There’s a certain skepticism that manifests after years of consistently reading novels in the same genres back to back. Unless you’re one of the lucky few readers who are able to find a handful of authors you can trust never to let you down…after a while you just don’t go into a book expecting it to deliver the story of Kick-ass, no holds barred retribution that the blurb alludes to. Sure, you hope for it. But when the Young Adult novel about revenge that you picked off the shelf turns into a teenage love fest you’re not surprised in the slightest.
Burn for Burn surprised the Hell out of me.
I actually loved it.
Lillian, Mary & Kat—These high schoolers mean business. To all those who, like me, enjoyed a couple good seasons of CW’s Gossip Girl, I have to say…Blair Waldorf would be proud. These three bring the exact level of Hell-raising you’d expect from a trio of scorned teenage girls. And they don’t dare let romantic feelings get in the way of it.
Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a story about revenge that reaches Count of Monte Cristo volumes but damn it if they don’t screw themselves royally when their brilliant plan for vengeance against those that wronged them threatens to drag them down even deeper than those they set out to “teach a lesson.”
THINGS I LIKED:
Diversity: You can never have too much & there will never be enough when it comes to Young Adult novels especially. In case the cover didn’t clue you in, one of the story’s lead protags is of Asian descent.
Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han did such an amazing job of weaving in Flashbacks that it made distinguishing between the characters’ Present and Past narration seamless without the usual standard italicizing. The smooth transition kept me invested in both parts of this tale of adolescent retribution. This was generally just awesome writing in my opinion. I felt like I was inside a teenagers head the entire time and I could always tell which one was telling the story without their names at the start of each new chapter.
THINGS I DIDN’T LIKE:
There’s a certain development in Mary’s part of the storyline that felt…random? Out of place? Cheesy? Like either one or both authors suddenly felt the urge to write a story with a nod to one of Stephen King’s more popular novels?
In any event, I didn’t care much for it at all. I think the story would have been better without.
VERDICT: I’d recommend this to anyone who’s down for some Emily Thorne-lite. (Yeah…Shameless TV drama junkie, Here.) I’m already copping the second book, as this one does end with a cliffhanger.
Here’s to hoping it’s as good as the first. And Hey,… I actually have faith that it will be. How’s that for cynicism?
3.5 Ramble-Worthy Stars