Friday, 12 April 2013

Review: Burn For Burn - Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, published by Simon and Schuster on 28th February 2013

Goodreads synopsis:
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' is a contemporary young-adult collaboration by authors Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian, although it  does have a supernatural twist.  I have to say that I didn't actually realise that this was the first book in a trilogy, I thought it was a stand-alone, but that may explain the fact that the story itself was quite slow and strung out.  A lot of time was spent on establishing the characters, without anything significant actually happening to them. 

The plot centres on three girls, Lillia, Kat and Mary who are brought together by their need for revenge on various people in their lives.  With a common aim to focus on, it doesn't seem to matter that they are very different people who perhaps wouldn't normally have become friends.  All that matters to them is payback.  My favourite character was Kat, who has a tough exterior but has been hurt in the past.  She won't take nonsense from anyone but she isn't necessarily as strong as she appears on the outside. 

I absolutely adored the setting for the story, Jar Island.  It reminded me of one of my favourite series of books ever, Making Out by Katherine Applegate where the characters also lived on a small island.  I love the idea of everyone knowing each other and having grown up together with only some of the residents staying there all year round.  It also lends a sense of claustrophobia to the book which worked well to create an atmosphere where it feels like no one can escape. 

Although the book was a little protracted and it took me a while before I became hooked, the ending was unpredictable and left me wanting more.  I can't wait to see what acts of revenge the three girls have in store next.  Fans of these two authors should definitely check out 'Burn For Burn' which is a promising start to the trilogy. 

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