Burn For Burn
By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
September 18, 2012
Ages 14 and up
Simon Audio / Simon & Schuster
Reviewed: ARC & Audiobook
BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY…
THEY GET EVEN.
Postcard-perfect Jar Island is home to charming tourist shops, pristine beaches, amazing oceanfront homes—and three girls secretly plotting revenge.
KAT is sick and tired of being bullied by her former best friend.
LILLIA has always looked out for her little sister, so when she discovers that one of her guy friends has been secretly hooking up with her, she’s going to put a stop to it.
MARY is perpetually haunted by a traumatic event from years past, and the boy who’s responsible has yet to get what’s coming to him.
None of the girls can act on their revenge fantasies alone without being suspected. But together…anything is possible. With an unlikely alliance in place, there will be no more “I wish I’d said…” or “If I could go back and do things differently…” These girls will show Jar Island that revenge is a dish best enjoyed together.
For me, the audiobook was definitely the way to go with this book. Read by Joy Osmanski, Madeleine Maby and Rebekkah Ross as the three main characters, the personalities given to these girls were far better than the voices I heard in my head when I attempted to read the book first (yes, I read “in character”). The vocals are much less obnoxious and grating on the nerves than they were in my head (why my brain gives characters annoying voices is beyond me, but there you have it). In fact, the three narrators give each character such a distinct personality that it’s actually easier to keep the book’s events in order by hearing their unique voices as the story is told (since each chapter bounces between the POVs of the three girls).
The audiobook sounds a bit hollow (tinny?) at times, with some minor echoing, but I probably heard this more than the average listener, as I was playing it on my office/computer speakers that tend to heighten sound issues. Overall, the listening experience is highly enjoyable.
Audiobook Grade: 90
Listen to an clip from Burn for Burn:
BURN FOR BURN is a good contemporary novel for those who like revenge stories that take place in a high school setting. The characters are cool, there are plenty of parties and attitudes are spot-on when it comes to how teenagers behave today. Yes, these three girls have been burned, one girl in particular MUCH more than the other two (no spoilers here!) Their revenge will be sweet right? Well, the first act of revenge was a bit lame, but it gets better. Then when the book throws in a supernatural/paranormal/freaky incident late in the story, you realize that more may be going on than meets the eye.
BUT… Getting to the supernatural/paranormal/freaky incident is a bit shaky, especially if you’re not listening to the audiobook. It is *all* build-up. The entire book sort of just “progresses” toward the anti-climatic reveals of how these girls were burned, their eventual movement in becoming a “team” of sorts and then their “acts of revenge”. It all feels so much like “build-up” that the book’s pacing suffers. Because of this, if you are reading the book versus listening to it, it becomes a difficult feat just to reach the end. I got SO bored reading it! Alas, the audiobook does improve on the pacing. Dramatically so, in fact that when book two comes out, I will be a definite listener (just perhaps not a reader).
Why? Well I want to know what the heck that supernatural/paranormal/freaky incident was all about!! I have a feeling (hope) that book two contains much more of this element. In addition, BURN FOR BURN left off with a cliffhanger to PWN all other cliffhangers – so OF COURSE I have to keep up with it! Even if for just one more book to abate my curiosity…