Monday, September 10, 2012

Early Book Review: Burn For Burn

Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers


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 rumors, 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

After reading the synopsis on the back I was reminded immediately of Pretty Little Liars and John Tucker Must Die, in a way. The girls on the cover looked snobby and rich and I was expecting it to be a book full of whining about meaningless drama. I was in for a huge shock when reading this book! It was nothing like I first predicted it to be. I was not crazy about the cover, to be honest, simply because I did not like the misty feel and the way that the words and letters are outlined in white. It was somewhat distracting and sometimes took away from the initial photograph on the cover.  


The underlying theme in this book is Revenge. And Revenge is often times the sweetest victory. Each of these 3 girls have someone in mind who has once burned them and in their minds Karma is not working fast enough, so they decide to take matters into their own hands. The book had a slow start and I was almost one-third of the way into the reading before the three girls ever came up with a plan for the ultimate revenge. The book is told from each girl’s perspective, and notes who is speaking by the title of the chapters being their names: Lillia, Mary, and Kat.


The girls are the strongest aspect of this book and I loved each of their characters. I cannot say that I loved one more than I loved another, but each had a few characteristics that made her memorable. Kat was from the wrong side of the tracks and led a somewhat more risqué lifestyle while Lillia was from a very prestigious family and was considered very popular within their high school. Mary is just moving back to Jar Island at the beginning of the book because she left the school district at a young age due to ridicule from her classmates due to her weight. Each girl has their own specific motive and I highly admire these authors for being able to write each girl so strongly and not taking away from another. I was anxious to read each of their thoughts and not one more so than another. I loved that, even though they didn’t always see eye to eye, they united on the simple fact that there were people out there who needed done to them what they had done to everyone else.


One of the secondary characters really made my toes curl. Rennie, Lillia’s best friend, was just downright cruel and things that she did and said made me want to punch the book in hopes of releasing some of my anger towards her. She was probably the most deceptive and manipulative character that I have read about this year. I appreciated that for the simple fact that there really are girls out there as cold and devious as Rennie. Girls that are in high school and reading this book can really take away from the reality of it. This stuff really does happen. Girls are mean and people often get mocked, made fun, and it drives them to very dark places.


This book was written well and I only have a few complaints. My first, I have already stated. That being that it took forever for the story to really get going and I understand that part of this was due to the fact that the authors had to set up each character and even some of the secondary characters as well. I am just one of those readers that like to be hooked from the beginning. I need a contract from the author early on as to why I should keep reading their book. My second complaint is that the ending was abrupt and did not fit with the story. It was just like ok here is where the train stops now get off! I was very displeased because as much drama as the entire book consisted of, the end fell off short.


This book is full of  confrontational issues that many young girls deal with daily, from weight problems, rape, drugs, alcohol, mean girls, and even suicide attempts. Sometimes the book was so raw that I was wondering to myself if there would ever be a happy moment for any of the characters, and other times I was excited to see what our trio would come up with next! I did enjoy this book, it just brought every emotion possible out in me and made me really appreciate the characters’ struggles and how they were forced to deal with them.


***A copy of this book was provided to me by Southern Book Bloggers as part of a tour in exchange for my honest review***



  1. I love Jenny Han so I'm really looking forward to reading this one! I'm glad to hear that you liked it despite the slow beginning! Great review :)
    - Natalie

  2. I think I might read this, it definitely seems like worth the read especially because of the idea of revenge behind it.
    Great review, I'll look out for some of the points you made about the characters :)

  3. thanks for the review. even the girls on the cover scare me a little with how much they are gonna talk about you behind your back or worse! lol seems very interesting :)
    -Amanda over at