Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn

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?

I love a good revenge story – it probably says several unflattering things about me, but there’s something satisfying about reading a book where the characters fight back against people that have done wrong to them, and the dirtier it gets, the better.

Kat, Mary and Lillia are three girls who each have a reason to seek revenge against those that have wronged them. Lillia is part of the popular crowd, Kat is a rebel and Mary is the quiet new girl, but they are drawn together in their need to get revenge on three of the popular kids – part of Lillia’s own crowd.

All three characters are very different, and the one that stands out most of all is bad girl Kat – she’s tough, non-censored and she was completely dedicated to the cause, despite her rather stereotypical bad girl persona – it was another thing that I found a little grating. She smokes, her brother uses drugs, her family is struggling…it was all a little bit too predictable.

The characters they are seeking revenge on though – a couple of them deserved everything they got and so much more – they were the mean kids that everyone that wasn’t popular at school would have loved to see smacked down to everyone elses level. Han and Vivian did a great job in creating characters that were realistic but also had me feeling completely unsympathetic towards them.

Perhaps the first thing that stood out to me was how easily the three girls agreed to be part of a revenge plot – it was almost a little too quick for my liking, and I thought there would have been more back and forth before they decided to group up and put their plans into motion.

What I did love was the setting – I can totally imagine living on an island is the ultimate fish-bowl of knowing what everyone else is doing (even if you don’t want to), and coupled with high school and teenage jealousies and cliques, it was delicious.

But. And it’s a big one. The ending – I didn’t get it, and I didn’t like it at all. There’s a ‘twist’ that felt completely irrelevant and like it was thrown in for shock value or to add appeal to readers who don’t necessarily like straight contemporary novels – it didn’t fit right. However, overall I did really enjoy Burn for Burn – it’s got so many of the elements that I enjoy in contemporary YA novels, and the three perspectives made it easy and addictive reading as they were so distinct. Perhaps the ultimate explanation of how I felt was that as soon as I was finished reading, I ordered the second book, Fire With Fire.

Burn for Burn

Find: Amazon |Goodreads
Follow Jenny Han: Website |Twitter Siobhan Vivan: Website |Twitter

• This book was acquired [purchased or borrowed] by me for review. All opinions expressed are my own. Please note that this post also contains affiliate links. To view our full Blog Policy, click here.

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  1. The rest of the series is great also. I know the ending of Burn for Burn was abrupt. They wrap up the other novels much better. I’m glad you liked it. It was probably one of my favorite series of 2014.
    Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages recently posted..Winning at Reading and Take Control of Your TBR Pile Sign Up

  2. The ending for this book totally threw a lot of people off, but after reading Fire with Fire it makes a lot more sense.
    Sarah J. recently posted..November Book Haul

  3. I also enjoyed this book ! I agree for a book so big I’m surprised how quick the revenge scenario came to be. The ending for Fire with Fire is extra twisty , I’m curious how you feel about that one.

  4. Oh yes this book. I heard great things about it and I confess that I’m quite curious. I know that we’ll have a translation in French. Or maybe we already have it lol. But in any case it sounds interesting and different. I should try! thanks for the review!

  5. Weeee! Ive heard great things about this series and keep seeing people on youtube getting the books in hauls. And that cover is gorgeous! I think i will add it to my list, it sounds quite interesting. I hope the twist you mention isn’t a total disappointment though. :/ I hate the “added only for a reaction” moments in books.
    Bemused Bookworm recently posted..Review: The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee

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