Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Book Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Pages: 368
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction/Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 18, 2012
Source: NetGalley
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."


There are three girls that are very different from one another and will ultimately team together to seek revenge on some people who have done them wrong.  First, there's Lillia and she is always in the shadow of her best friend and ultimate mean girl, Rennie.  She's a bit of a follower and finds herself doing whatever Rennie wants.  However, when it comes to her younger sister, she is protective of her, especially with guys taking advantage of her.  Then there's Kat, Rennie's ex-best friend, and she is often mistreated by Rennie and the "popular group."  Kat has had it and wants Rennie to pay, especially since they used to be such good friends as kids and Rennie has completely written her off.  Lastly, there's Mary, who has returned to Jar Island after going through a rough childhood filled with bullying from one of the popular guys on the island.  But she's back to the island and she's different now and wants to prove it.  All three girls' paths intertwine while planning revenge on three people who have negatively impacted their lives.  Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivan's Burn for Burn is an entertaining story about friendship and revenge.


If you have read my reviews before, you know how much I worship Jenny Han. She is one of my favorite authors.  I knew I HAD to read Burn for Burn; however, this novel is entirely different than the Summer series.  This novel is much darker and focuses on achieving revenge at all costs, very Pretty Little Liars meets The Count of Monte Cristo.  Each chapter switches point of view from Lillia, Kat, and Mary. I had a hard time connecting with one of the main characters over another, which is a rarity for me. I found each girls' story to be interesting, but I wasn't overly invested in one particular character. 


All three cases of revenge are "revenge" worthy, but I really didn't connect with Lillia's case as much as the others for various reasons as I felt it wasn't as life altering as the two other cases.  On the other hand, Rennie is such a mean-girl, so I had no problem with Kat wanting her to be knocked off her pedestal a bit.  Mary's case deals with Reeve, an uber popular athlete, who tormented her as a child. Yes, he's horrible, but a lot of what the three girls did regarding him was taken too far.  After a while, I wanted the girls to move on and rise above the high school drama.  Yes, it makes for an interesting story, but it had me thinking about pay backs. Are they really worth it?


One strange thing about Burn for Burn is the fact that there is a slight supernatural/fantasy element to the novel that comes up late in the story. I knew it was coming based on some foreshadowing; however, I am not sure it fits in the story. I think Burn for Burn could have worked without it, but I could be wrong. I guess time will tell once the second book in the series comes out, which should explain that supernatural element a bit more.


If you are a fan of Pretty Little Liars or novels similar to that, you will enjoy Burn for Burn.  However, if you are looking for something similar to Han's Summer series, don't expect to find it here.  Burn for Burn takes readers down a totally different path, but it's still a fun path nonetheless.

11 comments:

  1. I just got this one from Netgalley too, and I'm excited to read it! I love Revenge stories - so fun! From reading the synopsis and your review this one sounds a little like Fury by Elizabeth Miles.

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    1. It was definitely a fun read....I've been meaning to check out Fury! Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. I would not expect a supernatural element to this story. Reading the synopsis I would hope it would just be a normal contemporary novel with a dark side. I really enjoy the story of the PLL series and am interested to see what Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivan do with this story. I love the idea of revenge against the popular group. Great review!

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    1. I know, right?! I do hope you get your hands on a copy, especially if you like PLL and the idea of revenge! Thanks for visiting, Andrea.

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  3. Nice review but I don't think this is the right book for me. I loved the movie The Count of Monte Cristo and plan to read the book someday but I don't think I'd enjoy reading about these teens' quests for revenge. I might have to try that other Jenny Han series though.

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    1. If revenge doesn't interest you, I would definitely read some of other works by Han. You know how much I loved the Summer series- highly recommend that! Thanks for stopping by, Christina!

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  4. Hmmm. I'm not sure what to think of this one. I feel like I would get frustrated with the revenge aspect and want them to move on and get past it just like you said. I usually do okay for a little while with revenge plots, but for it to be the main focus of the book might be too much for me. I'm curious about the supernatural element though, even if you said it doesn't quite fit with this first installment. Thanks for the lovely review Christina!

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    1. I am curious about the supernatural element as well- hopefully we will get some answers in book two. Thanks for visiting, Jenny!

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  5. I love the show Pretty Little Liars, but I haven't read the books. You definitely got my attention with that comparison though!

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  6. Ooh, this sounds perfect for me. I love, adore the TV show Pretty Little Liars & the Count of Monte Cristo is so good! Not so sure about the supernatural/fantasy element ..I didn't know this book was part of a series. :) Looking forward to reading it myself. I think the cover is amazing!

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  7. I'm really intrigued by the description of Pretty Little liars meets The Count of Monte Cristo. That sounds like something worth checking out! I've never read the PLL series but I do enjoy the show so I think this book would be a good fit for me

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