Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon
I managed to read this book in a day. It was that gripping. It probably helped that the chapters were short due to the changing perspectives, but something about this book meant that I couldn’t put it down. By the end, I still couldn’t work out which perspective I liked the most. Although, it’s probably a tie between Lillia and Kat, considering Mary faded into obscurity in some moments, considering she was the new girl and was not allowed to be seen with her cohorts in public situations.
I desperately wanted to like the book even more than I did, but my moral compass said that it would be wrong to completely agree with the revenge that the girls were enacting. Yes, the characters may have deserved a little bit of karma due to insane personality defects, but my stomach clenched every time they took revenge because you just know that they have to get caught out at some point.
It’s always interesting to read about the American school system and experience, because it sounds completely different from the UK system. There were quite a few clichés in the personalities and cliques, but that’s just what gives these kinds of books their charm. The social hierarchy is always a ‘fun one’ to experience in writing, especially when you get the ‘insiders view’ – which is never as perfect as you think it’s going to be. But I found it odd that we didn’t hear about any of the other friends that Mary must have made at some point, despite the fact that she’s the new girl surely she would have been able to make at least one other friend – I know she’s reserved, but considering her past I’m sure she wouldn’t purposefully want to be alone.
I liked how the character’s backstories were integrated into the novel, particularly in the beginning where in Lillia’s chapter a lot of names are thrown about and you have to work out who’s who and what relationship they have with the others. Then to find out how Kat and Mary fit in with this little gaggle of the socially elite, was simply wonderful. It was as if the stars had aligned and you knew that these characters were destined for *looks to the stars* great things.
The cliffhanger was exactly what was needed to make me want to read the sequel, and having read the plot line, I’m sure it will be just as good, if not better. I’d heard some mixed reviews about this book, and I think that’s mainly because of the controversial topic of ‘revenge’ and then the subsequent questions of ‘What is right and wrong?’ and ‘Can we really take it upon ourselves to enact justice on those that have done terrible things in the past?’ Overall, this book is wonderful for such philosophical questions, but if you’re not into questioning the meaning of existence or defining rights and wrongs, then it’s the perfect beach read too! Burn for Burn is definitely the kind of thing that I feel in the mood to read when the weather gets a bit warmer, and I want to stay clear of the novels with heavier plots and fantasy worlds.
There is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to read this series, because it was enjoyable, as long as I didn’t think about it in too much detail, and restrained myself from wanting to reach inside the book and punch certain characters in the face.