Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

11 December 2018

Book Reviews with Tabitha #4
Evening beauties! How are we all doing on this chilly Tuesday night? I've just been on a run and I'm feeling great. I'm now curled up on the sofa, reading my current read whilst sipping a hot chocolate - bliss. Today, I thought I would share with you another book review. I still feel like I'm pretty rambly when it comes to my reviews. I'm hoping that I can continue to improve on them. Any advice would be great but for now, let's jump straight into this review and I hope you enjoy!

Book Profile
Title: Girls of Paper and Fire     Author: Natasha Ngan
Goodreads blurb: Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class in Ikhara. Ten years ago, her mother was snatched by the royal guards, and her fate remains unknown. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl whose golden eyes, whose rumoured beauty has piqued the king's interest. Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. There, Lei dies the unthinkable - she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens her world's entire way of life and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge. 
*Trigger warnings - violence & sexual assault*
Publication Date: 6th November 2018
Pages: 380
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, LGBT
Goodreads Rating: 4.00

My Rating: 

Instead of disappearing, she makes me feel reappeared. Reimagined. Her touch shapes me, draws out the boldness that had been hiding in my core. 

I'm so glad that Fairyloot provided us with this gorgeous book back in ...! I thoroughly enjoyed it and I don't think it would have been a book I would have outwardly grabbed for if I didn't get it in my box. I have no read many stories that are based on Asian mythology but I loved it. Natasha Ngan made it so easily to visualise the world that was Ikhara. I also loved the idea of the different castes and politics behind it all.

Our protagonist is Lei, a paper caste, a strong and inspiring character. I really enjoyed following her through this story. Normally when reading a story, I always find that the main character always does something that frustrates me but I agreed with everything Lei did throughout the story. I loved how passionate she was towards her own beliefs and how she stood up for herself when deemed wrong. Another character I adored was Wren. Wren really was such an inspiring character and their definitely need to be more Wren's in our YA books! I loved the friendship that sparks between Lei and Wren, it really was beautiful and as every chapter went by, you constantly wanted to keep on reading, just so you could read the interactions Wren and Lei had. Aoki, another Paper Girl, was such an interesting character. As the youngest, I felt like she was the most naive and so when she eventually is open about her feelings towards the king, it doesn't come across as shocking, just upsetting. I'm hoping we see more of her in the next book as it would be so interesting to see where her alliances will lie. The only character I just couldn't get along with was Blue. Even though we learnt of her past and family issues, she just wouldn't budge, even when Lei was open to her and kind. It just really wound me up that Blue didn't even bother giving her a chance.
I hadn't read a LGBT book before I read GoPaF and wow, it really was such a beautiful read. I don't know why I haven't branched out for a LGBT themed book before I definitely will be picking up more as it's so refreshing to see it being represented in YA books. Another subject that I thought was very brave of Natasha to include in her story, was the element of sexual assault. Again, I haven't read many books that have this themeing but wow, Natasha did such a fantastic job when portraying it in her story. It was definitely hard to read and infuriated me knowing that the girls had to endure that treatment and it be glossed over as normal. So having a character like Lei who sticks up for herself was so eyeopening. What I also loved, is that Natasha included the numbers needed if you felt triggered by this element and I thought that was very thoughtful of Natasha as she didn't need to do that.

Honestly, the ending left me feeling shook. It left me feeling so many emotions. I can't believe we now have to wait a year? for the second book. I just hope Natasha releases it sooner as I'm sat on the edge of my seat!

If you haven't read GoPaF, then you need to! It's such an empowering read and I adore almost all of the characters. Natasha did a fantastic job and her world building is just gorgeous. Like I said, I can't wait to read the second book already! Have you read GoPaF? If you did, what are your thoughts on the story?
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Until next time, 
Tabitha 

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