Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #1)

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire Series #1)


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Uncover a riveting story of palace intrigue set in a sumptuous Asian-inspired fantasy world in the breakout YA novel that Publisher's Weekly calls "elegant and adrenaline-soaked."

*A New York Times Bestseller* *#1 on the Indie Next Kid's List*
*Goodreads Best Books of November*

*B&N Top Books of November*
*Publisher's Weekly Books of the Week*
*Hypable Most Anticipated YA Book Releases*

In this richly developed fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after — the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but oppressive palace, Lei and eight other girls learns the skills and charm that befit a king's consort. There, she does the unthinkable — she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life. Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316561358
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 10/08/2019
Series: Girls of Paper and Fire Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 26,661
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile: HL780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 15 - 17 Years

About the Author

Natasha Ngan is part young-adult author, part yoga teacher, and part habitual nap-taker. She grew up in both Malaysia and the UK, speaking Chinese with her mother mainly as a way to talk about people without them understanding. She studied Geography at the University of Cambridge and later worked as a fashion blogger, social media consultant and freelance writer.

Natasha recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand and wineglass in the other, but in reality she mostly spends her time lost on the metro and offending locals with her French. 

What People are Saying About This

Author of The Poppy War - R. F. Kuang

"Queer girls falling in love while kicking ass and resisting oppression in a rich, magical, and Asian-inspired world. What more could you ask for?"

Customer Reviews

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Girls of Paper and Fire (B&N Exclusive Edition) 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
DarqueDreamer 11 days ago
Girls of Paper and Fire started off with a bang. I was immediately thrown in to the world, and story, of Lei. There was emotion and strength, but also vulnerability. It was deep, dark, and intense. I had tried to avoid most reviews and spoilers for this one, so I had very little knowledge going in to it. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it, and really appreciated how the author handled the sensitive nature of the story. Lei’s story, and the story of all the Paper Girls, was dark and tragic, but through it, we saw her find courage and hope. Lei spoke to me on so many levels. She was kind at heart, loved her family, and always managed to keep her inner strength, and fight, despite being torn down and torn apart. She never gave up, never gave in, and always tried to stand up for her beliefs. She was fierce and beautiful. The story itself was very dark and intense. Though it was fiction, it reminded me that things of this nature have happened in the past in different countries, and situations such as human trafficking, rape, homophobia, racism, and prejudice are still happening now. So, the story was quite powerful in bringing these issues to light while still keeping the entertaining aspect that fantasy has to offer. I do wish the pacing had stayed even throughout though. The story started off quite intensely, and everything happened so fast, and then things died down to a simmer until about the last 150 pages or so. The ending pace and excitement did pick back up to match the beginning, so that helped save the middle a bit for me. Overall I really enjoyed the book. I loved the power behind it. I loved the lgbt+ representation. I loved the diverse characters, and emotion in the story, and I loved the writing. That ending really left me needing book two too! 4.5 stars!
Anonymous 6 months ago
Anonymous 6 months ago
A powerful and emotional read with strong influences of Asian mythology. All of the characters are beautifully flawed and relatable; kudos to the author for writing sympathetic characters who go through immense character growth.
Gwen_Xia 12 months ago
I stopped reading in general for a couple years. Girls of Paper and Fire is an amazing book that pulled me back in. Lei and Wren
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mel-Loves-Books More than 1 year ago
"Her kisses heal the parts of me that the King broke. They tell me: You are strong Lei. You are beautiful. You are mine. And, always, most important: You are yours." Girls of Paper and Fury by Natasha Ngan was a strong female YA fantasy. I would rate it among my favorite reads of this year so far. Parts were hard to read, and I want to share a trigger warning for rape and abuse, but I also want to share what the author says about this in her note, because I completely agree with it and she did a fabulous job with this in her writing. “For any readers who have experienced sexual assault: I am so, so sorry for what you have been through. My wish is that, like me, you were able to find some form of kinship and empowerment in Lei’s journey. Despite the darkness of the story, there are many positive messages that I wanted to convey to readers going through their own traumas: supportive relationships and friendships. The ability to find hope even in the hardest times. The power of email strength. The knowledge that you can go through horrible things and not just survive, but live.” These messages were all definitely represented in this story. As was the power of love to heal, which is something that is important to me as it was a big part of my journey to healing. I highly recommend this book. I give it 5 stars.
mmreads More than 1 year ago
Amazing and compelling, I couldn’t put it down. The imagery and culture and details of every character and location was so lush and decisive. That ending! I need more. Lei’s character was fierce and vulnerable, and it’s no surprise she makes a great protagonist. In all honesty, this book probably could have toggled between Wren’s POV as well. Her life is so interesting, and she was an equally fierce and compelling and important part of the plot. (As well as Zelle). The sexual assault that takes place in this book—the horrible misogyny and patriarchy—is handled so well by Ngan. There’s so many fates and characters that I need to know more about. I sure hope there’s a sequel!
SchizanthusNerd More than 1 year ago
READ. THIS. BOOK. PLEASE. Content warning for sexual assault and graphic violence. “When the world denies you choices, you make your own.” Lei’s nightmares are haunted by the raid on her village seven years ago that saw her mother ripped from her life. This time the soldiers have come for Lei, a Paper caste girl with golden eyes. She is to undergo training as one of the Demon King’s Paper Girls, which is supposed to be an honour yet feels anything but. ‘I think of the Paper Girls who came before me. The dreams of theirs that might have died within these very walls.’ The extravagance of palace life is unlike anything Lei has ever experienced with her loving family, who lead humble lives running a herb shop in their remote village. In the palace she is surrounded by exquisite gardens and is dressed by her own personal maid in stunning clothes with magic weaved through them! The glamour is only on the surface though, as Paper Girls are essentially the Demon King’s concubines, and this life feels like a prison to Lei. There’s so much I loved about this book, from the gorgeous descriptions of the different castes of Ikhar and their history and spirituality to the strength of the women who inhabit it. There’s action, betrayal, loyalty, friendship, a romance that didn’t make me want to vomit and an underlying hope despite brutality. I absolutely adore the cover image and Jeff Miller’s jacket design is simply breathtaking! I especially loved the Birth-blessing pendant on the front of the hardcover book. I loved learning about the world our characters inhabit and I became immersed in Ikhara. I believed in this world and yearned to learn more about its history, its magic, its spiritual beliefs and its customs. I don’t think Ikhara would have come alive for me if not for the gorgeous descriptions that made me want to sigh with the satisfaction they gave me. I highlighted so many sentences that made me want to follow Natasha Ngan around and have her describe to me whatever she sees. Wren was the standout character for me but I was surprised to discover that I also had a soft spot for acerbic Blue, despite and maybe because of all of the reasons that I probably should have loved to hate her. Lill was a sweetheart but I didn’t get much of a sense of her personality. Similarly the twins didn’t appear to have distinct personalities and unfortunately they became interchangeable for me. There were also a few characters that didn’t have a great deal of page time but I wanted to know more, who I felt more of a connection with than most of the Paper Girls: Zelle, Kenzo and Merrin. ‘I don’t want an easy life. I want a meaningful one.’ I want so much to give this book 5 stars for the world the author transported me to alone and by rounding up from 4.5 that’s essentially what I’m doing anyway, but there’s something that’s niggling at me. This may be a problem with me, not the book, but sometimes I felt a disconnect between what I thought I should be feeling and what I was actually feeling. Without getting spoilery, events would happen that would affect one or more of the Paper Girls and I’d think I should be crying, full of rage, joy, something … but wasn’t. I was always interested in knowing what was going to happen next but my emotions didn’t fire up. I’m hoping a reread will clear this up for me. I tried to buy a signed copy of this book from B&N but they couldn’t ship it to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
m_wilson More than 1 year ago
In Girls of Paper and Fire, Ngan crafts a rich, lush world that draws on different Asian cultures and a compelling narrative about a girl fighting back against an oppressive system that has taken so much from her and others like her. There is so much I love about this novel: the Asian-inspired world, the female friendships, the slow burn f/f romance, the glimpses of political intrigue. Lei is a great, well-rounded protagonist - she's stubborn and determined to go against her fate as a Paper Girl, but she also fears what any rebellion from her could mean for her loved ones. The relationships between the Paper Girls were also wonderful. Some of the Paper Girls are antagonistic, but there were also a lot of great female friendships, which is really refreshing to see! The slow burn between Lei and Wren is so angsty, but also tinged with hope, and the fact that their love inspires each other is *chef's kiss* beautiful. I recommend GoPaF to anyone looking for a diverse YA fantasy, and I eagerly await book two! content warnings for sexual assault/rape and violence
ISABELLE ™ More than 1 year ago
When it comes to Young Adult fantasy, trying to find something unique is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. There is always a new obsession with vampires or werewolves or fairies and it can oversaturate the genre. So when I read Girls of Paper and Fire I was ecstatic to finally find a YA fantasy novel that not only has a well thought out world but a unique plot that stands out. The plot also has plenty of twists and turns that I would love to talk about, but I won't spoil anything. Just know you won't expect what will happen. While I did love the story there were a few things that kept me from giving a five-star review. To start, I felt the main character was a little bland. She kind of went along with everything and didn't take much action, just here and there. Character's like Wren or Akoi caught more of my attention and had conflicts that were way more interesting. I feel there could've been more development for Lei throughout the book to make her as interesting as the other characters around her. Another part that bugged me was the romance. I did find the romantic plot enjoyable, but it only happened later on in the book. I felt like the two were just thrown together rather than taking the time to know one another. I would've liked for Wren and Lei to have spent more time together at the beginning of the novel so we can feel like their love was building. But these are only minor complaints. Overall, the book was fantastic and a definite must-read of YA's fall releases. All I can say is if you're interested in reading it, DO IT! You won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I loved the setting and was intrigued by the world of the novel, it moved a bit too slowly for me. Though I don’t normally mind that when there is a large emphasis on character moments, I didn’t feel that way here. Though we spent a lot of time in Leo’s head reflecting on the world, there was a lot of repetition going on. That and her relationship didn’t come together for me as smoothly as it was supposed to. That all being said, I loved how badass and nuanced all of the women in this novel were and how the bonds of female friendship overcome some pretty difficult situations. And the representation here is just wonderful. This book has the opportunity and the potential to give the gift of representation to numerous readers and I can’t wait to see how everyone reacts to it. 3 1/2 stars.
Kee Lee More than 1 year ago
Totally unexpected. The protagonist isn't overly powerful, which makes her relateable. It's a good read, I can't wait to see if there's more to come!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was horrible. Poorly written, the characters had no originality. DONT READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was horrible. Poorly written, the characters had no originality. DONT READ IT!
taramichelle More than 1 year ago
Girls of Paper and Fire completely took me by surprise. I wasn't expecting this book to be so powerful or to handle difficult topics so well and in such a sensitive manner. Natasha Ngan does a brilliant job of exploring the societal and individual factors that support the culture of abuse represented in this book. I also love how both of her main characters are survivors, women who piece themselves back together while also finding their power in the process. They're wonderfully multi-dimensional and I love how they grow throughout the course of the novel. Plus the romance was so well done, it felt incredibly natural and precious. I would note that there are a number of trigger warnings in this book, however the author has a list of them at the front of the book (which I loved, I wish more books would do that!). I'm very much looking forward to seeing where Ngan takes this story next. Girls of Paper and Fire was a brilliant start to a new series. This book was fresh, timely, and very well-written. *Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this gorgeous and haunting book!