Thursday, September 8, 2016

Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

I was curious about Jenny Han. I have read a lot on social media of people reading and liking her works so I decided to read her too. She writes children and teen novels. Most of her teen novels are trilogies so I decided to start with Burn for Burn.

Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian book reviewBurn for Burn is also the title of the first book. It's about a small island town called Jar Island and three high school girls that became friends because they wanted to take revenge on the people who gave them a hard time. These three girls are Kat, Mary and Lillia. Kat is an angst-filled teenager whose mother died of cancer. Mary returned to Jar Island to face her bully. And Lilia is a pretty, rich and popular Asian girl who used to be best friends with Kat. 

So, since I will be talking about three books, this feels to me like a three-of-a-kind post. If you have read my previous posts. I usually do three-of-a-kind featuring three books from my favorite authors. The difference this time is I am going to do all three books in one post, unlike the usual which is in three parts. Also, this is my first venture into Jenny Han and Vivian Siobhan territory, so it is still to be determined if they will join my favorite authors' list.

First off is Burn for Burn. The book laid down the foundation of story. Of how the three girls came to know each other and become close. How they plotted to take revenge of the people who had caused them pain and who had made their life difficult. These three girls want to play pranks on their bullies to let them know of the pain they have caused. A classic an eye for an eye. 

The story is well-paced. There was no dilly-dally. It does not linger too much on an event but still maintain enough suspense. Each chapter is narrated by one character and even if the next chapter is a rehash of the other character's point of view of what happened, it didn't feel like it was redundant. I really liked it that it was done that way.

This book has started my dislike for Renie. Yes, she's one of those popular girls who thinks she's above everyone. I really hate her character and can't wait for her to get a piece of the torment she doles out.

So, in Burn for Burn, the three girls successfully handed out the revenge to one of the three people they targeted. This was Lilia's revenge. 

Book two, Fire with Fire, is about Kat's revenge on Renie. Unfortunately, that is not what only happened. There were a lot more and you'll be surprised. I was really startled on the developments on this book. And true to it's title, there is a fire. Major fire! Something really went wrong and I was in a way confused. This book felt like something else entirely. Not your usual teen novels. Really, really unbelievable and I mean it in a good way.

Aside from the themes, mentioned about, the book also delve into friendships, loyalty and the price of loyalty. Is it worth disowning a friend just so you can be keep your loyalty to another friend?

What I didn't like about book two was that each chapter did not say who it belonged to, like in book one. Sometimes, I have to figure out who was speaking in the chapter. It might be that my ebook copy was messed up or it was definitely an error in the printing or the author just wanted it to be that way. I hope it was not the last one because it sucks. It cut off the momentum because you will have to reread a few sentences to know if it was Lilia's, Kat or Mary's. Other than that, I was engrossed in the story and can't wait to get to book three.

Book three is Ashes to Ashes. As obvious as the title, yes, this book talks about ashes, figuratively and literally. Hmmm, yes, they have successfully doled out their revenge on the three people they wanted to. At the same time there is also a realization. I am glad that finally, Mary got her closure. I didn't like how it ended up with Reeve and Lilia. Kat got a good ending too.

Thankfully, the chapters like in book one were labeled who it was for so I was spared of the slight confusion like what happened in book two. Except for a few typo errors which are really not that big of a deal, the book was as captivating as I wanted it to be. As I said, this is not the usual teen lovey dovey novel. This is quite deep and dissected current issues like bullying and its harmful effects. I am actually glad that this book talks about bullying victims' empowerment. It encourages bullied teens to fight back and not be a doormat. But it also points out the dangers of going beyond the usual pranks to the point of being the bully instead of the bullied. I admire the wit of the three girls coming up with really inventive ways to get even with their tormentors though it came to a point where it went to being scary and pure cruel. I also liked the surprise factor it gave of putting in something out of the ordinary. I never figured it out until the author made it obvious. I was really stunned. As stunned as Mary was.
I really admire how Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian did it. This is really proof of two heads are better than one. Their combined prowess have created a great series that is unlike any other without it being predictable.

I give the series four fireballs. I would like to read more of Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I would like to see if their individual books are as interesting as this series.