Tuesday, 22 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: BURN FOR BURN BY JENNY HAN AND SIOBHAN VIVIAN



Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. 

But bad things can happen, even to good girls . . . and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong. 

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. 

Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.

Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?



Spoilers ahead!




I actually pondered for a while about what to rate this one, it was a near 3 and a half but I decided to be generous and give it a 4. Why? Here are my reasons.


First of all, this was a great book. I've never read a high school revenge book so that was certainly something new. Did I enjoy it? Yes. I thought I wasn't actually going to like it as much as I did but I liked the writing, the characters had interesting stories and I got quite engrossed into it.



I'm going to start off with the characters. We have Mary, Lillia and Kat. I'm not going to lie, it took me a while to figure out who was who, their reasons for their revenge and backstories got mixed up sometimes in my head - I think I was tired when I started reading this one. I got the hang of it though and then I was immersed in their lives. 

Mary was a quiet, sweet and pretty blonde who wants revenge on a guy who used to be her "friend" and oersonally, I think he's a complete tool. Reeve. Ugh. I'll get back to him later on..he's also hated by a lot of other people. 
Now we have Lillia. She's friends with the school's "popular" crowd, including Rennie (who I absolutely despise). You can tell that the friendship wasn't there, it was all fake and I think people get so comfortable with their group and with eachother that they just tend to stick together without actually moving onto people who really make them happy. I guess Rennie is fine with bossing people around and treating them like shit anyway. I couldn't let someone treat me the way she treats Lillia..
Then we have Kat. I liked her the best, she was confident and she was more sassy and outspoken than the other two. Hell, when she and Rennie got into a tiff, she spat in her face. That's a way to get back at the school bitch!


Bitches don't cry, they get even..



Anyway, the three of them decide to secretly get revenge on Rennie, Reeve and Alex. I think they certainly deserved their just desserts but some of it was quite extreme. The girls ended up drugging Reeve with ecstasy and at the end of the book...well, he almost died. I guess I'll have to read book two to see if he lives. Alex got most of the revenge with his car getting damaged, his skin getting burnt...and some of it was over a misunderstanding. Poor guy. But he's not really helping himself, is he. He's still a twat.



While I was reading this, I was about mid-way and there wasn't actually much going on. The girls hadn't really plotted anything at that point and I was wondering whether I got the idea of the book wrong. It was just a bit slow. I wish the story started a bit sooner, I think they could of fit more things into it then. (Maybe that makes me bloodthirsty for revenge)



Jar Island sounds lovely, I had to google it to see if it were a real place and Google Maps said it's near Australia so that's interesting. I liked the location and that it's small and an everyone-knows-everyone type of place, that makes the story so much more interesting.



The "twist" at the end, if you can call it that, about Mary. She has some kind of special power? I wasn't expecting anything paranormal in this story but if it does - bring it on. That'll certainly spice things up in the next one. It makes you wonder, if you re-read it, if it's been obvious all along and we didn't even think about it. Especially if you didn't know it had anything like this in the book. (I guess when I saw this book listed as Fantasy-Paranormal in one of the tags, it now makes sense. Now I'm intrigued)



The story was a lot darker than I thought, especially when we got some backstory (like Mary's attempted suicide), and the two-faced and double-crossing characters were easy to hate and you can't help but side with the three girls. 

Even though it was a slow start, it was still written well and an entertaining read. Especially near the end. 


If you like high school drama, revenge and a touch of paranormal, this one's for you. I haven't seen Pretty Little Liars but I've heard it's similar to that. 






What did you think about Burn For Burn? Has Mary got any paranormal powers? Will Reeve live through to book two? Let us know in the comments what you think or on social media.









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