Girls of Paper and Fire

Girls of Paper and Fire

Book - 2018
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When Lei, seventeen, is stolen from her home to become one of nine Paper Girls, the Demon King's concubines, she proves to be more fire than paper.
Publisher: New York : Boston : JIMMY Patterson Books, Little, Brown and Company, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316452205
Branch Call Number: YA NGAN
Characteristics: pages cm


From Library Staff

Ngan's highly anticipated debut about a seventeen-year-old girl who is chosen to be one of the eight Paper Girls in the kingdom is the epic fantasy of the season. Recommended for grades 10 and up.

From the critics

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May 06, 2019

First of all, I’m gonna call bs on that epilogue.
Overall the story was interesting. I just didn’t connect well with it. I’m sure that was at least in part because of the woman who read it. Perhaps in the future I’ll reread it without listening, and my impression will change.

Apr 25, 2019

For a young adult novel I thought this book was fantastic! The mixture of first and third person style was really interesting and the captivating, and at times temptuous, writing really appealed to me. The love story progressed at just the right pace and kept you wanting to read more, rooting for the couple to find a way to be together. Even though there was a fantasy aspect of this with demons etc. it wasn't done in a over the top fashion and was still believable. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Apr 06, 2019

This book is incredible. The world-building, the lore, the setting and the characters were all fully realized and described beautifully. The heroine, Lei, is likable but she's also very flawed. There were times I felt annoyed by her and that's alright. Perfect characters are boring. Lei can be self-centered at times and sometimes doesn't see beyond her own little section of the world, but throughout the book she grows.

My favorite character, however, is the love interest Wren. Now, this is a romance between two women, so if that bothers you, this book may not be for you. The scenes between them are sensual and intimate, but not overly graphic. I loved their love story and the way it developed. Wren is a total bad-ass and the perfect counter. I really think Wren was the girl of fire, not so much Lei.

It leaves things open for a series and I really hope the author follows through with that. We need more novels with LGBTQ+ romance and main characters of color, of which this book has both.

Warning: This book does contain scenes of rape and sexual assault. The scenes are not graphic, but the aftermath can be hard to read.

Mar 22, 2019

It was good and I read it in a single day, but it wasn't amazing. Plot was fairly generic and predictable, but enjoyable.

Mar 11, 2019

The thing about paper is that it is often underestimated. Easily torn, shredded, and disposed; yet, in rock paper scissors it overcomes rock. And it creates from itself the fuel of fire. In a world where demons rule over humankind (paper caste), one girl sees much reason to rebel against her system. When she is chosen to serve the demon king, she is set up against her internal and external fears. When she falls in love, it makes that bit of difference that spurs her on. I enjoyed the cultural ties (Mandarin) throughout this book. @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Feb 07, 2019

I quiet enjoyed this book. It was by no means a fast paced action packed story but rather a great tale of betrayal, love and loyalty. I can not wait for the next one to see how the story continues.

Jan 01, 2019

Difficult subject matter written very elegantly. The author touches on some taboo topics but does so with such flare. This book had me on a rollercoaster of emotions that fueled my need to keep turning the pages. Highly recommend checking this book out.

Dec 10, 2018

This book is fantastic, the beautiful writing and the intense subject matter made me tear up a couple of times. Natasha Ngan believes it is important for teenagers to have conversations about sexual violence seeing that it's still prevalent in today's society. She handles the difficult topics of consent and power dynamics through a fantasy lens with such grace and sensitivity. The characters are multi-layered and have great development and the world building is so rich considering it's not a very long book. I highly recommend this book!


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Jun 13, 2019

bezoarbezoarbezoar thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Dec 18, 2018

green_panda_7576 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Dec 18, 2018

"The citizens of Ikhara comprise three castes: the oppressed, fully human “Paper” class; “Steel,” a human-animal mash-up; and the reigning “Moon” caste, made up of anthropomorphic animals called demons. Every year, the Moon caste’s king claims eight “Paper Girls” as concubines. It’s an alleged honor, but when the military collects golden-eyed, 17-year-old Lei from her family’s herbal medicine shop, she’s devastated. Her father will suffer if she resists, however, and she wonders about finding her mother, also taken, so Lei relocates to the ruler’s Hidden Palace. Although she dreads being summoned to the brutal king’s bedroom, Lei finds comfort in the friendship of her fellow courtesans—particularly the secretive Wren, with whom she falls in love. Ngan’s plot is tense and tight, her action sequences are elegant and adrenaline-soaked, and her story’s stakes increase exponentially through the pulse-pounding conclusion. She champions self-empowerment while condemning classism, homophobia, and the commodification of women." - From Publishers Weekly


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