Monday, 1 April 2013


Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


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.

Have you ever written a book on your to-read list and then, by the time it actually got released, picked it up and thought "why on earth did I want to read this book?" That's kind of what happened here. I dimly remembered what it was about, which was a win because I often forget what a book is about when I look at the list the next time, but after I bought it and took another look at the back cover, I was a bit concerned. It didn't really appeal to me at all, if I'm honest. So, basically, I did not really expect to like this book.

And I loved it.

Well, almost. There are a couple of little things that kept me just shy of loving it, but I did really, really like it. It's told in first person, but the chapters shift between Kat, Lillia and Mary, all of whom have completely different voices. It's quite subtle, too, I think, and would be a good book for anyone who wants to get a better idea of how to write different teenagers well. It's also really quite realistic, which came as a relief. The things that have happened to the girls are realistic, and, for the most part, so are the things that they do to get revenge. I just sort of fell into it and didn't want to crawl back out again once it was finished.

But, as always, there are a couple of negatives, the first being the ending. It just sort of stops. In a really stupid place. I need to know what happens next, but honestly, my first thought was along the lines of "I hope there isn't a sequel." Even though I really liked the book, I'm not sure there's scope for a sequel (let alone the trilogy I've since discovered this book is going to be a part of) and I'm afraid one would spoil this book for me.

The other issue, and it's a fairly major one, is the supernatural element. Have another look at the book description at the top of this review. Does it sound like this book should have a supernatural element? No, it doesn't. It did not belong in this book and it didn't make any sense to me. It really confused me. Mostly because it was a really half-assed attempt at anything, and it should have just been left alone. It reminded me of the first Mara Dyer book, where again I wasn't expecting anything supernatural. Except here, it confused me, whereas in Mara Dyer, it just flat-out pissed me off.

So, you have been warned. Part of me wishes I knew these things before I started reading, that way I would have known what to expect and they perhaps wouldn't have bothered me so much. I can't say that for sure, but I like to think it's true. This book was really, really good, it just suffered from a few odd little things that didn't need to be there. And I guess the same can be said of so many good books from over the years. I would still recommend this book to many of my friends, all of whom should be prepared to have me nag them about it until they give in and finally read it.

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