REVIEW OF ‘BURN FOR BURN’ BY JENNY HAN & SIOBHAN VIVIAN.
‘No one can ever know what we’re up to. What we do together lives and dies with us.’ – Kat, Burn for Burn.
Well, what can I say other than I absolutely loved this book! ‘Burn for Burn’ is the first in a Young Adult trilogy by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian. It follows three girls, who each tell the story from their own point of view in alternating chapters. Each girl feels someone they know deserves to suffer for something they’ve done. This book follows the girls as they all band together to exact some much-needed revenge.
I really enjoyed the fact that each girl tells part of the story from her own point of view, showing each individual voice. My favourite character is Kat, her voice is the strongest through the entire book; she’s blunt, tough, a bit of a punk, very sarcastic, and acts as the ringleader of the girls. Kat is bullied by her ex-best friend who is also best friends with Lillia, and feels she deserves a taste of her own medicine. Lillia has her foot in both worlds, being friends with the populars but also becoming friends with Kat and Mary. She looks out for her younger sister who is just starting school, but later finds out that one of her guy friends has not only been hooking up with her sister but also Kat. Lillia see’s it as her responsibility to put an end to all this and make sure he gets what he deserves. Mary, the quietest and shyest of the three, had been tormented years before she left Jar Island only to return and find nothing has really changed. She decides the guy who was responsible for her leaving the first time round needs to pay for all the pain he put her through.
When these three bind together, having met by chance in the girls toilets, they become unstoppable with all sorts of revenge being thrown around; fire alarms, broken windows and rashes are just teases at what ensues… The only fault I could find was that the characters were very clichéd, but I could overlook this and by the end of the book, I was able to sympathize with them all. I think this was helped by every chapter being told from a different girls point of view, meaning we could get to know them on a more personal level and find out what exactly led them to wanting their revenge. A massive plus for this book I think, was the multitude of issues that were presented. Just a few of the issues discussed include, drugs, drinking, underage sex, bullying and suicide. Most YA novels these days typically have one central theme they focus on, so it was a real surprise to see all of these presented and seeing how they were dealt with throughout the book.
All in all, I was very happy with this book, it had me gripped from beginning to end. The only thing I would have done without would be the supernatural elements that creep in at the end. I just think it felt slightly out of place and maybe even forced. Hopefully though, this will lead onto the sequel – ‘Fire with Fire’, and will perhaps put the ending in perspective. That being said, if you need a quick girly YA novel, I definitely recommend you pick up ‘Burn for Burn’.