Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Burn for Burn ~ Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian review


Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1)
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
September 18, 2012
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon


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.

Burn for Burn from Jenny Han, bestselling author of the Summer series, and Siobhan Vivian, whose most recent solo book is The List, is told in chapters that alternate from each of the girls' - Lillia, Kat, and Mary - perspectives.

While Kat and Lillia are Jar Island locals and know each other, even if Kat has been cast out and is now the one everyone seems to love to ridicule, Mary's the new girl. Mary left years ago because of a boy, one that everyone on Jar Island knows, just not the ways she did. But now she's back and ready to prove to him, to herself and to everyone that things are going to be different.

Mary's not the only one ready for things to be different. After the summer, Lillia's seeing things - and people differently and Kat's tired of just taking it. All three are ready for some revenge.

While any book with proposed bullying, whether it lacks any 'justification' or is vindictive, designed for retribution, still gives me pause. Moral high ground or no, characters are still setting out to be mean to other characters - and more than likely, something will turn out to be have been misunderstood.

Burn for Burn was the first book in a series and introduced the characters, the plot and got everything started. It didn't wrap everything up (thankfully) so I'm going to read the rest of the series and then decide how I feel about the revenge vs bullying. There was some effect on the characters in this book and I'm curious to see how that develops in the next book.

While the characters alternated narration, I think that Lillia was the strongest of the three in terms of development and being the character that seemed most real and easiest to identify with - followed probably by Kat. Mary might have seemed less . . . there than the other characters because the other two had more story together and, in this book at least, she was still a bit of the outsider which left her and the chapters she narrated to develop her character, on her own.

This book was a fantastic start to the series and definitely leaves you wanting to read the next installment (and soon) - I hope I'll be able to hear the authors at Miami Book Fair International and maybe find something out about Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2).

Rating: 8/10

Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian will be at MBFI Saturday, November 17th at 1pm



  1. I adore Jenny Han and can't wait to read Burn for Burn. I'm usually iffy about bullying books too. It's sometimes hard to read about, especially if the characters are the bullies because then it's hard to relate to them sometimes. Some books and authors can hit the perfect combination while others make me want to throw the book out the window. Great review :)

    Pretty In Fiction

    1. I loved the Summer series and while I do have several Siobhan Vivian books high on my TBR list, I have to admit I haven't read her yet :\

      I do think they found a balance that worked here, but we didn't really get into any repercussions in this book (they may be to come in Book 2 or 3 . . . . or they may just not be coming). It was a fun book and I'm really looking forward to the sequel.

      Thank you!


Book Trailer Friday [@RandomHouse @TransworldBooks]

Beth Dorey-Stein's From the Corner of the Oval  - a tale of being the White House stenographer during the Obama administration will be ...