‘Burn For Burn’ (Burn For Burn #1) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

*This review will contain spoilers!*

First up, before I say anything, I need to say a massive kudos to whoever designed this cover. One of my biggest pet peeves is having people on the cover of novels, especially when they don’t match the descriptions of the characters leading to a massive conflict of differences in my head (because I automatically want to imagine the characters as they are on the book, but I also want to stay true to the descriptions – ARGH!) but the people on this cover perfectly match the descriptions of Kat, Mary and Lillia respectively (including the detailing of Mary wearing her daisy necklace), as well as it having a beautiful filter and a great font, so I was extremely happy with the design of the novel and I feel it is a brilliant success.
The novel tells us the stories of Lillia, Kat and Mary; three very different girls with a similar goal in mind – revenge, sweet and simple. Lillia is seeking revenge on one of her best friends after finding out that he was sneaking around with her younger sister, Kat is seeking revenge on her ex-best friend Rennie, a girl who has been spreading malicious rumours about her throughout the entirety of high school, and Mary is seeking revenge on Reeve, the boy who nearly made her kill herself after months of endless torturing over her weight.
One of the plus sides of this book is how quickly it moved. This is the first book in a trilogy, so because there were three girls looking to get revenge on three different people, I assumed that each book in the trilogy would be focussed upon a different girls act of revenge, however all three were tackled and practically resolved within the first novel. The lead up to the girls becoming friends and planning what to do to the people that wronged them was the only section that really dragged, but because it’s setting up the story for three entire novels it needed to be established well enough to be able to carry it across, so I’m not holding that against it too much. Also, it was quite inventive, in that the acts of revenge weren’t too obvious so it kept it interesting throughout the novel.
However, other than that it all seemed pretty obvious. Kat thought she saw Alex and Nadia getting together, but it seemed really obvious to me that because Alex was acting like he was in love with Lillia throughout the entirety of the beginning of the novel, he wouldn’t do anything to hurt her, so it didn’t surprise me when that got confirmed later on. Similarly, Lillia getting raped between the prologue and the main novel wasn’t surprising, but I was extremely impressed with the way that Jenny and Siobhan dealt with writing such a sensitive and important scene in the novel. Their sensitivity with writing was further cemented throughout the scene of Mary recalling her suicide attempt, and I really appreciate the two of them for handling the topics so smoothly.
Sadly, however, there were a bunch of grammatical mistakes throughout the novel, so it wasn’t as well written as I’d been hoping it would be, but with a climax that left adrenaline running through my veins after their revenge attempt on Reeve went wrong, I can’t wait to pick up the next novel, ‘Fire With Fire’ over the next few weeks. Mary seemed like a very under used character in this opening novel, but with the supernatural elements that are starting to come into play – with the homecoming dance turning into a ‘Carrie’-esque scene with all of the light bulbs exploding – I hope she’s going to become a focal point throughout the next book, and that that’s going to be explored much more thoroughly. When I picked up this novel I was expecting to just read another book filled with high school drama and teenage angst, but this book is actually really interesting, and the fact that all of the characters come from different backgrounds (the popular girl, the outcast and the new girl, respectively) means that it’s interesting to see how their school experiences and interactions differ from each other, giving this book more layers than similar ones that I’ve read recently, so I would highly recommend this.