The second installment of the “Burn for Burn” trilogy is finally here! Things may have gotten out of control in the last book (you can read my post on the first book here), but in this book everything ends up consumed by a fire that three girls started, and it just may be too late to put it out before everything goes up in smoke. Revenge, secret pacts, love, secrets, betrayal and death – this book doesn’t mess around and it promises you all of that and more.
“Fire With Fire”
by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian (August 13, 2013)
Lillia, Kat, and Mary had the perfect plan. Work together in secret to take down the people who wronged them. But things didn’t exactly go the way they’d hoped at the Homecoming Dance.
Not even close.
For now, it looks like they got away with it. All they have to do is move on and pick up the pieces, forget there ever was a pact. But it’s not easy, not when Reeve is still a total jerk and Rennie’s meaner than she ever was before.
And then there’s sweet little Mary…she knows there’s something seriously wrong with her. If she can’t control her anger, she’s sure that someone will get hurt even worse than Reeve was. Mary understands now that it’s not just that Reeve bullied her—it’s that he made her love him.
Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, burn for a burn. A broken heart for a broken heart. The girls are up to the task. They’ll make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then they will crush him. It’s the only way he’ll learn.
It seems once a fire is lit, the only thing you can do is let it burn…
The second book in the “Burn for Burn” trilogy picks up right where the first book left off, and it’s drama, drama, drama. Also, this review will give away a few spoilers to the first installment because how else can I talk about what happened? 😛 You have been warned!
After the girls’ plan imploded at Homecoming, they have pretty much given up on the whole revenge thing, but not on each other. They still hang out in secret and there are those little things, but mostly they’re all trying to navigate the aftermath. Mary realizes she doesn’t want to hurt Reeve and feels terrible about his leg, which he injured pretty badly after they drugged him at Homecoming. As much as Mary knows it’s bad for her, she realizes her problem with Reeve is that he made her fall in love with him all those years ago. And as much as she doesn’t want to, she still kind of feels it.
Things are horrible for Lillia because Rennie hates her now, and if there is one thing Rennie is good at, it’s being a passive-aggressive Mean Girl, and yes in this case capital letters are completely warranted. Rennie blames Lillia for being crowned Homecoming Queen. That title belonged to Rennie, and she’s sure it was rigged. Funny thing is that it was rigged for Rennie to lose, but for their mutual friend Ashlin to win, so for Lillia to be crowned – you go girl! Then Reeve, Rennie’s major crush, kissed Lillia at Homecoming and this is Lillia’s fault too. But they both still hang out in the same circle and have cheerleading together so Lillia can’t really escape Rennie’s bullshit, but Lillia is really classy about it and the few times she gets bitchy, it’s the absolute best!
And Kat is still Kat, my favorite of the three.
Then on Halloween Reeve bumps into Mary and Mary grows a spine and asks Reeve if he remembers her, and when it’s obvious he does, she asks for an apology. His reaction proves that he is just as douhcey as ever, and Lillia and Kat overhear the entire thing. Now they realize that Reeve’s injury, which will probably cost him his entire future because he has bad grades and was depending on a football scholarship, is not enough. Reeve still needs to pay. Since Rennie is also stepping up her evil game, I’m not sure why the girls don’t include her in on the receiving end of their schemes. I think it’s because Lillia and Kat both seem to think of Mary as a little sister, someone they need to protect…
That same night, Lillia tells Reeve off for what he said to Mary and he is seriously hurt. That’s when the three girls realize that Reeve is in love with Lillia and well, now they’ve found their perfect revenge. As Mary says, “A broken heart, for a broken heart.” Lillia is hesitant at first, but soon it seems easy to pretend to be in love with Reeve and less easy when she has to figure out how much she’s pretending…
But the real, “OMG!” stuff happens towards the end of this book and it’s all about Mary. At the end of the last book Mary went all “Carrie” at Homecoming, except no one knows she’s “responsible” for the electrical issues that ended Homecoming early for everyone. Mary doesn’t tell anyone what’s going on with her while she tries to figure out exactly what is going on with her. She seems to have a power when she’s angry and it scares her, but also makes her feel, well, empowered. And she tries to see just what she can do. This supernatural question mark is the “WTF” I mentioned in the original post.
I mean “Burn for Burn” was such a great novel about girls taking things into their own hands and getting justice for themselves and each other and then it went all Stephen King. Really? I mean there is nothing wrong with Stephen King or his genre, I actually quite like reading that kind of book, but it just didn’t seem to go with this kind of book, and this happened in the last twenty pages so it didn’t give the genres time to merge or work together. But this second installment does a better job of trying to bring these two genres together in perfect harmony. It works for the most part, even though I kind of wish they were two separate books/series.
I figured out Mary’s secret thirty pages before it was revealed, and it was revealed in the last twenty-some pages, and boy is it a doozey. Until I figured it out, I seriously didn’t see it coming. Not until it suddenly clicked and then a lot of other things started to make sense. I have a feeling that the concluding installment of this trilogy will reconcile all of my other reservations of the supernatural mixing with a tale of high school revenge, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, but I’m also worried. I’ve come to care about these girls, and while Lillia and Mary sounded similar to me in the first book, they don’t anymore. These girls are real: You can hear them, see them, they’re the girls you hang out with, the girls you share secrets with, the girls who have your back – no matter what. And I’m kind of worried what’s going to happen to them or happen to their friendships with one another after Mary’s secret is revealed.
I don’t want to say anything else, because I’m afraid of giving something away, but seriously this series is awesome. I mean who doesn’t love a tale of revenge? And these girls aren’t talking stupid high school revenge: revenge against tormenters, bullies and guys who violated them more than one should ever be violated. These girls are justified, and their revenge could be easily seen as justice. While the first book was a shorter read and a book I couldn’t put down, this book was still an easy read with a great pace. And it’s in this book that the characters seem fully formed and complex. And a side note because I wasn’t really sure where this would fit: I love that Reeve, the bad boy, is being shown as human with a sensitive side, but is still an asshole. I mean how many “bad boy” characters are assholes until the author points out they’re just misunderstood and suddenly they’re sensitive with a heart of gold? Not the case here. Reeve can feel remorse, and people can hurt him like anyone one else, he can be sensitive… but he is still a creep. And these writers don’t lose that. Bravo to them!
Seriously, if you haven’t read this series – do it! What are you waiting for? I’m already itching to rip through the last “Burn for Burn” novel. You’ll be seeing it soon. 😉