Monday, July 7, 2014

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn
By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Published: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Pages: 358
Book 1 in the Burn for Burn series
4 stars

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. 

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?

Opening Thoughts
From a logical standpoint, I shouldn't like this book. There is pretty much nothing in this book that I should like. Yet, I would have completely devoured it in one sitting had I not had a million review copies that I needed to get through. I loved this book so much. So, so much. This was my first Jenny Han book, not counting To All The Boys I've Loved Before, which I only read part of, and I have to say that I'm very impressed. I was skeptical going into it because I read the extended excerpt of To All The Boys I've Loved Before on Pulse It and I wasn't a huge fan of it, but this book was bounds and leaps better than that.

This book is written from the point of view of three different girls, Kat, Lillia, and Mary, which I was very worried about because I've had quite a few issues recently with not being able to distinguish between the voices with different POV's but this book did an amazing job of it. Each of the girls were very different and I really liked all of them.
Kat is definitely has the most distinct voice, while Mary and Lillia are more similar to each other. She's tough, and a bit blunt and profane, and yes, she can be a complete bitch at times, but she isn't a bitch just for the sake of being a bitch, she has good reasons that you learn as you keep reading and find out about her back story. She's a genuine character and she can actually think for herself, she doesn't act the way she does in order to maintain her image. She is the ringleader of the three, she keeps everyone on track and comes up with the majority of the ideas for enacting revenge on the people that have wronged them.
I was a little bit iffy on Mary for most of the book. Even though we read from her point of view every three chapters but I felt like we didn't really know that much about her. However, once we found out her history with Reeve, and the primary reason that she wanted revenge on him, I was completely sold on her character. Her back story was the most interesting to me, though the most horrible as well, and she is the character that I'm most interested in reading about in the sequel, Fire with Fire. She's very shy, and quiet, and it took her a lot of effort to be able to walk around the school with her head held high, which makes sense considering her childhood, even though now she's very pretty. Her reaction to Reeve the first time she saw him, that wanting him to notice her and see how much she had changed, yet also not wanting him to notice her at all. It was a naive hope, yet realistic.
I think that at this point in time, having only read the first book, Lillia is my least favorite of the three girls, just because I thought that her back story was the least interesting, which was what drew me to Mary, and I had the hardest time connecting to her character, which was what drew me to both Kat and Mary, though mostly Kat. Nonetheless, I still really, really liked her. She kind of has that stereotypical girl has a seemingly perfect life but it's actually horrible and she secretly hates herself story line going on, but not at all to the extent that most books take it, so if that would turn you off,there's no need to worry. She does have a lot going on despite having a lot of money and being a part of the popular crowd. She is pretty much a mother to her younger sister, Nadia, she feels very responsible for her, and Nadia ends up being the reason that Lillia decides to get revenge on the person that she does. Something really horrible also happens to her, and though it doesn't play too big a part in this first book, it is something that happens and that she has trouble dealing with. I do think that this may come into play more in the second book though.
All of the "mean kids" or assholes or whatever you want to call them had a surprising amount of depth. I mean don't get me wrong, there are times when they're such stereotypical douchebags that I couldn't help but cringe, but they do have back stories that kind of help explain why they act that they do and I really appreciated that Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian put that into this book.

The plot was super fast-paced and absolutely addictive. There was always something happening and I couldn't put it down. I don't really want to say too much about the plot, because I feel that this is definitely one of those books that it's best to go into not knowing a whole lot. I'd say that all that you want to know about this book is that it's about three girls who are very different from each other, come together to get revenge on the people who have wronged them. Essentially an epic tale of hell hath no fury, which I loved. I'm very interested in seeing how the kind of paranormal aspect the showed up pretty randomly at the end plays out. It was definitely surprising for me, I wasn't expecting it all, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure that I like it, but I suppose that it will be delved more into during the second book.

Overall, I'd recommend this book to anyone. Even if you're a little skeptical, as I was, still pick it up. It's addicting and an incredibly fast read. When I had time to read it, I just flew through it. And if this sounds like something you think that you would enjoy, then I must urge you to pick it up because I can almost guarantee that you will love it


  1. Nice review (:
    I coulnd't lay it down either and for me it was an one-sitting book (:
    You know my review :D
    And really cool blog btw *-*

    1. Thanks Anne! I really like your blog as well!