- Publisher : Simon & Schuster
- Audio Book Length : 7 hours 1 min
- Release Date : September 18th 2012
Synopsis : 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
The Gist : On the small New England island of Jar Island, secrets, drama and betrayal are running rampant and at its center are three girls; Kat, Lillia and Mary. These unlikely friends are out for revenge, but what starts out as a way to get even soon becomes more than they can handle. All is not what it seems on Jar Island.
“Well that took a turn.” is the one way I would describe this book, and I don’t just mean the plot twists. Nothing is ever what it seems in this book. Han and Vivian ever so slightly take tropes associated with high school and turning them around.
What really makes this book stand out for me is that this story isn’t overtly focused on a romance. Finally a YA novel where the girls characters work together and take center stage over a typical boy meets girl romance.
As for the writing there wasn’t a large attempt at trying to “sound like teenagers”, instead it felt nostalgic. They captured the everyday down and lows of being a teenager (picking prom dresses, winning high school football games, the over dramatics of being in a teen etc.)
What makes this novel a must read is pitch perfect setting of Jar Island The mix of local color and lifestyle of the residents down to the local coffee shops and tourism made it seem so real. I literally Googled Jar Island just to see if it was a real place. (BTW it’s not). I’m not a big contemporary (or is this comtep . . . ?) reader but this book was exciting and devious. I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble these girls were going to cause next.
Unfortunately the audiobook was kind of hit or miss. I loved how they used 3 different voices over but the recording sounded off. Mary’s voice actor’s recording sounded faraway and Kat’s voice took a little getting used to.
Reminiscent of Pretty Little Liars and Mean Girls, Burn for Burn is what happens when girls stop playing victim and start getting even. This is a different type of story. As someone who reads a lot of contemporary and for me Burn for Burn was just okay. So much of the book was fueled on getting to the end, that there was no real sense of complete story. Like certain plot points were brought up, but never really resolved or discussed through the book.
I liked listening to this in audiobook form, and unlike Jess I actually like the narrator of Kat the best. I thought from the very beginning her voice had the perfect mix of attitude and snark with a dash of vulnerability
All three narrators also did a great job of mimicking the other narrator’s voices. One of my pet peeves is when a characters tone is so vastly different when a different narrator is speaking as them, so I think they handled this well. I’m not sure why the audiobook sounded so strange at times, like Mary’s narrator was far away or something, but now I’m beginning to think this was on purpose.
Overall, I thought the writing was good and Han and Vivian created a great sense of place in their writing. You can really feel the claustrophobia of having to live on a small island town and the kind of social issues it creates.