September 15, 2012

Title: Burn For Burn (Untitled Trilogy #1)

Author(s): Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian

Published: September 18, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Pages: 368

Goodreads Description:


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, the insults, the cruel jokes. It all goes back to one person– her ex-best friend– and she’s ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. And she’s ready to prove it to him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet, sweet revenge. And they won’t stop until they each had a taste.

Purchase (pre-order) your copy here: Barnes & Noble ‡ Amazon ‡ Book Depository

  • Christina liked this book and places it on her third shelf!

Both of these authors have been on my TBR list for the longest. Jenny Han because of her Summer Trilogy and Siobhan Vivian because of her novel The List. So, back during BEA when I saw that these two were putting out a book together– and even better, it was a novel about girls getting revenge– I was practically willing to do just about anything to get my hands on a copy.

The Lowdown: Who has time for Karma to work her magic? Definitely not the leading ladies in Burn For BurnTold in three alternating point of views, this book centers around three high school girls who feel like they’ve been wronged and they’re looking to settle the score. Each of them has a motive for wanting their own revenge, but they decide to band together to help each other carry out their mission until the three targeted offenders have gotten everything they deserved and more.

Author Ego-Boosters: Often times when multiple authors have their hand in the book, the work reads somewhat disjointed and doesn’t flow as well as it should. I can imagine that happens because with different writing styles and creative minds comes individual ways of delivering a story. One of the great things about this book was that it felt very fluid. I often caught myself wondering which author was responsible for which parts or characters and how they managed to make the book such a cohesive unit.

Even though this book comes in with a a total of 368 pages (though, my ARC only had 354 pages), I read through it very quickly. It was definitely a page-turner, trying to figure out why the girls were seeking revenge and how each act would unfold. Some of the revenge attempts had me rolling my eyes because they were a little on the amateur side, but then I remembered that these were high school girls and so that made the storyline and characters feel more authentic.

The Drawbacks: While the three alternating POVs provided the vessel to generate a lot of movement in the book and kept the plot moving at an appreciated pace, I wonder if it didn’t hinder my ability to connect with the main characters. Yes, we get a daily view inside the minds of each girl and the life that surrounds them, but I don’t feel like we were able to dig deep enough to get to know them. It’s almost like we only skated the surface of who they are. Then again, now knowing that this is only the first book of a trilogy, perhaps we’ll be able to dig deeper in the future.

There is also a paranormal element that’s introduced towards the end of the book.  The authors hinted about it throughout and I kind of felt like an idiot about not recognizing it sooner, but I was able to brush it off like the character it focuses around does herself. I can’t really decide how I feel about it. I’ve thought about it overnight, and I’m still really indifferent. In a way, I feel like it gives the book a unique element, but at the same time, it almost feels like it was thrown in just for that unique element.

Another point of contention with this book is that it had a very abrupt ending. I even flipped back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t skipped any by accident, and then proceeded to stomp to twitter to demand whether there was a companion novel in the works or not. (At the time I thought it was a stand-alone novel.) Often enough, I’ve let it be known that I’m not really a fan of cliffhangers (at all). I think they’re pointless because if I like your book then I’m going to be reading the next book anyways. If you leave a cliffhanger ending, the only purpose it serves is to infuriate me, but that’s just my opinion.

Lastly, and this is probably more a personal issue with the book, I was disappointed in the attention that was given to Lillia’s story. In the book description, it talks about her having to deal with a guy “that went to far.” But the fact is that not only does she not seek revenge on the guy that hurt her, but the whole deal of her sexual abuse is pretty much glossed over, never really dealt with at all. I’m not trying to say that her whole story needs to be about dealing with it, but I wanted something to come from it. I’m holding out hope that in the future books, it’ll be dealt with more, but as it stands right now, I’m not liking the lack of resolution to this matter.

The Verdict: Despite the fact that my drawback list is longer than my author ego-booster one, I really ended up enjoying this book. I can’t really put my finger on the exact reason why, though. It was a quick read and I look forward to learning about these characters in the next two books, Fire With Fire(Book 2) and Ashes to Ashes (Book 3).

  • A very special thanks goes out to Jennifer and Lili at ARCycling for providing the means for me to receive this ARC copy donated by Nikki at Take Me Away… A Book Blog!
    Thank you so much, ladies! 

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