Tournament of Books Round 1: Paper Girls vs. The Star-Touched Queen

31 Jan


In The Star-Touched Queen, the stars have sealed Maya’s fate: her marriage promises to bring death and destruction. Hated and feared by her father’s kingdom, especially his wives, Maya has contented herself with scholarly pursuits, happy that marriage is not in her future. Much to her surprise, the Raja decides to use her as a political pawn to end the outside rebellions. Soon, she finds herself wed to Amar, becoming Queen of Akaran. For the first time, she realizes maybe her fate is sealed after all.

However, Amar and Akaran have many secrets, from locked doors to gardens of glass to trees that hold memories instead of fruit. But Maya feels like there’s something she’s missing. Something important that could mean life or death. Something she is sure that Amar knows, but just won’t tell her. Desperation and mistrust fuel Maya’s search for the truth. If only she knew that her actions could tear apart the worlds as she knows them.

On the other hand, we have Paper Girls vol. 1. A story about four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls. It’s early Halloween of 1988 and the world has gone a bit crazy. There are people disappearing, weird alien looking men, pterosaurs, and even a sci-fi looking machine.  None of the girls, or the people they encounter, know what is going on. However, it’s soon obvious that whatever is happening could spell certain death for them all.

I’ll admit this felt like an unfair fight. Paper Girls is a great start to a GN series. The artwork is fantastic and the storyline is intriguing, but it’s just that. A start. The first volume is more of a setup than anything else. And, if I’m honest, for most of the volume I’m wasn’t even sure what exactly was going on! Once the ending is thrown in, you know there is something bigger is happening.

Don’t get me wrong, The Star-Touched Queen, isn’t perfect either. Part Two wasn’t nearly as fantastic as Part One and there was definitely some instant love as well. However, the story and world is lush and I love all the Indian folklore. In that sense, Paper Girls can’t really compete.

WINNER: The Star-Touched Queen


Andrea Sowers is the Teen Services Librarian at the Joliet Public Library.  When her teens aren’t obsessively challenging her to a game of Trivia Crack, she can be found knitting, playing games (board and video), or planning her next tattoo. You can find more of Andrea’s thoughts on teens, libraries, and both at

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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Tournament of Books


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