The publisher, JIMMY Patterson, kindly offered me an advanced reader copy (ARC) of Girls of Storm and Shadow by Natasha Ngan via NetGalley. Yet, this is an honest review of the book expressing my humble opinion.
I am in awe. I could have easily devoured it in one sitting, but I made myself pause because I needed to savor it. Every page was magic. Natasha Ngan has this masterful, elegant way to weave in emotional heartbreak not only without distracting from the main plot but making the experience transcend any norms and expectations.
This book is outstanding, and I’ll do my best to organize my thoughts to try to convey just how breathtaking this book is.
First of all, it’s QUEEEEEER!!! It’s queer and proud, but the most gratifying part about it was that the relationships weren’t showcased, they weren’t displayed in a way that said, Here’s one queer couple among all hetero ones. It was effortless and natural. It wasn’t just included. It was embraced throughout the entire book. And yes, there are multiple queer romances, and I LOVED it.
Secondly, the Lei-Wren relationship has so many layers and dynamics. Loving each other wasn’t easy, and Natasha Ngan weaved that authenticity like the emotion expert that she is. I loved how their relationship wasn’t just about getting together and surviving. It was about living and loving each other in the aftermath. It was about their journey as individuals and as a couple. It was about their healing after the horrors they endured and the horrors of the war they’re now facing. I loved how Natasha Ngan weaved in those details and didn’t shy from it. In most YA fantasy books, there’s just so much happening during wars and politics that we don’t often see how the main character is coping with the consequences of what they did and what was done to them. But not in GIRLS. I’ve never been this close to the main character, this connected since I read Girls of Paper and Fire, as well as Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. But there’s something so special, so emotional in the way Natasha Ngan writes that it honestly leaves me breathless every time I picked up Girls of Storm and Shadow. So raw and authentic and heartbreaking and magical.
Mesmerizing. Undeniable. One of the Best Series I’ve Ever Read. With One of the Most Amazing Main Characters. In One of the Most Inclusive and Embracing Worlds I Ever Had the Honor Reading. 5 stars are not enough.
Note: If you loved Red Queen and Mare, you’re going to fall in love with Girls and Lei.
10 stars – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Author: Natasha Ngan
Publisher: JIMMY Patterson
About Natasha Ngan: