Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Title: Burn for Burn
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Publish Date: September 18, 2012
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher

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.
Mary, Lillia and Kat couldn't be more different, yet they all have one thing in common. They want revenge. What's more - they want vindication. From taunts about weight, to stereotyped perceptions, to flat-out violence, all three girls have vowed to make a change. Things won't ever be the same. They won't be walked over, they won't be bullied and they certainly won't be forgotten. They're going to get revenge at all costs.

If you guys need to know one thing about me, it's simply that I'm a sucker for the concept of revenge (and the TV show by the same name...I digress). The whole, "an eye for an eye" thing is a pretty cool and time-tested concept for a novel, and I was excited to say where authors Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian took the readers with it. Fluid and engaging, Burn for Burn wove three characters into a fast-paced story with ease, giving us an insider's look into their turmoil, resentment and revenge. With a quick and easy-to-read tone, it's a book that you'll read fast and simply be left reeling wondering...is there more?

Burn for Burn was a bit of an interesting read for me. On the one hand, it really succeeded in creating three unique character voices, with which I could understand and identify. Not too many YA novels succeed in providing a revolving character POV, but Burn for Burn does it with ease. On the other hand, the book had a purported paranormal element that developed in the middle of the story. In my humble opinion, I felt that it added a bit of fluff to a story that was really otherwise succeeding. It felt haphazard and, though I'm interested to see if it is added upon in a later installment, I was kind of put off by it. I have to say that, overall, I appreciated the darker turn of Burn for Burn though. For the most part, the bond between these girls was complex, and it was a breath of fresh air. They weren't friends, but they weren't enemies, and I liked that sort of grey area through which we watched their story unravel.

All in all, I liked Burn for Burn despite a few things that I found a bit tedious and annoying. It was a good, well-written and easy to read book that I'm sure many readers will enjoy. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I definitely recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy darker contemporary fiction with a touch of paranormal.

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


  1. I honestly thought that Burn for Burn was purely contemporary. I'm really curious about the paranormal aspects of it now.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

  2. While this wasn't a top read for me, it definitely was intriguing. The revolving POVs definitely did work for this one, considering how different all the girls are (though I wasn't a huge fan of any of them...)..

  3. I thought it was straight contemporary, too, so the magical element threw me off. Plus, it felt like it was just thrown in....it was odd.

  4. Yeah, I didn't really like them either...but the POVs were definitely done well, and could easily have been messed up, for sure.

  5. I got this at BEA and still haven't read it. Revolving POV's seems to be a trend lately. I've read numerous books with it. It's like authors have gotten training, because I find it being done increasingly well.

    I'll miss you at BEA :-(

  6. I really enjoyed this book on the whole. I love multiple POVs and thought the author did a good job with the voices. I loved the quick-pace and read it quickly. But the paranormal aspect threw me, too. It comes out of nowhere and didn't really fit in with the rest of the story. I'm definitely excited to see where the second book goes and hope that this element gets explained. Great review! --Natalie from Natflix&Books

  7. I enjoyed this one a lot! The paranormal bit threw me off as well, but I ended up enjoying it overall. I'm interested in seeing what happens next to these three in Fire with Fire!

  8. I still need to read this book as well. I keep straying away from it cause I think it just going to be full of drama.

  9. I agree that the paranormal aspect felt a little out of the blue and tacked on. However, I'm excited to see how it's developed in the sequel! I think that it can be a really great plot element if done correctly. :)

  10. I honestly never knew what this book was about. I saw the cover, and have to admit, I judged it and thought it was going to be petty girls being petty...oh man. Shame on me!


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