Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan | Book Review

March 21st – 28th

I’d like to clarify something that I’ve said a few times surrounding Young Adult novels. It’s very clear to me now that I’m no longer the target demographic for these books. Even with a book like this one, the characters are 17, and I’m no longer in that phase of my life. When it comes to fantasy novels though, I feel like I can put those feelings aside to more easily enjoy the story. Maybe it’s just my natural affinity for science fiction and fantasy settings, but I find that the teenage characters are more believable in that setting.

The same was definitely true for Girls of Paper and Fire. I had been hearing things about this book for several months now, and was really eager to try it out. There was still that lingering piece of me that thought “But this book isn’t for you, you’re not going to enjoy it.” I pushed that part of myself away to give the book a chance, and I’m so glad I did.

Girls of Paper and Fire takes place in a fictional country with a three-tiered caste system. The Paper Caste, people who are entirely human, Steel Caste, those who have a bit of demon in them, and the Moon Caste, those who are entirely demon and take on animal forms. The Moon Caste reigns supreme, and our Paper heroine is brought into the focus of all three castes when she is chosen to be one of the Demon King’s eight Paper Girls.

I liked this book a lot. I really enjoyed what it does for the genre and how well it handled difficult topics without shying away from their severity, or making jokes of them. I liked how it handled the romance aspect, and I was really glad to see that romance in a YA fantasy novel.

My main critique of the book came from the predictability of the story and the way it was headed. I wished that there were more twists or reveals, but this is also only the first book of a series. I’m excited to see where this series continues, and will definitely be checking out the sequel to this one in November of this year.