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Monday, 23 March 2015

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (Burn for Burn #1)

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Title:Burn for Burn
Author:Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Publisher:Simon and Schuster Books
Publication Date:September 18th, 2012

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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?


Burn For Burn is narrated in three points of view and tells the story of three girls; Lillia, Kat and Mary, who by some mysterious force of the universe come together to exact revenge on the people who have wronged them.

I've never read a Jenny Han book before so when I saw this one in the bookstore, I was quick to snatch it up and I must say, I was not disappointed. This novel was so fast-paced and easy to read and I read it in record time. Burn For Burn was basically a combination between Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars, two things that I love to death and the plot just grabbed me and pulled me in. I was a big fan of the third-person narration that interchanged between Lillia, Kat and Mary and Kat, in particular, was my favourite character. The ending let me down because I felt that there were so many unanswered questions and that "gift" which Mary somehow possessed was not discussed and kind of brushed over.

Contemporary books are not usually my cup of tea for the simple reason that they tend to be very draggy and slow and do not hold my interest for very long. Burn For Burn, however, flew by and before I had even grasped what was happening, I was done. It was such an addictive read, I could not for the life of me put it down and I am suffering from a severe case of withdrawal now that it's over.

I don't feel like the plot of Burn For Burn was completely unique, it wasn't a new idea or anything but it was different than anything I've read before. The abstract idea of teenage revenge is present in many novels but in this one, it was masterfully used and it had me fangirling, I was fangirling! It was kind of reminiscent of Mean Girls and Pretty Little Liars and I adored every second of it!

The interchanging points of view between the three main characters, Lillia, Kat and Mary were amazing because my initial fear when I picked this up and read the synopsis was that more attention would be paid to certain characters and others would be ill-developed. Au contraire, the multiple points of view aided a lot in character development because it allowed the reader to see them in a very personal and introspective way. The transitions from the mind of one character to the next were also very smooth and not at all confusing like it sometimes can be in other books. I knew at all times whose eyes I was viewing the world out of because each girl was unique and we got to know them so well in this novel.

I must admit though, the fangirl in me would squeal every time we made the jump to Kat's point of view because of the three girls, she was the one that I could most relate to. She was fierce and strong-willed and brave and generally, just a total badass who couldn't care less what anyone thought of her. She was the fearless leader of the group and quite frankly was the most likable because Mary was too shy to be taken seriously and Lillia was too stuffy to be real.

In the end, it came down to the epic act of revenge that went horribly wrong! It was filled with unimaginable surprises, betrayals and electrical malfunctions. It was MIND-BLOWING or it would have been had that wave of awesomeness been ridden out. At the peak of conflict, the book was cut short in what I guess was supposed to inspire a deep want for the second book in the trilogy but let's be real, I would have read it anyway. In reality, what it did inspire in me was annoyance, a lot of it for that matter as there were so many unanswered questions and I know that there's more to come but it was still bothersome. Specifically, the incredible power that Mary harbors?

I really enjoyed this novel save for two out of three main characters that I was apathetic towards and the crummy ending. I will continue on with the trilogy because I have a feeling that it's only going to get better and I'm excited. I decided to give this one four cupcakes because it was not perfect but I liked it a lot.

Final Sentence in the Novel
"I just hope we get away with it" - Kat

Favourite Lines from the Book
  • I'm sick of waiting for karma. Karma can suck it. - Kat
  • I could only handle dudes-who-love-dirt-bikes talk for so long before I wanted to lock the garage doors, rev all the engines and die from carbon monoxide poisoning. - Kat
  • They yell "Clear!" and duck back out into the hall, continuing their search for a fire.
    They won't find one, but Alex is gonna get burned. - Kat
  • Don't worry, Rennie. It's coming. The bitch slaps to end all bitch slaps. - Kat


  1. "The ending let me down because I felt that there were so many unanswered questions and that "gift" which Mary somehow possessed was not discussed and kind of brushed over." THIS. I was so upset by the ending! I read this book when it first came out and there was no talk about a sequel so I was like WHAT THE HECK and kind of held resentment for the book, aha. I hope you enjoy the other books in this series. Nice review!


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