Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Title: Girls of Paper and Fire
Author: Natasha Ngan
Published: November 6th 2018 by Jimmy Patterson Books

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after--the girl whose golden eyes have 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. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable--she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge.

TW: violence and sexual abuse.

Girls of Paper and Fire is a very unique and interesting story. I loved the world building but I struggled a little with the main character.

I thought the world and the world building for the story were amazing. As much as I didn’t not love what being a Paper Girl meant. I felt like I had a really good grasp on what the palace looked like in my mind. I also felt like the politics were easy to follow as well. Between the different cast of Paper, Steel and Moon.

So I for some reason had a really hard time picturing the Demon people. I kept thinking of the Disney version of Robin Hood. So the idea of her being a concubine for one, seemed even creepier. The book deals with prostitution and rape. There are some scenes that definitely make your heart bleed.

I couldn’t connect with Lei and I wanted to, especially because I loved Wren so much. I kind of started to want Wren to be the main MC though. There are things I liked about Lei. I understood that she was naive in the way of many things and now had to come to the palace and be thrust into something she doesn’t fully understand. How she had never really experienced certain feelings simply because she never really had the chance/exposure to do so. She was content working in her families herb shop and would eventually get around to it. As she continues on in the palace though, I felt like she doesn’t grow or change. Her naivety starts to put people in danger and that’s what bothers me. I know the things she does are not always intentional but I don’t like how she doesn’t always seem to learn from them. I do like the fact that Lei is loyal and kind. That even though she might not agree or understand with a certain friends feelings, she is still a friend to her. I can’t really put my finger on why I didn’t connect with Lei but I just couldn’t.

I loved Wren. I thought she is such a cool character and I want to be friends with her. I love how she has the fierceness to her but she also very understanding. She grew up in a different world and so she sees things in a different light than Lei. So it gives her this perfect balance for the two of them.

Aoki and Blue are too other characters that I really enjoyed. They are both complicated in their own ways. They have different reasons for being at the palace and different feelings about it. I felt both of their stories were interesting.

Despite my mixed feelings on Lei, I did really enjoy the romance. It was such a natural progression into it. Sweet and kind with both give and take.

The story is definitely unique and interesting and I love the vivid imagery it creates in my mind.

The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson

Title: The Wren Hunt
Author: Mary Watson
Published: November 6th 2018 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family's enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

The Wren Hunt has the creepily weird, draw you in quality. It was kind of that unexpected book that I turned out to love. I really enjoyed the story and the characters. Especially all of the strange and unusual lore.

I really found the world of magic interesting in the story. There are three lines...the Judges, the Augurs and the Bards but it’s believed that the Bards are wiped out. Each sets of the these lines draw power from different things and utilize those powers in different ways. I actually found the Judges most interesting since they draw mostly from natures. The trees, plants and so forth. I also loved the old lore that is also woven in.

I really didn’t like Wren’s Augur family. I felt like they kept putting her in situations without giving her all the facts. They also all kind of seemed selfish to me but I don’t know maybe I was reading them wrong. They just kind of bothered me and I felt she could go live off in a cottage by herself and do her own thing. I guess that’s not really how being part of a Grove works. They kept secrets and when she would find out they would act like oh ya sorry about that. Just something that majorly impacts your life. They super bugged me.

I feel like about halfway through the book is when there is change. A change in Wren as well as the people around her and things start getting really weird. We finally start getting a better picture of Arabella and the traditions of both the Augurs and Judges. It’s really interesting to watch the story evolve the way it did. I definitely could not put it down.

So many great characters but of course I was most interested in Wren, Tarc and Cassa. Wren is kind of this person that doesn’t necessarily fit in perfectly anywhere. Kind of like a peg in a square hole. Whether it being that she has very different Augur powers from the rest or the fact that her mother is MIA and she doesn’t know about her father. I think of her kind of like a blowing seed trying to find a place to root.

So when she meets Tarc it seems like their chemistry as friends and more almost makes no sense and perfect sense. They are different sides of the coin but manage to find common ground. I loved seeing them together.

I also really liked her interactions with Cassa. As strange as they sometimes might be. Each time Wren spoke to her, you could tell that she is more observant and sharper than she might even get credit for. Of course she is the head of Harkness House. I just thought she was super interesting.

I truly loved The Wren Hunt and it caught me in it’s snare. Even though it left me in a good spot I still need more.

Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris Cover Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
presented by Entangled Teen!
Be on the lookout for this upcoming Entangled Teen title!

What do you think of the cover?

Look up the word “nerd” and you’ll find Lily Cooper’s picture. She’s got one goal: first stop valedictorian, next stop Harvard. Until a stint in the hospital from too much stress lands her in the last place a klutz like her ever expected to be: salsa dance lessons.

Look up the word “popular” and you’ll find Stone Torres’s picture. His life seems perfect—star of the football team, straight-A student, lots of friends. But his family is struggling to make ends meet, so if pitching in at the Torres dance studio helps, he’ll do it.

When Lily’s dad offers Stone extra cash to volunteer as Lily’s permanent dance partner, he can’t refuse. But with each dip and turn, each moment her hand is in his, his side job starts to feel all too real. But in dance, as in life, one wrong move and someone could get hurt.
Eyes on Me by Rachel Harris
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Teen

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Rachel Harris writes humorous love stories about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings, witty banter, and strong relationships are a staple in each of her books…and kissing. Lots of kissing. An admitted bookaholic and homeschool mom, she gets through each day by laughing at herself, hugging her kids, and watching way too much Food Network with her husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romances, and LOVES talking with readers!