Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Burn for Burn

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn
by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Expected publication date: September 18, 2012
by Simon & Schuster BFYR

Source: ARC received from the publisher at BEA.  Read my review policy/FTC disclosure here.



My summary: On exclusive Jar Island, three teenage girls from completely different social circles join forces and embark on a mission of revenge against fellow students who've wronged them.

My take:  This book was not at all what I expected. Based on the cover and the synopsis, I went in thinking I'd be reading a glossy, fast-paced, contemporary YA that would end in a dramatic blaze of fiery vengeance. Nope. Burn for Burn is a multi-faceted, contemporary-turns-something-else YA, a book that is just a slice of a larger story that is clearly To Be Continued...

Now that I think about it, the books I've read by Jenny Han or Siobhan Vivian feature complex characters and thought-provoking situations. Burn for Burn has plenty of both. Mary, who once lived on Jar Island, is returning to attend high school, and seems a little tightly wound. Lillia is a spoiled cheerleader in thrall to her queen bee best friend. Kat is a middle-class local on an island of rich wash-ashores, and is taunted by Lillia's clique. I liked the interconnectedness of all the relationships in the book.

Burn for Burn is a little slow-paced out of the gate -- the metaphorical fire depicted in the book starts as a tiny flame and takes some time to get crackling. But gradually, the anger and resentment these girls feel toward certain other characters builds and builds until the three of them meet up and form a revenge pact. The girls' fairly tame revenge plots are carried out, and then there is a rather unexpected plot twist, one which seems to spin this book out of the YA contemporary genre and in a different direction.  The book ends abruptly; clearly there's more to come. And one of the three girls definitely has some explaining to do!

Burn for Burn left me intrigued and a whole lot curious. I'm eager to see where these two authors take this story next.

Final note: back in the summer I posted about meeting Jenny Han and hearing about the process of co-writing this book with Siobhan Vivian. Read that by clicking the highlighted text!

Tell me what you think in comments!

And -- it's giveaway mania around here. Scroll down to enter to win a new release, stop by later on today to enter my giveaway in the Under the Sea blog hop AND don't forget that tomorrow is Freebie Friday!

35 comments:

  1. Great review! I've always been intrigued by this book, something about the cover attracts my attention. But high school mean girls revenge? I don't know if I'd enjoy that. I'm glad you enjoyed it though :)

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    1. No, just one of the three girls is in the mean-cheerleader crowd. The other two are not. And I thought it made the book much more interesting to have three girls from completely different social groups band together!

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    1. It was -- it was not at all what I expected, but I liked it!

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  3. I kind of thought this would be another Gossip Girl so I'm glad to hear that there is more to it. But Vivian writes amazing female characters so I'm not sure why I had such low expectations. Looking forward to picking this up!

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    1. That's more of what I was expecting. So I spent some time confused at first, but ended up really liking it! Let me know what you think.

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  4. It's different from what I've been reading and I like that. I always enjoy characters that bring something different to the table (story?) and a little mystery also. Sounds like a nice fall/winter read. Thanks for the review!

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    1. Yes, I've been reading some more out-of-the box YA recently and I'm happy about that. Always good to mix it up!

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  5. I borrowed this book for Kim (because somehow the BEA Book Gods failed to gift it to me ;) and I can't wait to get to it! Sadly it's one of those times of the year where I have so many books I have to read that I'm overwhelmed! Can't wait for October's readathon to maybe catch up a bit!

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    1. This month is crazy with new releases and I'm really behind too!

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  6. oh wow, this book sounds so amazing--and I love that it wasn't exactly what you were thinking it was. I can't wait to read it. :)

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    1. I do like when that happens, though it takes me some time to shift gears. Let me know what you think!

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  7. The idea of revenge is great, but I'm not really sure if this is something for me. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Lovely review.

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  8. I'm really excited for this book. And I love that your review doesn't give away the plot twist! Unfortunately a few other reviews I've read weren't as vague about it so I have an idea of what it is. But that's okay! It still looks awesome!

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    1. I tried to be as vague as possible! Though I don't think any of the spoilers could completely give away the twist since it's not fully explained in the book. I saw one interesting theory on Goodreads and I have my own :)

      Email me when you read it!

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  9. I'll admit I'm pretty intrigued by this novel. I love stories of revenge and comeuppance, but I'm most interested by this: "Burn for Burn is a multi-faceted, contemporary-turns-something-else YA". Could you BE any more vague? :P It really sounds like my kind of book, though, so I hope I get a chance to pick it up soon.

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    1. Okay, read the comment above yours. No spoilers here!!!! You can email me if you want to know...

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    2. No, no....I'd much prefer to be surprised. I hate spoilers! :P

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  10. I have been undecided on whether I want to read this book or not. I keep going back and forth, but after your review I think I want to. Maybe though since it seems it might be continued, I will wait.

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    1. Sometimes that seems like the thing to do -- all these series!

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  11. Since Summer trilogy I've been waiting for another book by Jenny. This book sounds more adult. Is it teen book like Summer or not? I cannot discover from the review.
    Great review and I cannot wait to read it!

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    1. No, definitely young adult!! Main characters are teenagers and it takes place in a high school.

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  12. I agree with pretty much agree with you on everything. Too bad it's such a long wait until the next book.

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  13. I actually like a book that builds. BURN FOR BURN makes my list. I like the premise behind this.

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  14. I've never heard of this book before, but your review definitely made me add it to my TBR list! It looks kinda contemporary, but the revenge thing sounds so interesting! :)

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  15. This one sounds pretty interesting... I think I would like it. I'm going to add it to my TBR.

    Thanks for the review!

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  16. Great review, Jen! I've been eyeing this one for a while ... it's funny because the reviews make the book sound so much different than what I'm picturing! It sounds a whole lot darker than the synopsis makes it out to be.

    Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Ok you have me completely intrigued about a book I wasn't even considering reading..eep! This sounds like it has depth and a dark tone..wahoo

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  18. Nice review and I really like the cover!

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  19. Every time I read a synopsis of a book with "mean girls" and revenge in it, I immediately think of Lindsey Lohan and Rachel McAdams. Sounds like there is more to this book than the Mean Girls movie though. Can't wait to check it out!

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  20. I wasn't sure that I wanted to read this one, I thought it would be more fluffy and girl drama but, you have definitely convinced me to pick it up, I am excited to learn that it's much more complex and not superficial as I first thought it would be. Great Review!

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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  21. sounds interesting.... great review .

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  22. I always see this book whenever I visit the bookstore and this cover always stares at me, telling me to buy it already. :D

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