Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes - and three girls secretly plotting revenge.
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.
©2012 Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (P)2012 Simon & Schuster, Inc
I'm an audiobook addict and blog about books at The Reading Date. My favorite genres are YA, New Adult, Fiction & Memoirs.
Burn For Burn is a tale of three wronged girls and their plot for revenge, and is kind of a cross between Pretty Little Liars, Fury, and maybe Carrie? With two authors, and three POV’s, you may expect the story to get confusing, but Han and Vivian are a great writing team and I found the story easy to follow for the most part. There were some technical problems with the audiobook, but I did like that there are three narrators to line up with the three book leads.
The setting is the resort town of Jar Island. Lillia, Kat, and Mary are three girls bonded by their desire to take down their frenemies. Lillia is the pretty and rich one, who wants to protect her little sister from the guy who hurt her. Kat is tired of all the gossip and the Regina George of her school tormenting her. And Mary is back on Jar Island after a long absence. The guy she trusted bullied her, and now she’s back with a new sleek figure and a need for revenge.
This book is the first book of a trilogy, and sets up the backstory well and gives you a feel for the characters. Once the trio comes together to hatch their plan the story kicks into high gear. At first, everything goes off without a hitch, but soon the girls get in over their heads. I liked the girl power alliance of the trio, though I didn’t really find any of the characters particularly likeable so I felt a little distant from the story.
I’m a fan of all three audiobook narrators (Joy Osmanski, Madeleine Maby, Rebekkah Ross) who read this book, so it was a no-brainer to pick up the audio. However, technical problems made listening difficult and the quality wasn’t consistent between narrators. At least one of the narrators sounded like they were in a tunnel, and breathing sounds were audible. Personality-wise, the narrators got into their characters and made them their own. And with three POV’s, it was a good call to have three narrators. I have the audiobook for the sequel, and I’m happy to say the sound quality is clear so no worries there.
There are definitely loose ends at the end of Burn For Burn, so I’m eager to see how the story develops in Fire With Fire, and if there’s more of a paranormal element. This book is light and entertaining, with lots of high school drama, and friendship and romantic moral dilemmas. This is something to pick up when you’re in a bit of a vengeful mood.
I read and review Young Adult lit!
I picked up Burn For Burn right after reading This is WAR because they both had similar concepts – girls teaming up for vengeance.
In This is WAR the girls wanted revenge for the murder of their best friend.
In Burn for Burn, the girls wanted revenge for people saying mean things to them!
Okay, there is a little more to it but we are not talking life or death stakes here so I had a major case of the whocaresies for the majority of the book. With such low stakes and no major investment from the three leads the plot just stagnated with pointlessness.
If the book had embraced its light-weight fare and made it fun I suppose there could have been an audience for it (not me but people seem to like the Sara Shepard dominated genre of bad thing happening to popular girls). Throw in a friendship being forged between the three ‘heroines’ with some nice character development and then we could have really had something here.
Instead we got something really, really weird and borderline stupid
I normally do spoiler-free reviews so all I can say is that in the closing pages we get a major genre shift out of basically nowhere.
Imagine watching “Bring it On” and at the final cheerleading battle we find out the Clovers team was composed of half-robot.
Imagine reading “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants” and after the girls are all reunited with the pants, they decide they should time-travel next summer.
Would that be weird? A little jarring maybe? Would you have any idea you were signing up for anything other than stories about average teenage girls from the plot summaries and 99% of the story?
No, you wouldn’t. And neither did I when I picked up Burn for Burn. And if a supernatural twist sounds like just the ticket to breathe life into a generic and average story…you’d be mistaken. Like I said this is an 11th hour conversion with almost no bearing or impact on the (limited) story.
I guess (hope) this would be the focus of book 2 which is now available but to me that makes Burn for Burn seem like and excessive prologue I had to pay hard cash for.
I’m really not sure who to recommend this to because it isn’t satisfying as a coming of age, revenge or supernatural story. The characters had potential but like everything else in the book they seemed to get short changed by the lack of focus.
As it stands I probably won’t continue with the series but I could imagine being curious enough to want more given the lack of resolution to Burn for Burn.
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