Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

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.

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  • 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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Full of giggles, flails, snark and Southern endearments. Avid Reader. Lover of swoony boys, kickass heroines, yummy kissing scenes, and pretty prose.

I like to draw hearts in the sky (eternal optimist) and wish on stars (forever dreamer). Documentaries, sweet tea, sleep, and brightly colored knee-socks are a few of my favorite things. ♥
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Posted September 15, 2012 by christina2227 in Alternating POVs, ARC, Contemporary, Gorgeous Covers, Magic, Mystery/Suspense, Paranormal, Reviews, Series, Young Adult / 0 Comments

0 responses to “Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

  1. This book was damn near perfect to me, except for one or two things that didn’t sit well with the Alex/Kat/Lillia thing, and another thing with the Reeve/Mary storyline.

    Minor criticisms aside, I’m SO excited that there will be a 2nd and 3rd book!!

    • I still can’t pinpoint what exactly made me enjoy it as much as I did, but did like it. I’m also eager to get my hands on the next two books in the series.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. I also read this book a while ago as an ARC, and a lot of my likes / dislikes coincide with yours. To be honest, the paranormal element bugged me a little, since it was introduced so late in the book, but I suppose there were some clues. Still, I’m looking forward to the next book ^__^ Thanks for the review!

    ~ Rachael-Madison @ Moosubi!

    • Christina

      It’s nice to have my reviews validated now and again, haha. It’s not necessarily that I disliked the paranormal element, but rather that I didn’t see how it worked into the story. Maybe they’ll tie it in for us in the next installment.

      Thanks for stopping by to share your opinion! ♥

  3. Ooh, great review! I’ve wanted to read this one for just about forever. The paranormal thing does sound a little strange, though. I read a book where a similar thing happened and it completely threw me for a loop.

    But anyway, thank you for the review! (:

    • Christina

      Thank you. I was really anxious to get my hands on the novel, but it wasn’t the story I was expecting. You’ll have to come back and let me know what you think after you’ve read it.

  4. Jaime Lester

    I am so excited for this book because of some of the reviews that I have read. I love the cover, I love what it is about. I think that I will love it. Thanks for the review. I really can’t wait to get my hands on this book!

    • Christina

      My love of the cover and intrigue over the premise was what initially drew me to the book. It wasn’t the exact story I thought I was getting, but turned out to be good in the end anyways.

      Thanks for commenting!

    • Christina

      Awww, thank you! It was good and I’m looking forward to seeing what more the series will have to offer!

      Thanks for stopping by! Come back & let me know what you thought after you’ve had a chance to read.♥

  5. Stina

    Thanks for the review! I was thinking about reading this book, but I’m not sure. I’ve had several people tell me they didn’t like it a lot… I think I’ll just read it anyway. Thank you for sharing your opinions!

    • Christina

      It wasn’t necessarily that I disliked, just that it wasn’t the story I was expecting. I’ve seen both opinions- loved and strongly disliked- but if fell sort of in the middle for me.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  6. Jolene A

    I haven’t read either of these authors but I’ve heard good things about their books. The plot sounds great and I love alternating point of views. Can’t wait to get my hands on this and see where I stand. Great review

    • Christina

      Thank you! It usually depends on how well the story flows for me on whether or not I like alternating POVs, and though it worked well for the pace in this story, I still found myself feeling very disconnected from the characters.

      I’ll be curious to hear your opinion after you read if you feel like coming back to share. Thanks for stopping by!

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