Olivia's Reviews > Girls of Paper and Fire

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
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it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, prideathon, year-of-epic-reads

CW: attempted rape, rape (off-page), violence, blood, pedophilia, death of a loved one, death, grief

I’ve heard nothing but endless praise for this novel, to the point where I was a bit nervous going in, but it deserves every word. Girls of Paper and Fire is absolutely freaking amazing.

I thought of giving this 4 stars, or 4.5 stars. There were minor flaws: the beginning did drag a little, and for the first half of the story I think Lei lacked any real desire or motivation. In general, it was a slower-paced novel until the last hundred or so pages, before surprising readers with a thrilling climax and an unexpected cliffhanger. I decided to raise my rating to 5 stars because, despite everything, the story was gripping and emotional.

I loved Lei and the other Paper Girls. Even Mariko and Blue, as terrible as they were, were dynamic characters. Every character had a personality and a reason to be liked or disliked. Wren is a badass with a big heart. Aoki and Lill are both so sweet and I want to hug and protect them. Chenna, Zhen, Zhin, Kenzo, Baba, Bao, Tien…I cared about all of them. The Demon King is such a good villain, too, cunning and powerful and absolutely horrible. I liked hating him.

The best part of the story, hands down, was Lei and Wren’s slow-burn romance. The two of them made my lesbian heart so happy. They fit together so well, complement each other, and the scenes with the two of them alone were some of the most enjoyable to read. I won’t lie, though, the fear of them getting caught gave me a n x i e t y.

The world is so immersive, with the different castes and cultures, tension and history. There’s so much to it, so many layers, but at no point did I feel overwhelmed by the information. It was given as the story progressed, at just the right moments, building intrigue and curiosity.

Another one of my favorite things is the writing. It’s simple but lovely, allowing me to imagine what was taking place without overpowering other aspects. I could imagine the demons of the upper castes. I could picture the food, the dresses, the court. I could feel Lei’s anger, her hope, her fear. In my opinion, this is indicative of a truly talented author.

There isn’t any information on the sequel, here or anywhere else, at least not to my knowledge. But I’ll be eagerly awaiting any tidbit. Girls of Paper and Fire isn’t one of my all time favorite novels, as I did have some small problems with it and would’ve liked more from the final chapters. However, less than two weeks into the new year, I know this novel is one of my favorites of 2019.

Highly recommended to all who can handle its content, as this is honestly a spectacular read.
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Reading Progress

March 9, 2018 – Shelved
March 9, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 10, 2019 – Started Reading
January 10, 2019 –
page 5
1.25% "I’m already intrigued"
January 10, 2019 –
page 139
34.75% "w o w"
January 11, 2019 – Shelved as: year-of-epic-reads
January 11, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
January 11, 2019 – Shelved as: prideathon
January 11, 2019 – Finished Reading

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