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Girls of Paper and Fire par Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (édition 2018)

par Natasha Ngan (Auteur), James Patterson (Avant-propos)

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9033418,088 (3.68)5
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.
Titre:Girls of Paper and Fire
Auteurs:Natasha Ngan (Auteur)
Autres auteurs:James Patterson (Avant-propos)
Info:jimmy patterson (2018), Edition: 1st, 400 pages
Collections:Read, Votre bibliothèque

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Girls of Paper and Fire par Natasha Ngan


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Affichage de 1-5 de 34 (suivant | tout afficher)
Trigger warnings for rape.

This was really good and I can't wait to read the next in the series. ( )
  Completely_Melanie | Sep 10, 2021 |
CW: animal death, rape/attempted rape, graphic violence

I was so excited to read this book before its release but put it on the back burner when I read some mixed reviews and also realized the kind of content. But I’m so glad my Stars and Sorcery book club decided to choose this book as our January BOTM and it has been a great experience reading and discussing this very important book.

This is the author’s debut but nowhere does the writing feel like that. The descriptions of the places that the MC travels are so vivid and especially the Hidden Palace is described so beautifully that I was surprised even I enjoyed it. If you know me at all, you are already aware that I’m actually not a fan of very descriptive stuff and tend to skim read, but the author made me like her style of writing and imagine all the places she was talking about. The story starts off a bit slow and the pacing can feel a little off initially, but it picks up once Lei reaches the palace and the training for the Paper Girls begins. We also get a unique blend of Asian mythologies, some I knew about and some unknown, but it was still very interesting to read about. This makes for some fascinating world building and I liked getting to know the various places within this world, the hierarchies and their history. I have a feeling we’ll get a chance to explore much more in the next book.

The themes of caste division, prejudice towards and oppression of the lower castes by the upper castes and the extreme violence towards women are the major undercurrent throughout the story and I felt that the author handled them all with a lot of sensitivity. As all the Paper Girls are essentially playthings for the Demon King to use whenever he wants, we see first hand the affects of rape and sexual abuse on these girls. The author deftly tells us through the story that not everyone reacts or processes their trauma the same way, each one’s PTSD manifests in a different way and every survivor has their own path to recovery. This is a story of the strength and resilience that these young girls show and how they try to take back at least some choices for themselves, step by single step.

Lei, our protagonist is very angry initially for being forcefully taken from her home and blackmailed to become a paper girl. This is where the story faltered for me a bit, but once she meets the other girls and the group dynamics are developed more, the plot became very interesting. Lei’s experience is horrific and and she struggles with her trauma, but she also finds strength in herself, in her love for her family and in her determination to never let it happen to her again. Wren is a badass love interest and I would have loved to read her POV (I hope we get it in the next book). Her relationship with Lei is a delicious slow burn and I enjoyed every moment of it. It’s also a very empowering one for the two girls because they choose to be with each other, they take control of their bodies and desires after having been violated multiple times and they find strength in each other. Aoki is another character whom I just wanted to give a big hug to, because she is naive and very sympathetic or maybe just that she is handling her trauma in the only way she knows how to - by embracing it as her choice. Blue is supposed to be the mean girl of the group but even she has her own story and reasons for being there and we can’t really hate for trying to survive. We also have Chenna, Mariko, Zhin and Zhen - each of them have their own stories and I liked every one of them. When there is such a wonderful group of girls, we naturally get a good dose of friendship, jealousy, drama and betrayal but what stood out for me was that in times of need, they all helped each other - even if it was just in subtle ways.

This is a book where the story builds up slowly, character development is given major importance and everything leads up to a very action packed climax. The content can be difficult to read, so be mindful of it if you decide to pick up this book. However, I think this is a very important YA book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is a reader of YA fantasy. ( )
  ksahitya1987 | Aug 20, 2021 |
I received a free ebook copy of Girls of Paper and Fire from NetGalley in exchange for feedback and an honest review.

Natasha Ngan weaves a gorgeous, heart-wrenching queer fantasy in Girls of Paper and Fire. I fell in love not only with the protagonist Lei and her cohort, but with her sensual, many colored world and its many mysteries. This is a dark, difficult read which also radiates light. Themes of sexual abuse thread throughout the novel, forming a core of the narrative, which readers should absolutely be aware of. However, if you are able to read this, I absolutely recommend it. The writing sparkles intoxicatingly, and the unexpected queer love story made my heart grow several sizes. I have never read a book quite like this one. ( )
  kittenelephant | Jul 29, 2021 |
Interesting story! I'm glad I gave it a try. The storyline is interesting, and characters are well written. ( )
  augusti3 | Jan 16, 2021 |
If I had to attach a single emotion on to Girls of Paper and Fire, I would call it angry. This book is rife with twisted customs, greed, selfishness, and corruption and it was so good. But it was also heartbreaking and enraging.

The introduction of Girls of Paper and Fire gives readers just enough time to become acquainted with Lei’s life before she is torn away from it. We feel some level of her anger and fear and disgust as the world of the Paper Girls unfurls around her. There are lessons and rules and not once does Natasha Ngan glorify any of it. In books similar to this – The Selection comes to mind, though the consequences are much different – the pageantry and the “becoming a woman” are polished and presented with sparkle and glamor. Ngan does no such thing, and I’m glad for it. You can hide the situation behind love and bribery and refining and opportunity – but at the end, being a Paper Girl still means being kidnapped, enslaved, and raped.

Because of how typical tropes have taught me to think, I kept expecting Lei to give in, for the king to actually be decent. That’s the story we usually get, right? You’ll have to read for yourself to see if that’s Lei’s path. For me, I was constantly surprised… and if I’m honest, relieved by the choices Ngan made in this book. The line has been drawn between disturbing and fairytale. I hope to see other authors acknowledge it.

While we get the best feel for Lei in the early pages, so much of Girls of Paper and Fire is spent by unfolding the plot and the greater world. There is a little character development in other venues, but it is quick and just a foundation. We hear a bit more about Wren and her backstory, and there’s a really beautiful scene between her and Lei about halfway through the book, but a lot of Wren’s story is through dialogue. This is a personal pet peeve. I understand why Ngan chose to deliver information this way, but as a reader, I prefer to have information inferred rather than dumped in dialogue. Aoki and Blue had more opportunity for growth as well. I believe a lot of supporting character development was sacrificed for relationship development.

As a whole, the plot pushes forward so smoothly that I didn’t really realize the gaps in development until I had finished the book and was thinking about it later. Natasha Ngan does an incredible job of wrapping the reader up in the present. The world building was interesting and Girls of Paper and Fire has the type of story and world and stakes that are screaming for a mini-series or an anime adaptation.

Girls of Paper and Fire is well worth reading. The way this book refuses to bow to harem or pageantry tropes is marvelous, and Ngan wrote in some excellent twists. While I wouldn’t go so far to say it’s perfect, I think that the rest of the series has time to make up for my few nitpicks. I know I’m late to the party on this one, but if you haven’t read Girls of Paper and Fire yet, I recommend it. ( )
  Morteana | Dec 14, 2020 |
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To Alex,

This book is about brave, brilliant girls,

and you are one of the bravest,

most brilliant there is. Thank you, always.
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There is a tradition in our kingdom, one all castes of demon and human follow.
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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.

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