Burn for Burn Book Review

Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


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GoodReads Summary:


Lillia has never had any problems dealing with boys who like her. Not until this summer, purchase when one went too far. No way will she let the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is tired of the rumours, about it 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 Review:

I felt like this book left a lot to be desired. This was the first book that I had read from either author. I have heard good things about both of them, and just haven’t really had the chance to read either one of them, so when I saw this book, I decided to pick it up.

I felt like there was a story there. Obviously there’s a lot more going on under the surface than we just think. At first, Jessica Brody’s The Karma Club came to mind, and I had preconceived notion that it was a contemporary novel about three girls ready to get even with those who have harmed them in the past, but as the story went along, I started to see that there was more to it, especially with Mary, something a bit supernatural. Unfortunately I just didn’t get to see much of that in the actual story and it left a lot to be desired. Obviously Mary is struggling with something but we don’t really get to see what’s she struggling with. I think they wanted to leave it as a sort of mystery, but its so mysterious that’s its almost bewildering. I am kind of wondering how that plays in the story and whether it’ll be important because it really doesn’t seem to be important in the first book in the slightest.

The characters also felt very one-dimensional to me. i didn’t really get the feeling that they were real people. They just felt too…typical to me. You had the popular, smart, pretty Lillia. The punk, poor, outcast Kat. The once-fat, shy, lacking of confidence Mary. But there wasn’t a whole lot of depth to those characters. You can definitely have those archetypes and still create characters that are memorable and still create characters that a reader can fall in love with. In fact, I think with writing YA, all or most of your characters fit some sort of archetype because in high school, its like you’re always trying to fit into something like that. You haven’t quite figured out that you are so much more than a simple label. But I feel like neither Han or Vivian really gave these characters depth. You can *kind of* understand why they want the revenge but not fully. All the reasons seem sort of superficial. Mary gets a little more depth than the other two, but we really don’t get a real story out of it, and I felt myself wanting to know more about these characters that I didn’t get.

I didn’t think that either Han or Vivian were bad writers. In fact, I was impressed that a book that was written by two authors had a nice flow to it. Sometimes you can tell the difference between the two writers while writing a similar story but it didn’t seem that way. I don’t know if that is because I haven’t read either author before so I don’t have previous experience with their “voices” but that part seemed to be done with ease (though I know it probably wasn’t). I feel like it could be one of those sort of easy reads, an enjoyable light read but it was TOO light. There just wasn’t enough story, enough background for me to really be invested in this book. In a week or so, I probably will have forgotten a lot of the book, and maybe some of the characters’ names. Overall, I just wasn’t overly impressed.


3 out of 5 stars