Monday, October 21, 2013
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian | Book Review
AUTHOR: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
PUBLISHER/YEAR: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers / 2012
SOURCE: My Local Library
Goodreads / Jenny Han's Website / Siobhan Vivian's Website
I have to be honest with you guys, going into Burn for Burn I didn't have high expectations. I had previously read Han's The Summer I Turned Pretty and it did nothing for me. However, I only had a few minutes at the library and I grabbed the first book I recognized. You know what though, I'm really glad I did. I was pleasantly surprised by Burn for Burn and it was totally different than what I expected in the best way possible.
Burn for Burn centres on three high school girls who have all been wronged and and are looking for revenge. Lillia is one of the most popular girls at school, but over the summer something happened at a house party that's changed her and makes her super wary of guys in general. Kat doesn't have many friends. Her best friend dumped her years ago and she's tired of the rumours that fly about the school because of it. Mary has just moved back to the island to try to face her childhood bully. They all come from different social circles, but they band together over getting even.
You guys, I really enjoyed this book. Like normally I don't really enjoy stories about revenge since I'm not so much a fan of taking things into your own hands. It just seems like the character is stooping down to the bullies level, but I'm making an exception here. These girls all had some serious issues they were dealing with. Let's start with Lillia, it's implied from basically the get go that she was sexually assaulted at a party. This experience has changed her dramatically and makes her distrust men in general. So when she finds out her little sister spent the night with her best, male friend; well she'll do anything to protect her sister. Kat on the other has been bullied for years. She's tough and can hold her own, but there's only so much she can do without resorting to her master plan to take down the queen bee, Rennie. Mary was viciously bullied as a child and now she's back and doesn't want to take it anymore. Reeve was her tormentor and now he's the school's football star and sort of boyfriend of Rennie. Like these are beyond the pale style bullies and they kind of have what's coming to them.
Watching their plans play out was kind of great as they become better and better at what they do. Like the bullies are just so horrible that I wanted to see what happened to them. The girls stories are all kind of heartbreaking and I was hoping they would be able to learn and grow, that didn't exactly happen, but well it is a revenge story after all and there it is a part of a series.
The suspense was really well done. The book flips between the three girls' POVs and while this is occasionally detrimental to a story, it worked well for this particular one. I really felt like I got to know each girl and understand their motivations better because of it. It was also nice to see how they each reacted. Whether they were hoping to form lasting friendships through the experience or whether they were too scared to think about anything other than getting it over with. Each girl had a distinct voice, which isn't always the case when stories shift point of views, the voices can get muddled, luckily that wasn't the case this time.
Burn for Burn was just a super fun read. It was really easy to get through and had the perfect balance of emotion and action. The point that the book leaves off at is a logical conclusion, but it definitely leaves me wanting to read more. It's perfect because I don't feel like I'm missing something by not continuing with the series right away, but I know I'll definitely return to it when I get a chance. Really if you love YA and can stomach revenge, pick up Burn for Burn, you won't be disappointed.