Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian have created a compelling continuation to Burn for Burn. Answering some of the questions from the first book, they leave more to be desired.
Fire with Fire is fiercer when it comes to revenge and stronger when it comes to characters but it has its flaws that make this book just as hard to recommend as the first book.
Firstly, this book is too big and long. Five hundred pages to be specific. While that is entirely appropriate for a fantasy novel, for a high-school drama revenge contemporary with paranormal activities, it is too big to be completely enjoyable. This book did have many things I liked.
What’s Interesting in Fire with Fire?
“An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. A burn for a burn. A life for a life. That’s how all this got started. And, that’s how it’s going to end.”
The girls had a perfect plan for revenge but things have gotten out of control, and now there is no backing down. When things don’t go as they planned on homecoming, they must delve deeper into their evil selves to get revenge because Reeve and Rennie are no better than they were before.
New Elements to Watch Out For
Like I had already mentioned, there were some supernatural elements in the first book. They were too subtle to notice in Burn for Burn but in this book, they have grown stronger, and the logic behind it is so absurd that I wanted to close this book right there and then.
I don’t understand why the authors decided to ruin a perfectly balanced, though a little cliché book by adding weird, absurd elements in it. It just left me puzzled and confused because things didn’t seem to match with the first book.
On the other hand, the girls have upped their revenge game, and now lives are at stake. Can they stop when people are getting hurt because of it?
“I’m clenching my fists so tight my fingernails leave red crescent moons on my skin. I feel a surge, a heat roar up inside me. As bad as I’m hurting now, he’ll hurt ten times worse. That’s the only thing that keeps me going.”
Fast-paced and Addictive Story
The one thing that did improve in this book is that the book was more thrilling and addictive. It made up for the length of the novel. Otherwise, I would have abandoned it mid-way.
Something new was happening in every chapter, and I was glued to the book to find out what’s next. The book grew darker in plot, and the characters also evolved in the pages.
It was quite fantastic as a reader to see that transformation, but I still think that the writing was quite average. The pace kept up with the plot, but the writing style stopped it from being perfect.
“It’s all about attitude. You act like you’re the shit and guys are so dumb they’ll totally believe it.”
Going Back with the Plan
Lilia, Kat, and Mary have decided to take the sweetest revenge. They would make Reeve fall in love with Lillia and then break his heart. Mary’s revenge would only be fulfilled like that. However, the problem is that Mary is still in love with Reeve, no matter how big an asshole he is.
While concocting their revenge plans, their friendship keeps growing into something real. The best part is the ending. It was the biggest plot twist, the kind I hadn’t even imagined.
The cliff-hanger was excruciating and perhaps the only reason why I got convinced to pick up the next book in the trilogy. Other than that, I don’t think I would have continued this trilogy by just this book’s worth.
The Development of Characters of Fire with Fire
The most significant character development was of Mary, and it was such a massive shock that if I reveal it right now, it will be a spoiler. However, throughout the book, I enjoyed reading about her inner turmoil.
Lillia has her things going on. Making Reeve fall in love is no easy task considering how nice and big a jerk he is but what if Lilia falls for him?
“I’ve fallen for the one person I shouldn’t have. For the boy who broke Mary’s heart. For Rennie’s one true love. For Alex’s best friend. It has to end here. Now.”
I did feel that Kat was a bit lagging in this book. She was losing a little bit of her importance, and her character didn’t come off as strong as before.
However, overall, I think this book was one step ahead of the previous book. It also had its flaws, but the entire series is quite addicting.
Another problem I had with this book is that it was so full of clichés. The whole high school drama did not evolve from what it is always like.
Moreover, the supernatural elements in a contemporary novel didn’t seem to fit.
Han or Vivian
The narrative of this book is written with three points of views — Mary, Kat, and Lilia. Considering that this book is written jointly by two authors, one would expect some bumps in the flow.
However, since I didn’t even know while reading the first book that it was written jointly, it is surprising how I could see no changes in the writing style all throughout.
Both Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian have written together in such a way that one cannot distinguish which parts were written by which author.
However, even these two brilliant authors together could not write lyrical prose that I could keep in my memory.
About the Author
Pallavi Sareen is an avid reader, a harsh critic, bibliophile, and a dreamer. Accustomed to telling stories, she spends her time amidst the pages of either a book or her diary.