Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Age: Young Adult
Series: Burn for Burn #1
Interest: Jenny Han/ Gorgeous Cover/ Contemporary/ Lovely Typography
Source: ARC borrowed from Taschima at Bloody Book-a-holic


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.

First off, a HUGE thank you to Taschima over at Bloody Book-a-holic for letting me borrow her super awesome ARC of Burn for Burn. She was so nice and polite and very patient with a book borrow/swap novice like me.

Now, how to explain Burn for Burn? It was so not what I was expecting. I had originally confused it with a story about sirens, then I read the actual description and decided to still read it. I thought the characters probably wouldn't be likable to me, but it would be a good and different type of contemporary for me. It turns out I did like the characters which was weird, and the book wasn't 100% what it made itself out to be.

Burn for Burn is told from 3 rotating points of view, Lilia the rich, princess perfect, popular chick, Kat the no good for nothing, ain't going nowhere, tough girl and Mary the new, shy girl with some skeletons in her closet. I found something to enjoy and cherish in each of them. Kat was spiteful, but she was also quick tempered and sensitive to rejection. Lilia, hesitant to misbehave as I would be, but ultimately wanting to protect those she held dear. Mary, lord, that girl was me all of my life. They all had such distinct and often conflicting personalities, with their own morals and what they deemed acceptable revenge. There wasn't a total "mob mentality" to their revenge, the girls thought out their own perfect punishments.

One thing that was hard to justify to myself in reading Burn for Burn was the girls getting their revenge. I mean, the people they were messing with completely deserved it. (Well, sort of...) I was totally 100% behind the idea of those people having to face consequences for their truly heinous actions. However, I didn't think it should have been up to Lilia, Mary and Kat to get back at their tormentors. I'm a big fan of "an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind." I truly believe that it's a testament to Han and Vivian's spectacular writing, that they can create such varied, morally ambiguous and above all, human, characters that I was able to root for (even though they were doing questionable things.)

I wish I could talk about what the "jerks" of the book do, because I would let loose a rant to end all rants, specifically on Rennie. The book deals with serious issues such as bullying, date rape, underage drinking in a very matter-of-fact way. It doesn't leak scare tactics or preachy language into the minds of the characters to make a point, and instead focuses on making those situations as real as possible for their characters to deal with. Frankly if I were going through the same situations as those girls, I'd really appreciate the honesty.

The only thing I would mark this book down for is the names of two characters, Rennie and Reeve. They aren't twins or even related. Yet they were both total jerks, full of themselves and uncomfortably similar.I would have at least liked them to have more unique names, but it's a small complaint.

I completely loved Burn for Burn, against all odds, it managed to become one of my favorite books of this year. With passionate writing, ambiguous characters and the ice cold stab of revenge, you won't want to stop reading. Han and Vivian will draw you into their world with girls who aren't afraid to get their hands a little dirty, and won't let you go until you've devoured every single juicy secret and come back begging for more.

Teaser Lines: "Then you'd never have to worry about him again, Mary."
"What do you think, Mary?" Kat asks. "This is your kill."
"Let's do it," I say. I pinch my hand hard, the web of skin between my thumb and ring finger, just to make sure I'm not dreaming.

Happy Reading,


  1. Niiice, good to know it's worth reading, personally I would have read it for the cover alone lol

    1. That was definitely what drew me in the first place. It's just so pretty! Burn for Burn is totally worth the read, it's fantastic. :)


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