Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: Burn For Burn

Burn For Burn
Authors: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Published: September 18, 2012
368 pages
4 Gold Stars

(summary from Goodreads)

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.

Stories about revenge are always sweet. Throw in an island, some popular kids and a little bit of drugs and you've got yourself a party. Each of these girls had a good reason to get back at those who scorned them. Kat used to be popular and was best friends with Lillia and Rennie until suddenly she wasn't. Now she's been outlawed at school and it's time to make Rennie pay for everything she's done. Lillia went to a party in the summer and can't stand to think about what happened there. Now she's worried her younger sister is slipping into the same mistake, but she won't let that happen. This boy needs to pay. Mary just moved back to the island, finally ready to face the reason she left. Ready to get her revenge.

The minute we step onto the island with Mary, I was stuck. I never wanted to leave. With every passing chapter, I grew more curious about why these girls were looking for revenge and how they were going to get it. Han and Vivian write flawlessly together. There is no part of the story that seems out of place. There is no way of knowing when the next author takes over. Each girl has her own distinct voice and the story telling just kept me wanting more. Told from each girl's viewpoint, we gradually discover what happened to make them want revenge. Each story will break your heart and make you want to seek revenge along with them. Kat is badass and doesn't take anything from anyone. She could car less about being popular. Lillia has popularity thrown at her and she uses it to her advantage, but she's not a bitch. In fact, the way she talks to Kat even though they aren't friends anymore is inspiring. Mary doesn't know anyone but as soon as Kat and Lillia take her secretly under their wing, she has hope for new friendships. She is one of the strongest characters in the book and rarely shows fear. Every supporting character has their own personality as well. Each of the popular kids has a flaw that is shown perfectly and plays to the girls' advantage. All the characters feel like real people.

The revenge scenarios are what you'd expect during the first half of the book. They are pity, but I had to remember that they are just teenagers and to them, and those they are doing these things too, mean a lot. High school life is so completely different than one small thing can ruin anyone. Especially those kids in the popular crowd. The last revenge scheme is well planned and could possibly ruin the lives of those they plan to ruin. Of course, revenge has its consequences for both teams.

What surprised me was the slight supernatural element that Han and Vivian gradually created throughout the novel. I won't mention anything about it, but I'm still trying to figure out how it fits in with the story. I hope the second book in the series, Fire With Fire, will explain it better. Though I do hope it doesn't become the main element in the book because this novel can hold its own in the contemporary world without having to add gimmicks. I certainly hope it's not a gimmick. 

Though I haven't read any of Han or Vivian's other books, I thought their writing was amazing and I fell in love with their styles and characters. I might have to pick up a few of their books so I can get more of a taste of who they are as separate authors. 

Mary  nods first, then Lillia. I smile, because, hot damn, we're really doing this.

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