Review: Burn for Burn – Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

burn for burn

Title: Burn for Burn
Author: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Series: Burn for Burn #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Publication Date: September 18, 2012
Source/Format: Library / Hardcover, 358 pages
Opening Sentence: “The morning fog has painted everything white.”
Author Website (Han and Vivian) | Goodreads | Amazon


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.

I’m glad this is a series, because I have no freaking idea what’s going on. I forgot it was a series, so the abrupt ending almost caused a completely different tone in this review. Luckily, I remembered.

I’m a believer in karma; therefore I’ve never had as strong of a hunger for revenge by my hands as these girls do. (I.e. I don’t want to ruin anyone’s life… really.) I think this may be the reason I can’t help but shake my head at Kat, Mary, and Lillia. I understand they’re angry and want to shove back at the people who hurt them, but… it’s kind of crazy. Then again a lot of the things humans do are.

As much as I want to say this makes the story unrealistic, and therefore irrelevant, I can’t, because things like this happen all the time. I think as far as realism is concerned this is a pretty accurate rendition of life. The things I consider extreme may be nothing to some people and vice versa.

This book was left so tangled that I can’t help but sit here and brainstorm possible solutions to the whole matter. I’m not quite sure where the authors are going with the story. That, my friends, is how you get people to continue with your series. You make them hate it and think about it to the point of love. That isn’t to say I hate the book. On the contrary, I really enjoyed it and found it to be quite the page-turner… I’m just so bewildered. So, what now?

Of all the girls I really felt Mary was the shining star. Her story is what stuck out most to me and I feel like my empathy level with her was beyond strong. The other girls were wonderful too, with all three of them less secure than they appear and more ferocious than they plan to be. I really liked the characters because they were real enough to question what they were doing, but hurt enough to keep going, as I imagine many humans feel and act. No one is ever completely sure of everything they’re doing and I think that was shown subtly in most of the characters in the novel, not just the main three. Humans are fragile and you could see that in the friends, the parents, and et cetera.

I’m not sure when the next installment in the series is slated to come out, but I’ll be waiting patiently, scratching my head in hopes of some sort of explanation.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

Reviews from the rest of the series:
Fire with Fire (#2)


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