Monday, 13 April 2015

Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian - Review

Title: Burn For Burn Trilogy
Author: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Genre: YA Contemporary/Paranormal
Published by: Simon & Schuster Books
Published in: 16th September 2014
Content warning: Bullying, suicide, deaths, drug use
Format: E-book
Source: Bought 
My Overall Rating:
Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds.

But bad things can happen, even to good girls, and sometimes the only way to make things right is do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she'll be damned if she lets the same thing happen to her little sister.

Kat is through with being called a freak. She's over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person - her ex-best friend - and Kat's ready to make her pay.

Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she's not the same girl anymore. Now that she's back, he's gonna be in trouble . . . 'cause she's coming for him.

Three very different girls who want the same thing: sweet revenge. And they won't stop until they've each had a taste.
     I've never done a series review before, so this one will be the first! I'm not really into multiple POVs in a book. I would get confused of at which point of the plot was I at upon the POV switching. Also, I might get biased, only wanting to read about certain characters. Which is why I wiped the sweat off my forehead when starting the first book, because I did not get the irk I was expecting to get because of its three different POVs, so yes, PHEW. I marathoned these three and finished them within two days (bad, I know, but it was during the weekend!) and felt like I've been stuffed into one of those human bubble balls and pushed down a hill. A slow descending hill of DOOM.

My howl for this trilogy:

Burn For Burn (Burn For Burn #1)
     Burn For Burn is a typical high school revenge story. The three POVs belongs to three girls: Mary, Kat and Lillia, who are completely different and are facing different issues. Somehow the causes for their issues all come from the same group of friends, whom are all high up on the status quo. By fate, the three of them meet and become the unstoppable trio plotting the demise of their high school foes.

     This book was so good. All three characters had a strong introduction and very distinct voices. They had their own strengths and weaknesses, burned with the desire to break free of social chains that bind them, and tie it on the people who antagonised and hurt them. The side characters were also wonderfully written and each of them had a unique dish to bring to the table. The authors did a great job of shaping the revenge targets in a way that made me think they deserve whatever that was going to be done to them, even though revenge is never a good thing. There was definitely foreshadowing of their actions coming back to bite them in their butts as they go deeper and more cruel into their schemes, and like a smack in the face it did. One aspect that was a smack in MY face was a paranormal one that came out of nowhere. It peeked out a couple of times in the book but it went berserk during the ending. Do expect a cliffhanger you'd never dare expect in this book.

Fire With Fire (Burn For Burn #2)
     Honestly, with the atrocity that is the third book, whatever impression I had on Fire With Fire became unimportant and just melted away. Fire With Fire started off right after the events in book one, so I wasn't left hanging too badly as I just dove into it right away. Even though it stuck to its revenge theme, I was left mildly disappointed with the slower pacing and the increased dosage of romance. You would think that this (seemingly) contemporary would contain sugary sweet romance but all I tasted was sour cliche. I just KNEW from book one that one of our main girls would have her lovey-dovey moment with one of their targets and I was hoping I would be hooked from its forbidden feel but NEAH. The couple did not sit right with me and the whole thing was built up solely from uncontrollable teen hormones really.

     I was also distracted by the paranormal element that seems to be a thing now in the book. It kind of helped to stir the suspense a little and I slowly started to empathise more with one of our main protagonists that was tied to this premise but it just did not fit with the theme of the story due to the lack of explanation and background. However, the book did end with a boom with its explosive cliffhanger so hats off to the authors for keeping me interested.

Ashes To Ashes (Burn For Burn #3)
     BIG. UGH. Whatever potential this series had and whatever love I had stopped with this book. (see also: above gif).  Ashes To Ashes took a devastatingly different turn, by unbelievably changing into a paranormal and horror/thriller. The paranormal aspect was mediocre at best and the attempts at putting the plot into gear 5 by a plot twist failed miserably. I really wished the plot twist was not included at all. It ruined everything, making the rest of the book really weird and awkward.

     In the previous two books, Mary, Kat and Lillia shared equal amounts of screentime. The individual situations they were placed in were realistic and their actions while morally ambiguous, were very relatable. Ashes To Ashes turned completely biased on me instead by revolving mostly around Lillia. The favourites-playing the authors did was SO obvious in that she got to keep everything and did not need to suffer through most of the consequences of her actions. On the other hand, our two other main leads were cast away, with Kat being reduced to a plot device and Mary turning batshit crazy. I find myself skipping many of its 500+ pages because EVERYTHING JUST DID NOT MAKE SENSE!!! The book spent about 95% building up to its climax that ended up being absolutely disappointing and offered no closure to so many of the events that happened in the book. The epilogue after that did not redeem the horrible cut-off ANTICLIMAX and instead only provided us with surprise surprise, superstar Lillia's POV again for the upteenth time that tried to teach the readers about some "eye-opening" lesson which proves that her character did not experience any meaningful development at all. UGHH.

I give the Burn For Burn Trilogy 3/5 stars. I mourn for the potential lost and for the first two books that had to be paired with its horrible sequel. Even though the first book is great, I really would not recommend the whole series to anyone. (Don't let the pretty covers fool you people!!)

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