Title: Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)
Author: Natasha Ngan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Edition/Pages: Hardcover, 400 pages
This story takes place in a world made up of 3 castes:
- Paper: Humans and the lowest caste
- Steel: Half human, half demon
- Moon: Demons, the highest cast
The main character, Lei, is forced from her home and family to become a Paper Girl, a group of 8 human girls who are concubines for the Demon King. For the next year they live within the palace community and bend to the will of the king. But Lei isn’t willing to give herself up to the king. And she fights back against him in one the biggest ways possible – by falling in love.
This is an Asian inspired, LGBTQ+ fantasy with a major trigger warning for sexual violence. This story felt so important and so well done. The world is lush and the romance was really sweet and wonderful.
Also, be warned this ends on major cliffhanger if that’s something you feel strongly about.
Things I Loved
- I loved the f/f romance in this, it was so beyond cute and I just wanted the world for both of them. They way they supported and cared for each other was beautiful. And you can’t help but root for two people when their entire world is trying to keep them apart.
- Lei’s fire and fight was really inspiring. Everything was stacked against this young woman and she refuse to bow to any of it. She wanted and knew she deserved more from life so she fought for it.
- This was such a powerful representation of rape culture. Again, major trigger warning here, but if this is something you can handle, please pick up this book.
- Natasha Ngan’s writing is seriously outstanding. This world felt so lush and real.
Things I Didn’t Love
- This story was a perfect slow burn – the world building and character development. But then the climax and final battle were over and done with so quickly I almost missed it. I know that a lot this battle was setup for the next book but I wish there had been a little bit more.
Overall this book blew me away. I feel in love with this world and these characters. I cannot wait for the sequel to be released! Or whatever Natasha Ngan writes next! This is definitely going to make a lot of “favorite books of the year” lists, and it is very deserving!