Review: Girl, Serpent, Thorn [audiobook]

Title: Girl, Serpent, Thorn
Author: Melissa Bashardoust
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Audiobook
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


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.


Soraya is a princess who was cursed with a poisonous touch. She couldn’t touch anyone, because her touch would kill them. Soraya has been locked away by her family because of her curse. One day, a young man encourages her to come out of hiding. He is the only one who isn’t afraid of her. He makes Soraya question her curse and who she is destined to become.

This was a beautiful fairy tale story. It started with a classic fairy tale curse, with Soraya not being able to touch anyone without killing them. There was a history to her curse and a reason why she was cursed, which followed a traditional fairy tale plot. I wasn’t familiar with the Persian folklore and terms used in this story, so I loved hearing about it in this story. There were many demons and deception that made for a suspenseful story.

The only problem I had with the audiobook was that I wasn’t familiar with the words so they were a little difficult to understand through just listening. This is a personal issue I had with the book, so I didn’t hold it against the book in my rating. At the end of the story, there was an author’s note which explained the words and their meanings, but I would have found it more helpful at the beginning. I think I would have gotten a lot more out of the story if I had been able to read this in print.

I enjoyed this audiobook, but I’d love to read it in print.

Thank you Macmillan Audio for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Have you read Girl, Serpent, Thorn? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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