Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

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Synopsis

Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.

KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.

LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.

MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.

None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.

With an alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.

Title: Burn for Burn
Authors: J. Han and S. Vivian
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 377
Publishing Date: Sept. 18th, 2012

Han’s Website  |  Vivian’s Website  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon

I bought all of the books in this trilogy a while ago and I put them near the top of my summer TBR. After reading a few fantasies and a couple contemporaries, I found myself in the mood for a bit of a thriller, so I figured it’d be the perfect time to read Burn for Burn. I absolutely love Jenny Han’s other books and while I’ve never read any of Siobhan Vivian’s other novels, I was excited to see what her writing style was like. Burn for Burn is centered around three teenage girls that live on Jar Island — Lillia, a popular girl whose life seems to be the epitome of a dream life; Kat, a girl who strays away from the popular crowd, is much more grungey than other girls, and could be viewed as the “outsider”; and Mary, a shy, introverted girl who hasn’t been to Jar Island in years, but is returning to settle some matters from her past once and for all. While this book wasn’t 100% completely super amazing, it did capture my attention as time went on and, soon enough, I found myself locked deep into this story.

The rest of this review is spoiler-free.


I had quite a few mixed feelings about this book. The plot was fairly good, but there were numerous times where something so stereotypically high-school-drama-esque would happen that would make certain points seem rather mediocre. However, when the overall theme of revenge made it’s way into the story, I found myself really starting to enjoy the plot. The plot also touched on some fairly serious issues (bullying, grief, suicide, date rape, etc.) and I found myself really wishing those issues were touched upon more than they were. I feel like some issues got some attention, but then these issues were just kind of brushed off to deal with later. I’m really hoping those aspects of this novel are explored over the next two books in this trilogy!

My favorite part of this novel was the ending. While I first believed that this book was purely contemporary with a bit of angst and thrill, the addition of a few paranormal elements took me by surprise and really hooked me into this series.

I grew to really like each main character as I continued to read from their individual perspectives and I found it extremely easy to determine whose point of view I was reading from. My favorite is probably Kat because she’s such a badass-‘Bad Reputation’-by-Joan-Jett-kind of character. I really liked Lillia’s character development and the mystery that surrounds Mary’s character continues to intrigue me.

I read this novel fairly quickly because the writing was super easy to read and, although each chapter switched perspectives among the three girls, the chapters flowed really well with each other. I honestly really couldn’t tell which author wrote which chapters, which took me by complete surprise. I figured I’d at least be able to decipher when I was reading Jenny Han’s writings, but I honestly couldn’t. I actually really liked that, though, because it kept the flow of the book steady and uninterrupted.

“You can chalk up things to coincide so many times before you have to face the truth.”

Overall, I enjoyed this novel a lot. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but the writing was witty and the plot really hooked me in, especially the ending. The characters were really individually different, the writing style was easy to read, and this book has one of those addictive-types of plots where you have to keep reading the series just to know what happens next.

“This is Karma. I’m a bitch. Can you think of anyone who deserves a bitch slap?”

4 Stars


So, have you read Burn for Burn? What were your thoughts on it? Comment below!

LoveCourtney

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