August 27, 2012

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Release Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Pages: 368
Series: Burn for Burn (trilogy title??)
Review Source: Netgalley

Synopsis: (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.

My Thoughts:
I love Jenny Han’s books and I love Siobhan Vivian’s books, so as soon as I heard these BFFs were writing a book together I was, to put it mildly, So. Freaking. Excited.! Well thankfully my excitement wasn’t for nought, because this book was pretty darn excellent.

First off, the setting (a Martha’s Vineyard-esque island) captured my attention. Something about island settings make a book all the more intriguing for me. Second, there’s such a guilty pleasure in revenge stories. I don’t even technically believe in taking revenge, but reading/watching about it? It’s kind of therapeutic to experience other people exacting their own form of justice. Revenge is also a tricky, layered topic because there’s always the question of how much is too much, and whether the people taking revenge might regret it. Third of all, this is a story about friendship. There are definitely some boys and feelings brewing in certain areas, but this is first and foremost about friendship: how complicated friendships can be, how you feel when your friendship is betrayed, and how to possibly repair a friendship. All those elements?: Incredibly awesome, especially since they're done so well here.

I loved getting to know Mary, Lillia, and Kat in this first installment and I can’t wait to see where their story goes. 'Burn for Burn' felt like a sneak peek into the girls' lives, especially when the chapters had mini-flashbacks. It will be interesting to read book two -- 'Fire with Fire' -- and see the ramifications of their actions (because of course taking revenge has consequences!). This was a very strong first book of a trilogy, and I especially appreciated how seamless the writing was. I was also intrigued by the teeniest bit of the paranormal that was incorporated into the story and am curious how that element might grow as the series progresses.

The Cover:
Gorgeous! Love the huge, yet subtle, title placement, and I ADORE how the models accurately represent the characters.

[Strong 4/5]

Find Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.


  1. Wow, you liked it a lot, eh? I got this one as well, but was worried that the revenge theme would be too heavy for me, so I passed. It's great to hear that friendship does play a role. Seamless writing is always good, too, and a paranormal element? That's intriguing.

    Totally with you on the cover!: the "huge-yet-subtle" title placement and the girls. It's awesome to see the models done right.

  2. I started this one last night and I'm just not sure about it yet. Mary is a bit weird and the other two are kind of bitchy...I'm sticking with it, though, since you liked it so much!

  3. This looks so good! I've been wanting to try something by Vivian, so I'll definitely pick this up. The whole revenge plot seems really interesting.

    1. 'Not That Kind of Girl' is a really good book, especially if you're into gender issues. I haven't read 'The List' yet but I do have an ebook of it waiting for me. =)

  4. I read this one awhile back and it's faded from my memory quite a bit already. But I did enjoy the book. I'm not sure that I knew there was going to be another book though, and that's good news!

  5. I'm glad the book turned out so well, since it does sound rather excellent!!
    Thanks for the review.

  6. Both of these authors have caught our eye for a while, but we haven't made a point to sit down and read anything by them. (So many books, so little time!) Perhaps we'll start here. We like the revenge theme (Revenge tv show, anyone??) and looove the friendship them. Plus, we have a soft spot for books where the setting comes to life. :)

    Thanks for the great review!

    1. If you're into contemp YA with strong settings and romance you absolutely MUST read Jenny's Summer trilogy. Siobhan Vivian's books are really great for looking into gender issues.

  7. I'm definitely looking forward to picking this one up! The authors, setting and synopsis all draw me in as well. Glad to know it didn't let you down :)


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