november 2018 gratitude journal + intentions for december

Nov 30, 2018

november has been quite eventful -- both personally and out there all over the world.

here's a few things i'm grateful for this month:

☽ conscious and moral voters investing time and energy in the 2018 midterm elections
☽ progressive orgs/groups putting in the work to inform constituents about current issues happening on capital hill, progressive candidate endorsements + campaigns; and the volunteers who dedicated their time and energy to help get out the vote
☽ stunning fall sunrises
☽ being blessed with a new job
☽ emergency responders and volunteers that are fighting the california wildfires
☽ community coming together for the camp fire wildfire victims
☽ giving tuesday, and those who partake in the generous global day of giving
☽ cooler weather
☽ having the right to vote
☽ empathy
☽ passionate + empathetic people who care about justice, equality + the well-being of others
☽ my little brother making honor roll
☽ people from all walks of life (i.e. religions, ethnicities, etc) coming together to mourn the jewish victims from the pittsburgh synagogue shooting, and protecting the jewish folks mourning at the vigil. restores a bit of faith in humanity in the climate seeped in hate
☽ people, organizations, charities + businesses donating/participating in giving tuesday
☽ earning + passing my very first food handlers certificate

intentions for december:

✰ stop blaming planet retrogrades (*ahem* mercury retrograde) + moons for every bad/negative thing that happens
✰ remember the lessons learned at the wellness retreats -- namely about being non-reactionary so quickly + self care
✰ give back to those in need. remember giving doesn't have to only happen on giving tuesday
✰ make new friends at new job
✰ rid of all the toxic people in my life once and for all
✰ learn as much as i can + not be too overwhelmed by everything

{Story Diary} Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Nov 6, 2018

I received an advanced review copy in exchange for an honest review, however it does not influence my review. Quotes are taken from an unedited advanced review copy and is subject to change in the final copy. Thanks, Little Brown & Co./Jimmy Patterson Books for the review copy!

girls of paper and fire natasha ngan f/f sapphic repGirls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
Young Adult Fantasy, Asian-coded, LGBTQ+
November 6, 2018 from Jimmy Patterson Books/Little Brown

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 demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

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.


➤ Paper

        ➣ Fully human, unadorned with any animal-demon features and incapable of demon abilities

        ➣ The lowest and most oppressed class

➤ Steele

        ➣ Humans endowed with partial animal-demon qualities, both in physicality and abilities

➤ Moon

        ➣ Fully demon, with whole animal-demon features such as horns, wings or fur on a humanoid form and complete demon capabilities


☀ Asians in fantasy
☀ #ownvoices
☀ f/f romance
☀ Asian-coded fantasy
☀ Queer MC + LI

Content/Trigger Warnings

➤ Violence
➤ Graphic animal death
➤ Sexual Assault
➤ Abuse
➤ Rape

"The fear might be strong.
But my hatred is stronger."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

"It doesn't matter how beautiful the cage is. It's still a prison."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

"When the world denies your choices, you make your own."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

"I don't want an easy life. I want a meaningful one."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

"We might be Paper Girls, easily torn and written upon. The very title we're given suggests that we are blank, waiting to be filled. But what the Demon King and his court do not understand is that paper is flammable. And there is a fire catching among us."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

"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."

--Natasha Ngan, Girls of Paper and Fire

**Quotes are taken from an uncorrected advanced review copy and is subject to change in the final copy**

Plot | 🌙🌙🌙🌙
Writing | 🌙🌙🌙🌙
Characters | 🌙🌙🌙🌙
World-building | 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙
Diversity | 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙
Pacing | 🌙🌙🌙
Swoon | 🌙🌙🌙🌙🌙

Natasha Ngan is a writer and yoga teacher. She grew up between Malaysia, where the Chinese side of her family is from, and the UK. This multicultural upbringing continues to influence her writing, and she is passionate about bringing diverse stories to teens. Natasha studied Geography at the University of Cambridge before working as a social media consultant and fashion blogger.

She recently moved to Paris, where she likes to imagine she drifts stylishly from brasserie to brasserie, notepad in one hand, wineglass in the other. In reality, she spends most of her time getting lost on the metro and confusing locals with her French. She is represented by Taylor Haggerty at Root Literary. Her YA novels THE ELITES and THE MEMORY KEEPERS are out now from Hot Key Books, and GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE will be published in October 2018 by Jimmy Patterson/Little Brown (US) and Hodder & Stoughton (UK). Head on over to the Books page for more info!

Natasha is also co-owner of fashion, travel and lifestyle blog Girl in the Lens.

empty kingdom. Design by Berenica Designs.