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Monday, September 3, 2012

Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Expected Publication Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 368 pages
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Burn for Burn

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.
I admit, I'm a huge fan of books like Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars, where girls are uber bitches and guys are total skeezes. And, while I liked Burn for Burn, it didn't measure up to the upper-east-side-like drama that I tend to love.  Don't get me wrong, I completely devoured this book in like... 2 days and there were some moments that had me feeling some feelings, but I didn't think it had the umph I would have liked. The characters were definitely shallow like I like them, and tortured or depressed or whatever other problems they had, which always makes an interesting protagonist and the story was fast paced and didn't really drag much, but I think there could have been more added. Burn for Burn is a great story about an unlikely alliance between three teenage girls from different cliques, but the revenge dished out wasn't cold enough.

Out of the three girls I definitely liked Kat the most. She was the most interesting as well as the most down to earth of the three. Her want to get revenge is pretty warranted, but I think the execution could have been a lot better. It seemed like most of the story focused on Lillia's revenge, which honestly didn't make much sense to me. I really had no idea why Lillia directed her anger towards the person that she did when it would have been much more appropriate to have it directed towards the person that actually screwed her up. Mary has the best reason to want to get back at the boy who messed her up, and I actually ended up crying a lot when I found out what happened to her during her childhood. It was also great seeing the relationship between Kat, Lillia, and Mary develop throughout the story considering where they all start out and how different they all are.

The premise for Burn for Burn is something I always love to read about: revenge. I'm a sucker for girls getting back at each other for horrible teenage things. Burn for Burn is written from alternating points of view between Lillia, Kat, and Mary and each chapter jumps between the present and the past (where we learn what screwed the girls up). This writing style definitely kept me interested in the story because whenever I started getting bored of one girl the chapter would end and I'd get to learn more about the next one. I do think that the causes for revenge could have been more extreme for Lillia and Kat, and I would have liked to have seen the girls throw out some more Mean Girls-esque ideas for revenge, but I also have to admit that I don't think I'd be too creative when it came to that kind of thing.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading Burn for Burn but in a world dominated by Mean Girls I don't think it measured up. The characters were great, albeit a little soft, and most of their victims deserved everything they got. By the way the book ended I'm guessing there will be another book, and I would love to see Vivian and Han amp up the drama lama! Because, let's be honest, as much as I hate the drama in real life, I love to read about it!!! If you're a fan of books that involve gossip, sweet revenge, sex, and backstabbing then Burn for Burn is definitely one you do not want to miss out on!!


  1. I LOVE Jenny Han's Summer series and I've been a fan ever since I first discovered the first book so anything she writes is a total must! I was already super excited but now I'm even more so. Sorry to hear that the revengeful acts didn't quite live up to what you had in mind but since this is a series, I'm sure there's still plently of time to amp up all the drama, this is only the beginning! Fabulous review, Anna ♥

  2. Great review, Anna. I'm a HUGE HUGE fan of Jenny Han's Summer series so I'm going to read pretty much anything written by her. Been looking forward to this novel for quite a while now, so hopefully I'll love it!

  3. luurvvee your review Anna! hmm i really hope i find the revenge more than you did though! I really like PLL and GG and girly stuff like that *facepalm* haha but im really excited for this! I also think its a good idea that each chapter is a diff character, like you said that way we never get bored!
    - Farah

  4. I'm definitely going to read this one at some point. I hope I enjoy it, too! I used to adore Gossip Girl in S1 so this book sounds right up my alley. Great review, girl, a really balanced look at what you liked and didn't!

  5. I haven't read her other books yet and I wasn't really planning on this one. I like revenge, but I don't really like the Mean Girl types. Sorry to hear that the revenge wasn't cold enough. I'm glad that you liked the overall story. Thanks for sharing your lovely review.

  6. What an amazing review, Anna! Even though said this book didn't measure up on the revenge factor, you still make me want to read this book because of the characters, especially Mary! I really want to find out what happened during her childhood that made you cry! I have never read anything like Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars (though I watch the show) but I do enjoy a good revenge, back-stabbing and drama story, so hopefully I will enjoy this one. I don't have a problem with different POVs as long as each character's voice is distinct where I don't have to figure out who the heck is talking, so I'm glad that you didn't have much problem with that. What I love best about your review is the fact that you state exactly what you liked and then the things that you didn't like or felt that needed some fixing. It's great! Thank you for your thoughts on this book :)

  7. I ended up liking this book more than I expected to! I also didn't get why the story was mostly evolved around Lillian's revenge, especially when she didn't really have a reason to get revenge...
    I actually thought the drama was reminiscent to Gossip Girl. Not the schemes they came up with themselves, but just the amount of drama and the way it affected me, if that makes any sense... I do think they could've came up with some better ideas for revenge though. :D
    Great review Anna! :))

  8. I have really been watching for this one. I have not read Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars series so maybe I should also pick those up because they all seem juicy and packed full of spiteful chick-rage, which I happen to LOVE to read!

    Great review and thanks for giving some other recommendations!

  9. I have been back and forth about this one. It sounds good, but I don't know that I would love it. I like reading books like this, but if the girls are too mean or bitchy it can really turn me off. I will probably read this one eventually. After reading your review and Giselle's review I am interested in it again.

  10. Awesome review it sounds really great Anna! :) I liked Pretty Little Liars although I hate when some girls are way too much of a jerk. I've actually seen a few complaints for the fact that the acts of revenge weren't as severe as they thought they'd be. But I'm glad you liked the premise and the characters :)

  11. Word. I love reading about drama and lol watching twitter train wrecks when I'm not involved, but hate being involved in it.

    ALSO! Revenge! That is my favorite! It sucks that the revenge wasn't awful enough. I'm still looking forward to Burn For Burn though.

    Have you read Fury by Elizabeth Miles? You might really like that book. :-)

  12. Great review! I think I might pick this one up now. It sounds really good and I also love books with mean girls. I loved the Gossip Girl series and I've been looking for another book that is similiar. It's too bad that it wasn't as good as you were hoping but I do like that the chapters alternate between characters and the past and present.

  13. Crying? Crying? Aw, man, that means I'm going to be a horrible mess when I give this books a go. Snap. But on the upside...revenge? Revenge? Hehe, yeeeees. And you're right--how could one not love a huge stack of drama? So much fun to read.



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