Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Series Review: Burn for Burn by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

The Burn for Burn Series Review

general overview.

What is the series about?
Oh MAN, where do I begin? Well, first off our three main characters are Lillia, Kat and Mary. That's a good place to start. And though they become good friends later on in the series, at the beginning they don't really know each other. They only meet and bond together when they discover that each of them has one person they'd really love to get revenge on. So they develop a series of revenge plans to get back at their respective person. But things don't go as planned. In fact, things get REALLY crazy and out of hand. 

Expect a lot of crashing and burning in terms of relationships, boys, kissing, pretending, fire, dying, cliffs, car crashes and maybe something of the fantastical nature.

How did you hear about this series?
From the blogosphere, where else? Back in 2012 (I think), I heard about Burn for Burn even before it was published on a blog and immediately went I WANT TO READ IT NOW. It took me a while to get to it (like two years) but it happened.

What attracted you to the series?
Revenge. I love revenge plots in my books. They're just so exciting. And always add such an interesting villainy dynamic to the characters. Like the Breaking Bad situation (note: I haven't actually watched Breaking Bad. I just know about it). The characters are doing horrible horrible things but yet... you can't help but root for them. And if you're being honest - or if I am - it secretly gives you a thrill to read about all these heinous activities. 

I swear I'm not murderous or evil. I just think about these things?

series breakdown.

Burn for Burn (Book #1) | See my review here
Burn for Burn centers mostly on Lillia, Kat and Mary and their revenge plots to get back at the people they don't like: Alex, Rennie and Reeve respectively. Although I thought that some of the revenge plots went a bit too far and were unlikely to occur in a real high school environment, I quickly learned that Burn for Burn isn't about all things real. It's very much like Pretty Little Liars in the sense that everything occurs in its own little world and while there aren't any crazy, totally impossible things occurring like witchcraft or wizardry, it's the fact that there's just so much drama that makes it seem highly unrealistic. But apart from that, Burn for Burn was a hit for me as a first novel! I was fascinated by Lillia, Kat and Mary's stories and was HOOKED. Could not wait to read the second book.

Fire with Fire (Book #2) | See my review here
Fire with Fire... what can I say about this book that I haven't already said? I spent so many weeks gushing about this book following my read that I don't know what there is left to say. I loved Fire with Fire with ALL of my heart. An absolute home run for me. I gave the first book five stars but I loved this one even more. If I could, I would have given it six stars. I can't even explain why I loved it as much as I did. Just everything from the way the story continued to how the characters were developed was PERFECT. I still get chills thinking of this book because DAMN IT WAS AMAZING.

Ashes to Ashes (Book #3) | See my review here
Oh Ashes to Ashes.. you disappointed me. I didn't hate you - like you were still addicting as Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian novels usually are - but I didn't love you either. I don't blame you though because Fire with Fire was a hard act to follow considering how much I loved it. And the thing is, when it comes down to it I blame myself more than you. Because going in I had so many preconceptions of how I wanted the book to end that if it was written any differently, I would have been upset. And I was. I don't want to be mean or rude but secretly I pretend this book never happened and the series ended with Fire with Fire leaving me to fill in the ending myself. Because frankly I prefer mine much more. The ending to Ashes to Ashes was just incredibly disappointing and also sorta confusing? Like not really sure what happened to the characters there...

What was your favourite book?
Without a doubt, Fire with Fire. Could you tell? The characters were fantastic, the plot was so interesting and fascinating and EVERYTHING WAS JUST SO GOOD. I flew through Fire with Fire. Literally. I could not put this book down while I was reading it. I was just so invested and so in love and sigh.. just amazing. I honestly wish I could relive my reading experience with Fire with Fire!

What was your least favourite book?
Well I hate to say it but sorry, Ashes to Ashes. You just didn't live up to my expectations. I admit a lot of it was my fault for getting too carried away and attached with how I wanted the story to end but objectively speaking.. I think you still would have been my least favorite. Just because the ending was so unsatisfying REGARDLESS. Half of the characters we'd stuck so long with were ignored and I didn't feel everyone got what they deserved in the end. Still addicting and I read it in like three days but in comparison, definitely my least favourite. 

in detail.

What was your reaction upon finishing the series?
I guess, disappointment from the ending of the third book... I wasn't super angry or upset, more like mild disappointment. A let down. A let down in which you're more sad than actually mad. I had just hoped for more. I had hoped for good endings for all the characters that I had come to love so much. I didn't even need happy! Just... good. If it made sense. If justice was served. And I just didn't think that happened for a lot of the characters. 

But also content. I was happy to have finished the series because lord knows how rare that is. Honestly, Ashes to Ashes really put a damper on my Burn for Burn/Fire with Fire enthusiasm but in the end, I was happy to have been able to ride along with Lillia, Kat and Mary although when I finished the last page, the story had developed so far away from what it first was in Burn for Burn that it was almost as if I was reading a totally different story. I still don't know how I feel about that. 

Was the pacing good?
I'd say yes. It's also been a while since I finished this series so I can't be sure but I thought that things developed really nicely over all three books. There was an overarching storyline but I also felt like each book sorta dealt with their own individual conflict which was really fun and interesting.

Was the ending satisfying?
No.. I've said so many times already but I'll repeat myself just because this question is asking for it: I wasn't hugely disappointed but I wasn't happy either. I really felt the ending only focused on what happened with Lillia and ignored everybody else which bothered me because I really wanted to know that justice was served and everyone got what they deserved, whether it was a happy ending or not so much. But instead, I was left with a lot of questions which sucked after reading about these characters that I came to care for so much.

What did you like about the series?
The characters. Especially Kat, Lillia and Reeve who ended up growing on me so much from the first book to the second. I loved the writing which just read so smoothly and flowed so nicely. I loved the idea of revenge plots in the first book and then how that developed into a really intricate story later on in the next two books. I loved how the books made me FEEL and reminded me why I love reading so much. Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian threw me into this world and I absolutely loved it. Didn't want to leave. Made me forget about my actual surroundings. Made me relate so much and feel so much. All things I look forward to when I read. 

What didn't you like about the series/what could have been better?
Is it mean to say the last book? Because overall I was pretty satisfied with everything. Even the last book which was my least favourite FOR SURE was still great and got three stars because Jenny and Siobhan are GENIUSES who hook me with their captivating characters and stories no matter what. But... I do still wish things ended a little differently. Apart from that, nothing really!

final thoughts.

Who would you recommend this to?
Fans of Pretty Little Liars might enjoy this. Also if you're looking for a contemporary with a twist and LOTS of action, this series should be right up your alley! It's fun, exciting with interesting characters and solid writing. 

Final verdict?
This series is WORTH your time. If everything I've described about the series so far sounds like what you like, READ IT. I know I wasn't too keen on the last book but even though it was my least favourite, it was still incredibly good. The ending admittedly did damper my overall enthusiasm but I still had such a great time reading this series. It reminded me of WHY I love to read because it gave me all these wonderful experiences and feelings that I only get with a book. So if Burn for Burn sounds like your type of book, read it and then we can discuss!


And that's a wrap on my very first series review! Tell me, have you read this series? And if so, what did you think of it? Or if you haven't yet, have I convinced you? Or maybe you've come to the decision that it's just not for you. And finally, since this is my first series review, what did you think of the format? Did you like it? Or did you not like it? What could be improved/added? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

No comments :

Post a Comment