Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1)FeaturedHot
KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.
LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.
MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.
None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible.
With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently...” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
One sign of a good book, is how it affects the reader, either in a positive or a negative way. If a book fails to conjure up any kind of emotion then it hasn't done it's "job" in my opinion. I knew Burn For Burn wouldn't be an easy read but didn't expect it to leave me feeling nauseous and uncomfortable. I can't honestly say that I "liked" it. However, that doesn't mean it wasn't a good book. Confused much? Bare with me...
It's really well written and the subject matter is certainly at the forefront of teen society. I liked being able to "see" the story unfold from multiple POV's but the "get even" behaviors really bothered me, possibly more so than the "mean people" ones. I do think this is an excellent example of what NOT to do because there are always consequences to our actions, some of which can have devastating results.
Lillia, Mary, and Kat are three very different high school students who all desire revenge. Their pasts haunt them and they can only get their vengeance with each other's help...after all, who would suspect a teen queen, a rebel, and a shy new girl would be working together to take down Jar Island High's most popular students?
With shades of The Craft, Carrie, and even The Breakfast Club, this novel features so many qualities that keep me turning the pages. The girls' revenge feels justified because the bad characters in Burn for Burn are genuinely evil. It's always good when the reader wants to someone to be taken down, even better when there are multiple characters who need to be taught a lesson. I look forward to a day when I don't feel the need to point this out, but an Asian protagonist (who is featured on the cover) is always welcome.
This is the book that everyone will be clamoring to read, and then tapping their feet impatiently for the rest of the trilogy.
I love all the characters, if I had to choose a favorite it would have to be bad girl Kat. She's carefree and has an attitude ( But not in the way that you'd want to punch her.) But at the same time caring to the ones she cares about.
I can not stress how much one needs to read this.
At first glance, the three girls couldn’t be more different: Lillia is the pretty, popular cheerleader who seems to want for nothing; Kat is a strong, brash outcast with a rough home life; Mary is sweet, shy new girl with her fair share of secrets. As their desire for revenge brings them together, they slowly grow to care for one another and truly become a force to be reckoned with. The girls each have distinct voices and compelling stories, so you can’t help rooting for them even if you don’t support the idea of getting even. The supporting characters are just as fleshed out, blurring the line between “friend” and “foe” as the story progresses.
The revenge itself certainly can’t be described as “sweet.” It starts out as a series of pranks that are mostly innocent but quickly escalates as the reasons why each girl desires retribution come to light. The final revenge scheme is taken too far, causing everything to quickly spiral out of control.
Burn For Burn is primarily a contemporary novel, though small hints of paranormal activity crop up every once in a while. Towards the end, this paranormal aspect becomes more important (and more intriguing), culminating in a game-changing, cliffhanger ending. Although this twist was fairly unexpected, I loved it and can’t wait to see what it will mean for the girls and their schemes.
Overall, Burn For Burn is a dark, suspenseful tale of revenge and unexpected friendships. It’s an excellent start to a series, and I can’t wait to read the sequel!
Ok. Much better. Now the ending just makes me desperately want to read Fire With Fire. It's one of the major nerd girl problems: finishing a book in a day and having to wait a year for the sequel. I was very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I can't say I had read a book like this lately.
Three girls- Mary, Lillia, and Kat -are determined that they are going to get even. Each girl comes from a pretty different background, but their desire for payback brings them together on a mission. Personally, I loved Kat. Like REALLY liked Kat. Her feisty attitude kept me reading.
I was a little worried at the beginning of the book because these books can veer off into predictable pretty quickly, but I found that Ms. Han and Ms. Vivian did a great job with keeping the book fresh and different. The book keeps you on your toes as you read. You can't help but anticipate the next act of revenge. Another strength I found was the well-written minor characters. They really pulled together the book.
I found it pretty interesting how the mild paranormal influence that peeks out here and there throughout the book just pretty much explodes on you in the end. I will say this: the authors made sure I had to read the next book.
My only mild concern was that the main characters could have used a little bit more development. I wanted to understand them better. Every so often, a character would do something, and I would wonder why in the world they would do that. It just seemed so off the wall. Either way, that may just be me.
In the end, the book was well-written and lured me into the pages. I will definitely pick up the next book in the series when it is released.
Who Should Read It: It's a great contemporary read. If you were that kid in school that was always wanting someone to get their comeuppance, you might really enjoy this book. I have a feeling that paranormal might be an even bigger influence in the next book. That pulls in you paranormal peeps.
My first problem lies with the revenge itself. The first one exacting revenge didn't even really have a reason. She wanted to “protect her sister,” but I'm not entirely sure from what considering she was relying solely on second-hand information. Plus, the terrible thing that happened to her doesn't really have anything to do with what's going on with her sister.
The other girls' reasons had to do with bullying which is a little more understandable, but I still didn't really have much sympathy for them. Bullying is a terrible thing and difficult to go through, but I just couldn't get on board with the revenge. Normally I love a good revenge story, but you have to really mak me feel the rage and sympathy for it to work and Burn for Burn just didn't.
All that being said, I'll likely read the sequel. Both to see if it's better and simply because it was a really quick read. I'm hoping to see a little more substance and growth in round two (is it still going to be the same characters?) And I really need to know what is up with the paranormal stuff.
Speaking of which, I've seen a lot of people saying that the paranormal stuff was jarring and just tacked on at the end, but it really wasn't. It was there from the start and they weren't trying to hide it from the reader either. I'm a little confused as to how it kind of snuck up on so many people.
The Nutshell: If you're looking for something deep or emotional then Burn for Burn most likely isn't it. However, if you're just looking for a quick read and don't want to get too invested (like a palette cleanser or something) then it's worth picking up.
Yes, there was plenty of revenge seeking and back stabbing. There was also a fair amount of cheeky comments and sass. But the unexpected surprise hiding on these pages is the paranormal/supernatural element with one of the characters. Now, if you're one to avoid books that might lean toward the supernatural, do not fret. It is such a small detail in this book that you might even miss it.
One of the things I found the most interesting about this book was the characters. The three girls that tell their stories in alternating voice/chapters had very differing reasons for seeking revenge. I was worried it would be choppy with that many narrators, but I think the authors pulled it off well. They were able to make each girl's voice unique in the book. I also liked how the three girls (Lillia, Kat, and Mary) were so very different from one another. That really brought an interesting element to this group of revenge seekers.
For the most part this was a contemporary read. It takes place in a high school with typical and expected high school drama. There are some underlying subplots that are important, but don't take center stage in Burn for Burn. I expect they will get more face time in the next book, Fire with Fire.
So, overall, if you want a quick read that appeases your inner scorned teenage self, you'll probably enjoy this one.
Lilia is overprotected as far as her sister is concerned and she won't let anybody hurt her.
Lilia is treated like a princess. She has money, popularity and friends. Anybody could think she has it all. But that's far from the truth. She wants a guy who is kind and cares about her. Thing is, she has him. But they are just friends and he will be the target of her revenge as well, because as cute as she seems, she can also be tough and sly.
Kat used to have friends and a best friend. Now she has herself and maybe a friend who happens to be a) a boy and b)one of her ex-best friend's closest friends. Tricky, right? But her revenge centers around a girl and in particular her ex best friend. She stayed in the shadows for too long, but now it's her time to shine. Because everybody deserves to have their moment.
And in the end we have Mary. A girl who had such a traumatic experience that she decided to leave her school and her old life behind and move forward. But in order to do so, she must face her demons or maybe one demon in particular. And he's a quite easy demon to find. The only thing she has to do is enroll in high school and just her luck; he's one of the first people to see. And the one who will pay for what he's done. Moreover Mary, apart from being a heart-broken and traumatized girl, she may have a secret talent she isn't even aware of. That's what the course of events leads us to believe throughout the book.
From the above, we can reach to the conclusion that these girls don't have anything that connects them. The truth is they have. They all live in the same island, go to the same school and pretty much know the same people.So when circumstances bring these three girls together, it's payback time. But not everything goes according to plan and people end up getting hurt.
Burn for burn, the first book in the Burn for Burn series is not a story of forgiveness. Who cares about forgiveness when revenge is so much more fun?
Often times when multiple authors have their hand in the book, the work reads somewhat disjointed and doesn’t flow as well as it should. I can imagine that happens because with different writing styles and creative minds comes individual ways of delivering a story. One of the great things about this book was that it felt very fluid. I often caught myself wondering which author was responsible for which parts or characters and how they managed to make the book such a cohesive unit.
Even though this book comes in with a a total of 368 pages (though, my ARC only had 354 pages), I read through it very quickly. It was definitely a page-turner, trying to figure out why the girls were seeking revenge and how each act would unfold. Some of the revenge attempts had me rolling my eyes because they were a little on the amateur side, but then I remembered that these were high school girls and so that made the story-line and character feel more authentic.
While the three alternating POVs provided the vessel to generate a lot of movement in the book and kept the plot moving at an appreciated pace, I wonder if it didn’t hinder my ability to connect with the main characters. Yes, we get a daily view inside the minds of each girl and the life that surrounds them, but I don’t feel like we were able to dig deep enough to get to know them. It’s almost like we only skated the surface of who they are. Then again, now knowing that this is only the first book of a trilogy, perhaps we’ll be able to dig deeper in the future.
There is also a paranormal element that’s introduced towards the end of the book. The authors hinted about it throughout and I kind of felt like an idiot about not recognizing it sooner, but I was able to brush it off like the character it focuses around does herself. I can’t really decide how I feel about it. I’ve thought about it overnight, and I’m still really indifferent. In a way, I feel like it gives the book a unique element, but at the same time, it almost feels like it was thrown in just for that unique element.
I’ve let it be known that I’m not really a fan of cliffhangers. I think they’re pointless because if I like your book then I’m going to be reading the next book anyways. If you leave a cliffhanger ending, the only purpose it serves is to infuriate me, but that’s just my opinion. This book had a very abrupt ending, and I even flipped back a few pages to make sure I hadn’t skipped a few by accident.
Lastly, and this is probably more a personal issue with the book, I was disappointed in the attention that was given to Lillia’s story. In the book description, it talks about her having to deal with a guy “that went to far.” But the fact is that not only does she not seek revenge on the guy that hurt her, but the whole deal of her sexual abuse is pretty much glossed over, never really dealt with at all. I’m not trying to say that her whole story needs to be about dealing with it, but I wanted something to come from it. I’m holding out hope that in the future books, it’ll be dealt with more, but as it stands right now, I’m not liking the lack of resolution to this matter.
The Verdict: I can’t really put my finger on the exact reason why, but I really ended up enjoying this book. It was a quick read and I look forward to learning about these characters in the next two books, Fire With Fire(Book 2) and Ashes to Ashes (Book 3).
I don't know Siobhan Vivian's works as well (I've only read one of her books) so I don't have much to compare this too. The List wasn't exactly my cup of tea, but I couldn't pass it up when she collaborated with Jenny Han.
I loved the concept of this book. Revenge is a really entertaining topic to build a book around, so I wasn't expecting this book to be that deep. There were parts of it that tried to get pretty emotional, but it seemed out of place with the petty revenge.
I liked how each girl had their own story, but they all worked together. In Siobhan Vivian's The List, all of the girls' stories seemed disjointed, but they flowed together nicely in this book. The two or three paranormal aspects of the book seemed very strange though.
Mary's story was my favorite. Hers was the most real and I really felt sorry for her. Mary in general felt the most real. While the other girls were arguing over petty girl things, Mary had the most serious reason for revenge, which really might be a foreshadowing of how her revenge turns out.
Kat is getting revenge on her ex-best friend who just decided to drop her one day. I love sarcastic people, but Kat didn't really have a personality. She was just plain mean and I didn't find myself rooting for her like I was Mary and Lillia. Almost immediately after we meet her, she spits on someone. She just wasn't likable.
Lillia was okay. Her story was protecting her little sister, which I thought was a sweet story. But, she was getting revenge on one of her best friends and it seemed weird that she would just jump to conclusions about someone she trusts. I did like her story because everyone they're getting revenge on are in her circle of friends.
In some books, it's easy to tell that two authors wrote it because it feels a little disjointed. Burn for Burn is not one of those books. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian's writing styles flow together seamlessly.
One of my biggest book pet peeves is an author's second book not living up to the first. (Does this even count as a pet peeve?) As much as I would like to, I just can't say that I felt this book lived up to the Summer Series.
While 'Burn for Burn' held my attention thanks to the engaging writing style of the authors, I wasn’t exactly in love with the story. I don’t think revenge is ever a good way to handle being hurt by others, since it usually brings you down to their level or even lower. I was glad to see that the characters seeking revenge sometimes felt guilty or the acts of revenge didn’t go entirely as they had planned. It helped make the story realistic, and it showed that revenge might not actually be the best way to handle horrible things that happen to you.
Out of the three main girls, I think Kat is probably my favorite. She’s very rough around the edges, but she has a soft side too, even though she doesn't really acknowledge it. I didn’t really understand what was going on with Mary…I’m not going to say much about what happens so I can avoid spoilers, but there are certain events surrounding Mary that are strange and paranormal-ish. I really wish the authors had gone into more detail or explanation about the things that occur around Mary; it was just a little frustrating to not be given many hints. But since there are probably going to be more books in the series judging by the ending, I’m guessing we’ll hear more about that later.
The story has good pacing and the alternating POVs are handled expertly, but I didn't really connect with 'Burn for Burn'. I just couldn’t get into the idea of taking revenge to levels where real damage is done. However, some people may really enjoy this well-written tale of revenge, scheming and consequences.
Thank you to NetGalley.com and Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers for letting me read the ARC for this book.