Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Fire with FireHardcover, 528 pages
Published August 13th 2013

After reading Burn for Burn, I wanted to see what would happen next; especially, since the book ended on a cliffhanger. So off I went to pick up Fire with Fire, the second book in the series. The writing is still great and some of my questions were answered, but I’m not sure what happened here.

To start off with, Fire with Fire had no business being 500+ pages long. It really didn’t. Even though the writing was smooth and helped provided for a fast read, there were times when the book dragged on and on and on. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me. If a book is long, then that’s great as long as it has enough content to sustain it. But Fire with Fire didn’t. Unlike Burn for Burn which had only one revenge plot, Fire with Fire had one. And it wasn’t even as intricate as the former plans, why? Simple. Because only Lillia is the one doing things here, while Mary and Kat take a backseat in this revenge plot and in the book in general.

After Reeve’s seizure in the last book, Kat, Lillia, and Mary are reeling from this mishap. They wanted to get him back, but didn’t want a seizure to happen. He ends up okay and the girls are still in the clear. Things should be great, but Mary can’t help but feel like Reeve still didn’t pay his due. Why? Well, it’s because Reeve made her fall for him and then broke her heart. So the girls decide to go John Tucker. Lillia will make him fall for her, which isn’t that hard since it was clear he liked her since the first book, and then she will break his heart.

Things happen, Rennie becomes distant from Lillia. Kat is non-existent and doesn’t really do much in this novel, and Mary is still craycray. Unlike the last book where each girl had their time to shine, it didn’t really work like that here. This was mostly about Lillia, who I’ve come to dislike through this book. She’s a very human character and grew in this book, but I started to see her as selfish and not as nice as she thinks she is. Alex still loves her and even though she knows this, she still leads him on. Rennie is angry with her and instead of talking to her, she fights back. With Rennie, I suppose that’s fine since she does need to be taken down a peg or two, but I kept waiting for the two of them to discuss what happened that night with the college guys.

One of the problems I had with the last book was that Lillia never mentioned her rape. To me, her rape was the reason why she wanted revenge against Alex, Rennie, and Reeve. With Alex, she felt like he was taking advantage of her little sister. With Rennie, Lillia felt like she didn’t get any help when the rape happened. And with Reeve, she feels like he took advantage of Mary and now she wants to protect her. However, this is speculation on my end because it was never mentioned in the book.

Thankfully, it’s mentioned a lot more here. The problem with this is that she never talked to Rennie about it, or even thought that Rennie may have been raped as well. When Kat brings it up, Lillia quickly dismisses this thought, and that didn’t sit well with me. Even though Rennie is a jerk, it was clear that night affected her a great deal and Lillia overlooked it and never reached out.

Also, the plan with her and Reeve was boring. I get that he loves her; it was obvious since the spin the bottle game from the last book, but Lillia finds herself falling for him too, except, this isn’t explained well. Instead, it feels like she only wants him because he wasn’t letting her in. At one point, she felt like he was lying to her and just yanking her chain, so she gets angry….despite the fact that she is essentially doing the exact same thing.

We also learned about Mary’s supernatural powers and even though this annoyed me in the first book, I actually liked the reveal here. It makes the next book sound really interesting, especially since Lillia started to fall for Reeve and Mary clearly doesn’t appreciate that. However, before this reveal happened, she was pretty much a stalker. And kind of creepy and needy. And really pathetic. In a sad, obsessive kind of way. I don’t like her very much, but I do want to see what happens to her in the next book.

As for Kat, something happened with university applications and it does seem like Rennie wants to be her friend again, but that never really happens. Despite being a narrator and one of the main characters, she really felt secondary towards the entire thing.

This book also ends with a cliffhanger, which is kind of annoying; especially, since this one felt a bit cheap. Considering what we know about Mary, this may end up really exiting in the next novel, but I don’t really have my hopes up.

Overall: Burn for Burn was fun, but Fire with Fire is just disappointing. It is a credit to the writing that I was able to continue reading this, which is why I’m still going to read Ashes to Ashes, the next book in the series. Sadly, Fire with Fire wasn’t as good as its predecessor. Hopefully, this is a case of the second book drop and things get better with Ashes to Ashes.


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