Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (Burn for Burn #1)
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 to do something wrong.
Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate.
Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person--her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task.
Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he's going to be in big trouble.
Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far?
I picked Burn for Burn up on a lazy summer day when I needed something entertaining to breeze through, and this book turned out to be exactly what I was looking for. Burn for Burn is dramatic, exciting, and a whole lot of fun.
Burn for Burn gives off some strong Pretty Little Liars vibes, which is a good thing, considering Pretty Little Liars is such a fun show to watch. Both Pretty Little Liars and Burn for Burn are over-the-top, ridiculous, dramatic, and completely addicting. Just like entire seasons of Pretty Little Liars are meant to be binge-watched from the couch in a single weekend, Burn for Burn is meant to be devoured in just one day or one sitting.
Let's be real here, Burn for Burn isn't exactly a high-quality story. It's not terribly original or thought-provoking, but that's okay. I like that Burn for Burn doesn't pretend to be something it's not. Burn for Burn embraces its not-entirely-realistic high school stereotypes, its silly teenage girl antics, and its somewhat predictable storyline. Burn for Burn is a comfort read--the book you turn to when you've had a rough day and need to lose yourself in a story for a good few hours. It's the book you turn to when all you need is a story that will make you want to keep turning pages.
I didn't feel particularly connected to any of the main characters, but I actually appreciated the lack of emotional investment I felt. It made it easy for me to distance myself from the story and just watch the shenanigans ensue and the craziness unfold. Just like I'll enjoy catching the occasional episode of Pretty Little Liars and being sucked into the story without caring about something bad happening to any of them, I was able to enjoy this book without loving the characters and getting all worked up over them.
I love that Burn for Burn is about a group of girls taking matters into their own hands and kicking some ass. Sure, the pranks are a little silly and juvenile at times, but they're teenagers! I really liked reading about strong girls who decide to not only stand up for themselves but to take it to the next level and get some epic revenge on the people they aren't too fond of. I think each of the girls has a valid and interesting reason for wanting revenge, and I loved reading about the process of scheming and plotting to putting things into action to watching the results. I was always eager to see what they would do next, and while I didn't particularly like any of the characters, I was totally intrigued by their actions and curious about whether their pranks would go according to plan.
I also really like the setting of Burn for Burn. The island is very much its own world. It's secluded and set apart from mainstream society, which makes the people on the island a close-knit group. This type of dynamic always makes mysteries way more interesting, and I think the setting works really well with this story. In addition to the setting, there is a slight paranormal twist in this book that makes the story approximately eight thousand times more fascinating. I seriously just love that this book gets crazier and crazier with each turn of the page.
Overall, Burn for Burn is a fun, fast book that I couldn't put down. It entertained me and kept me hooked for a few hours, and when it was over, I found myself interested in reading the second book but not terribly concerned with the outcome. This book is not a bad book at all, but it's definitely a comfort book as opposed to a thought-provoking book. Next time you're feeling stressed or sad or upset and are looking for a story to escape into (assuming you've already finished watching the latest season of Pretty Little Liars), pick up Burn for Burn. It will suck you in from the first page, and you'll lose yourself completely in this fun and dramatic story.