Review: Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Ashes to Ashes
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: September 16th, 2014
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book three in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Purchase Links: AmazonThe Book Depository
Synopsis from Goodreads:
New Year’s Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.

After Rennie’s death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn’t left with Reeve… If Kat had only stayed with Rennie… Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.

Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Prepare for endless rambling about this book. I have lots of things to say about it but it’s gonna come out all jumbly and crap.

I had no idea what was going on with this book. I didn’t know what was real and what was false. I didn’t know what roles Mary, Lillia and Kat would play. I didn’t know what roles Alex & Reeve would play with this book. 

This book had a whole lot more of Kat & Lillia than it had of Mary and there was a reason for that. I’m not going to go into those reasons because it’s a spoiler and I really don’t want to discuss spoilers. 
I never really loved Lillia and Reeve together. I was really hoping that Lillia would fall for Alex, because I know Alex was madly in love with Lillia and it hurt me that Lillia was too emmeshed in Reeve and how she felt about Reeve. I really didn’t like them together and I think a lot of that was because Rennie had just recently died and Reeve and Rennie had been a thing right before the death of Rennie. It really didn’t make me like Lillia all that much. If they wanted to be together, they should of waited several months before they got together.
Kat was going through her own issues. She wants desperately off of the Jar Island. She wants to go to college at Oberlin. She wants to do something for herself. She finds herself in a friendship with Alex Lind. She’s helping him with his own dream, although he is so desperately in love with Lillia that Kat wonders if he’ll ever be able to focus on what he wants independent of how he feels about Lillia.
Both Kat and Lillia have no idea what’s happened to Mary. She’s disappeared and they have no idea what’s going on. Even on an island like Jar Island, there’s still secrets. Secrets that Mary herself knows about and she still wants to make Reeve pay for the pain he put her through. Revenge is what she wants and she’s not going to find peace until she makes him go through hell.
This entire trilogy was amazing. Han & Vivian are a dynamic duo and I really hope they do more collaborations together because this one, was utterly phenomenal. I am giving this book 5 stars. There is nothing I’d change about this book or this series. I cannot wait to get a complete set of this trilogy.

Review: Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn #2) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Fire with Fire
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: August 13th, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 2 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
When sweet revenge turns sour… Book two of a trilogy fromNew York Times bestselling author Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.

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…

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
Holy mother of God.

Usually in a series, the 2nd book is not as good as the first book. It’s normally referred to as a “sophomore slump” and I was worried that Fire with Fire would find itself in that sophomore slump, especially given how awesome Burn for Burn was. Thankfully, I didn’t need to worry too much about it. Fire with Fire was even better than Burn for Burn.

This time around, it was less about the sweet revenge and more about trying to figure out where each of these girls belonged in their own lives, on Jar Island. Mary is still living with her aunt, but things are getting weirder in the home. Her parents are seemingly refusing to come visit her. It doesn’t make sense to me for Mary’s parents to not visit her. Especially knowing that her family was pretty close to each other before she moved back to Jar Island to live with her aunt.

Kat’s going through her own problems. She wants to get away and go to the college that her mom never got a chance to go to. Despite having a rough childhood, she’s a smart young lady. She doesn’t want to use her mother’s death as the “pity me” statement for college applications. She doesn’t want to be known as “the student whose mom died” She wants to reinvent herself. She doesn’t want anything to do with her former best friend, Rennie.

Lillia still values her family, but she’s realizing that maybe she needs to think for herself. Maybe she doesn’t want to go to Wellesley like her parents seem to want her to do. She wants to show her parents that she has a plan for her life and she doesn’t want her parents to interfere as much as they currently do.

This book had a lot of stuff with Mary in it. A lot of other reviewers have said that this book was mostly about Mary, but it wasn’t. It also involved Lillia falling for Reeve, which I didn’t get it at first. But things changed as the book continues on. Reeve slowly endears himself to me. I ended up actually liking him, despite him being a total douche at first. It also included Kat putting a lot of pressure on herself. She wants more than anything to get that early decision acceptance to college and to get the hell out of Jar Island.

The ending was absolutely freaking amazing. I never in a million years would have guessed the twist. It was so amazing and unexpected. The hints were there but I never guessed how it would turn it out. The last 25-50 pages were absolutely unexpected and I absolutely loved it. This book was so, so, SO much better than the first book and I never thought that would happen.

This book gets an easy 5 stars from me. I am so excited to see what happens in the final book. I’m excited to pick up the third book in the trilogy at the library this week. Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han are a dynamic duo and I love their collaboration.

Review: Burn for Burn (Burn for Burn #1) by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian

Book Title: Burn for Burn
Authors: Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian
Published Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
Genre: YA Contemporary
Series: Book 1 in Burn for Burn trilogy
Book Link: Goodreads
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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?

Disclaimer: Library book.

Review:
I had been wanting to start this series ever since I saw the ARC’s of the third book floating around.  I had never read anything by Siobhan Vivian, but I had read and loved To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I was excited to get this series started. The library was my friend, this time around. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I couldn’t wait to find out.

What I got, were three drastically different girls. Shy, quiet Mary, outspoken and blunt Kat and Lillia, family-oriented, fierce protector of her sister. Each of these girls want nothing more than to get back at the people who had hurt them, and make them pay dearly for the heartbreak they’ve caused.

Mary wants desperately to go after Reeve, the kid who taunted and teased her when they were children. The boy who coined the term “Big Easy” This awful name is only one of the reasons Mary’s family left the island. Now, she wants nothing more than to get back at him for all the years he spent helping to isolate her to the point where she had no friends.

Kat has been best friends with Rennie for a very long time. Now things have shifted and she’s now the target of cruel remarks, insults and rumors, all at the hands of a girl who used to be her best friend. Kat is realizing now that Rennie isn’t the kind of person she wants to be friends with. She wants Rennie to get a taste of her own medicine.

Lillia always trusted boys, but when things changed over the summer, she realized that boys are not to be trusted and that she needs to protect her little sister, Nadia. Especially from Alex Lind. Alex needs to pay for taking advantage of Nadia and Lillia is going to make sure that he suffers.

This book was a great surprise. Each of these girls were so different, and since the book was divided up into 3 points of view, I got a taste of what all three girls were thinking as the story unfolded. I got to see little connections between others in the book and they were able to tie into the story seamlessly.

Each of these girls had a different home life, and different motivations to work with. I loved how they banded together to help each other. Especially Kat and Mary, because they were complete opposites and didn’t have history together. Not like Kat and Lillia did. Seeing all three of these girls come together to take down other teens that had made their lives hell was really awesome.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to get with this book, but what I got was the beginning of a friendship that involved trust and helping others. I am infinitely pleased that there was no romance in this book (at least for the three main characters) as I feel like that would have weakened the book. I am giving this book 5 stars and I’m super excited to see what happens to Kat, Mary and Lillia next.