By: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Year: 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
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Summary (Provided by Goodreads): 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 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 heard about this book at BookCon when I went to a discussion with Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian, and Morgan Matson. One of my friends then saw that the Simon & Schuster booth was giving away the first book, so she grabbed it and gave it to me. The cover is a bit cheesy, but I think if I was in high school I definitely would’ve picked it up at the library based on the cover alone. The description interested me because the story is about three girls getting revenge in high school, which is a little different than the typical main characters I read about.
What I thought
I wish I had the next one!
Burn for Burn is the first book in a trilogy about three high school girls, Lillia, Kat, and Mary, who aren’t friends, but become accomplices when they decide to get revenge on some of their classmates. Lillia, is one of the popular girls but finds out that Alex, who she thought was her friend, has been hiding something from her. Kat, used to be best friends with Rennie (the most popular girl in school) until Rennie ditched her and continued to spread lies about Kat throughout high school. Finally, Mary has returned to the island after 5 years to show Reeve that what he did to her in seventh grade didn’t keep her down.
Han and Vivian write some really great mean girl characters. Rennie is so unlikeable and it makes the book a bit easier to handle. She isn’t a mean girl who has many, if any, redeeming qualities that make you feel bad for her. I think that this is important in this type of story because it helps you not hate the main characters but understand where they’re coming from.
Kat, Lillia, and Mary decide to seek revenge on their three classmates, and the revenge goes from pretty innocent to dangerous. I was a bit surprised how quickly things escalated, but I understand that emotions can escalate quickly in high school.
I don’t think I would necessarily say I like any of the characters in the story, but I think Han and Vivian did a great job at making the reader take side of Kat, Lillia, and Mary. It’s always been hard for me to understand why people who hate each other stay friends, so I didn’t quite understand the Lillia and Rennie relationship, but I get that it is a reality of high school so I was able to move past it.
I also appreciated that there was more to these revenge schemes than petty high school issues. If the reasons behind seeking revenge were petty, the story would’ve gotten annoying pretty quickly. However, the issues go a lot deeper than just one girl stealing another girl’s boyfriend or wearing the same outfit on the same day.
The only issue I had was there is kind of some paranormal stuff going on? I was a bit confused and didn’t quite understand it, or why it was a part of the story. For example, towards the beginning of the story, Mary calls out to Reeve, hoping that he will see her but then all the locker doors slam shut at once. Immediately, Mary starts to wonder if she was the one that caused the locker doors to slam. I definitely did not understand the jump in Mary’s mind and this issue was never directly addressed.
By: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian