Wednesday 12 September 2012

Book Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian.

Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Hardcover, 368 pages.
Release date: September 18th 2012.
Rating: 3½ out of 5.
Ages: 14+
Source: Netgalley.


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.

 If two wrongs don’t make a right, then three is just looking for trouble…

Co-authored by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian Burn for Burn, the first in a new trilogy, is a story of three wronged girls and their relentless quest for revenge.

We’ve all had bad things happen to us at the hands of others. Well, most of us, anyway.  And we’ve all thought about getting our own back and seeking revenge.  Maybe some of us have carried through on that threat, or maybe not. But whatever your own personal experiences with revenge, it’s safe to say that revenge stories are always fun, little guilty pleasures to enjoy, but never to be taken all that seriously.  One of my favourite vengeance stories is that of Emily Thorne in the TV show Revenge. Emily goes to extremes, and yet viewers can’t help but root for her. We want her to carry out her revenge, and we don’t care how far she goes, because her revenge is justified. She deserves to get her own back.

Teens Mary, Kat and Lil also want revenge, but their stories don’t have quite the same appeal as Emily Thorne’s.  That’s the main problem with Burn for Burn.  Sure, it was a fun book in parts but I couldn’t root for these girls. I couldn’t get behind them in their quest for revenge. Often, their dramas were petty and I felt like telling them to just get over themselves and get on with life. 

Burn for Burn opens with Mary returning to Jar Island after four years.  She’s back for one thing and one thing only.  She wants to exact her revenge on Reeve the boy who made her life a total misery when she was a kid.  Reeve has it all. He’s good-looking, popular, a total hit with girls and the star QB on his high school team.  As far as Mary is concerned Reeve doesn’t deserve the life he has, so she’s going to take it all away from him.    Bad girl Kat is an outcast, mainly because her ex best-friend Rennie has been trash-talking her and spreading all sorts of rumors about her for years.   That stops now. Kat is going to get what’s coming to her.    Lil has been friends with Alex Lind forever.  Alex is a good guy, and it seems like he’s totally into Lil, but when Lil hears he’s been hanging out with her little sister late at night, she sees red. Lindy needs to be taught a lesson.

Events conspire to bring the girls together, and soon they become a trio not to be messed with seeking out revenge here, there, everywhere.  Rennie is a nasty piece of work, so I could understand why Kat wanted to get back at her, Reeve too when I heard Mary’s story. Although truth be told, Mary creeped me out – there’s something strange about that one and I’m not sure I trust her.  But the story of Lil and Alex? I didn’t really buy that one. Unlike Reeve, Alex seems like a pretty stand up guy.  As his friend, Lil should have talked to him instead of jumping to all kinds of terrible conclusions. In any case, the acts of revenge that are carried out on Alex were pretty lame. That’s not to say the girls don’t take their revenge seriously, though. They do. And they also get carried away. In fact, they go way too far.

Burn for Burn is a revenge story with a supernatural slant.  For the most part the book reads like a contemp, but there is foreshadowing to suggest that something strange and wicked lives in the shadows on Jar Island.  I have a sneaking suspicion about who or what that might be, but I’ll keep it to myself for now.  Burn for Burn is worth checking out, and while it’s not a total favourite of mine, the abrupt ending and the fact that I am pretty intrigued to find out what strangeness is to come, means I will be back for more when the second book in the trilogy Fire with Fire releases next year.


  1. I REALLY WANT TO READ THIS BOOK! I absolutely adored and loved Jenny Han's Summer series and that's why I'm really anxious to read Burn for Burn. I haven't read anything by Siobhan Vivian although I've heard great things about her books. The mysteriousness of this book sounds really interesting and the cover is GORGEOUS!

    Awesome review, Leanna! ♥ Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I want! I want! *grabby hands* I didn't see this on Net Galley! I must look more carefully.

  3. I felt the same way about this book, even though I adore Jenny Han.  I just couldn't connect with any of the main characters and the supernatural part of the story really threw me off guard...wasn't expecting that! I love your reference to Revenge....can't wait for the new season! :)

  4. I seriously want to read this one. Terrific review as always <3

  5. I think I would have similar problems with this one Leanna! I often have trouble with revenge plots because I'm not that type of person and I'd much rather move forward instead of staying static and stuck in one place and one moment, so I think these girls would be problematic for me! Beautiful review though:)

  6. I'm intrigued. I really love Jenny Han and would pick up any book by her regardless!

  7. hmmm, not sure about this one… it sounds good from the blurb but I didn't like the first in the 'Summer' books by Jenny Han and I think from what you've said this one wont do anyhting for me either, what a shame! Thanks for sharing though! 

  8. I'm not usually a bit reader of revenge type stories, but I have been seeing this around quite a bit, urging me to give it a read. I can definitely understand your issues with not being able to entirely root for the girls. Unless a reason for revenge is REALLY justified, I usually want to scream at the person to move on haha. Very intrigued by the hints at something supernatural. And I have heard lots of great things about Jenny Han's Summer series. So I will likely give this a shot soon. Hopefully I'll enjoy it! Fantastic review!

  9.  Thanks, Celine! This one definitely has potential and I'm excited to find out what happens next! I LOVE Han's summer series. One of my faves! :)

  10.  It's still on Netgalley! Also, Simon & Schuster have bought UK rights to this one. :)

  11.  Me too! I'm so excited for new Revenge! I didn't think the supernatural element was needed in this one at all, but I'm sure it'll be a much bigger part of the next book, so we'll see...!

  12.  Thanks Jenny. The characters in this book were not very likeable, that's for sure!

  13. The first summer book wasn't my fave either, but I continued with the series and then fell totally in love with the third book. It's so good!!

  14.  The summer series is so cute! This one took me a while to get into. I thought the girls were just bratty at times. They are not the kind of characters you'll find yourself rooting for.

  15. Thanks for sharing your lovely review. I'm glad you liked it so much :) I'm not really sure if this is something for me, so I'm going to wait and read some other reviews before I make up my mind.

  16. I'm soo curious about this one! I really like a good revenge story and the supernatural twist sounds so intriguing. Awesome review! :) 

  17. I enjoyed this story a lot! I actually like Mary, but I think there's more to her than meets the eye. As for the relationship between Lil and Alex -- at first, I thought the same way as you, but then I started to feel the story shows how people shouldn't jump to conclusions and should talk to each other. I felt sorry for Alex. I have no idea who or what the supernatural slant is, but I think it adds an interesting dimension to the story.

  18. caroline.taylor07815 September 2012 at 19:43

    This is one of my most wanted books, although I have seen a couple of reviews where the reviewer hasn't adored it, it really does sound the perfect book for me. I love books with trios of girls in them, I am currently reading Envy the sequel to Fury and loving it!


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