well developed main character. Her flaws are understandable, and even in a fantasy novel she feels very human. Her growth throughout the story is believable and you can’t help but cheer her on at every turn. I appreciated how the author explored the concepts of good and evil, and how it’s not always so black and white, even in a fairytale. I particularly enjoyed the romantic aspects of Girl, Serpent, Thorn. It was delightfully slow-burning and pleasantly sensual for a young adult novel. 

I found Girl, Serpent, Thorn to be an interesting and one-of-a-kind fairytale retelling. The mythological elements blended in seamlessly with the story, creating a fun and immersive fantasy world. The plot was full of thrilling twists that you don’t see coming, and the overall result is an original, captivating story that leaves you satisfied. I highly recommend this for fantasy and fairytale lovers, and anyone who enjoys a good young adult novel. 


  1. itsKoo says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this! Thanks for sharing your review.

  2. Laura says:

    Great, succinct review. I hadn’t realised this book was based on Persian folklore. I’m intrigued – will have to check it out!

  3. I’m glad you liked this book, I’ve been wanting to read it for a while but haven’t gotten around to it yet. Hopefully I’ll get to it sometime soon, great review!

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