Friday, 11 October 2013

Double Feature Review: Burn For Burn and Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 28th February 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Thriller
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary: 

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 was such a guilty pleasure read for me! There is something so juicy and enjoyable about books dealing with revenge. We all know some idiot who gets away with their sucky behaviour time and time again and it was so fun living vicariously through Lillia, Kat and Mary as they demanded payback. Watching them get their revenge felt strangely satisfying as a reader who loves these characters but at the same time I liked how this book shown that there’s always more to people and their reasons than meets the eye…

Before starting Burn for Burn I was worried that I might judge the girls and find them petty but that wasn’t the case at all! I loved all three of the main characters – they were very distinctive from one another and I loved getting to see things from each girl’s perspective. Lillia was my favourite, she’s part of the popular crowd and is rich and beautiful but she has a good head on her shoulders and wants to protect her sister from frenemies and stop older guys from taking advantage of her. Then you have Kat who used to be part of Lillia’s crowd until Queen Bee Rennie pushed her out just when Kat needed her friends the most. I loved Kat’s fiery attitude- she was never anybody’s victim. Lastly we have Mary who’s a bit strange and more of a mystery than the other girls. I put the book down feeling like I didn’t know her as well as Lillia and Kat although I did feel really bad for her after reading her emotional back story.

I’ve read and loved Jenny Han’s Summer trilogy and the start to this new series did not disappoint! I couldn’t tell where Jenny ended and Siobhan Vivian began because their writing blended together so seamlessly and I now really want to check out one of Siobhan’s novels. Overall Burn for Burn was a gripping contemporary thriller that I read in a few hours because I couldn’t put it down!

This is the second book in the Burn for Burn series and so this review may contain spoilers from the first book.
Fire With Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: 29th August 2013
Genre: Contemporary, YA, Thriller
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Goodreads Summary:
"Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance. Not even close.

For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.

And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn. It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn..."

Fire with Fire felt like quite a different read compared to Burn for Burn. It was less focused on revenge and instead focuses more on the aftermath of Burn for Burns ending and the relationship between Lillia, Kat, and Mary as they go from being accomplices to true friends who care about each other. There’s also the introduction of a romance which I really enjoyed. Although I loved both Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire equally they felt like very different books to me and I loved them for entirely different reasons.

In Burn for Burn I felt like Mary was quite an allusive character and I wanted to know more about her and I definitely got that with this book although perhaps not in the way that I was expecting! Mary’s quite an unreliable narrator and one of the things that I’ve come to love about this series is the uneasy feeling she gives me. Mary’s chapters have this building tension and she reminded me of ‘Carrie’ like sooner or later she’s going to flip and the whole Island’s going to know about it!

Romance wise my ships in this series are all over the place! There are so many characters that I like but feel uneasy about and I’m not entirely sure who’s genuine. I couldn’t tell you who will end up with who and I love the unpredictability of it all! I do have someone in mind for each girl but they all have a lot of craziness to overcome first so I guess I’ll have to wait and see!

The ending to this book is INSANE and so clever! I have so many questions and I love the direction the authors have taken this series in with THAT ending. Waiting for Ashes to Ashes to come out is going to be PAINFUL! Overall Fire with Fire was an amazing sequel that didn’t suffer from middle book syndrome at all. If Ashes to Ashes is as good as Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire then this could very well go down as one of my favourite contemporary series!

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