Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Burn for BurnHardcover, 358 pages
Published September 18th 2012

What do you get when three girls, who come from different walks of life, decide to take on three people who wronged them? You get Burn for Burn, a delicious novel about revenge and friendship.

Lillia, the popular rich Asian (yay for minorities in books), has had a horrible night out with her best friend Rennie. Since then, Lillia hasn’t really been feeling all that chummy with her and is started to get annoyed by Rennie’s mean girl behaviour. Also, her best guy friend, Alex, might have hooked up with her little sister.

Kat, the social outcast, use to be best friends with Rennie, but once Lillia showed up, Rennie dropped her. Not only did Rennie drop Kat, but she relentlessly teases her and insults her on almost a daily basis. She also hooked up with Alex, but then she finds out he was two timing her.

Mary, the new girl, just wants Reeve to notice her. After everything that happened to them in the past, it’s the least he can do. But he doesn’t, in fact, he acts like she doesn’t exist. Mary wants him to suffer like she did.

So when the three find themselves in the bathroom, they decide to get revenge, once and for all.

When it came to the actual reasons behind the revenge, I was with Kat and Mary. I understood why they wanted revenge and why they felt like this was the only way. I may not have agreed with them, but I understood where they were coming from. On the other hand, I still don’t know why Lillia went through with this. Alex is her best guy friend and instead of talking to him, she decides to humiliate him in front of everyone. Why? I don’t really know. I suspected that the root cause for her resentment was due to what happened at the party with Rennie, but this was mentioned in passing and never brought up again.

Plus, it’s clear that Lillia did more of the work, because Alex, Rennie, and Reeve, are friends of hers and she’s in their social circle. Kat and Mary had nothing to lose, so that kind of made me wonder why Lillia did what she did. She’s still an interesting character and she’s relatable, just like everyone else, but I just don’t know why.

I did love the friendship brewing between the three girls as well. Even though they may not be in the same social circles, they still stuck together and even seemed to care for one another.

That being said, the writing is great. When you pick this up, you’ll fly through the pages. Plus, each girl had a distinctive voice and feel, so I really enjoyed that. There does seem to be a supernatural element to the novel, almost with a Carrie vibe like to it, but I really hope this isn’t the case. I don’t really mind supernatural stuff, but I don’t really want it here.

The last revenge novel I read was Premeditated, which was okay, but I was disappointed because there wasn’t really any revenge in it. Plus, the main character didn’t do anything but whine. Thankfully, the girls in Burn for Burn are proactive in their revenge schemes and actually do get their intended results. Add that to the fully fleshed out characters, who have distinctive voices, and the great writing and yourself have a great novel. Just don’t expect big bangs, this is still high school.

Overall: I would pick this up. It’s a fun light novel that will have you wanting more.


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