Title: Burn for Burn
Author(s): Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian
My Rating: 1/5 stars
As I may have mentioned before, I don’t typically write full reviews for books that I’ve DNF’d. However, there have been an awful lot of DNFs on my book log lately, so I at least wanted to offer an explanation about this one.
Burn for Burn is a book about three of your high school stereotypes getting revenge on more classic “mean girl”-esq characters. I knew this before going into this book and I even predicted that I was going to hate it, but I opened it anyway in hopes that it would surprise me.
It did not.
Maybe it’s because lately I’ve been reading more adult books, but I’m just no longer drawn to this high school scene where everyone is stabbing each other in the back and doing horrible things to one another. However, if I were honest, I don’t think I’ve ever been drawn to stories featuring this kind of high school.
Sure, are there people in my life that have wronged me or made me feel like less that I would just love to get revenge on? Yes. And I think that’s what this book tried to be. Han and Vivian probably wrote this with good intentions; to stoke a fire and give strength to the beaten and downtrodden.
However, I can say for certain that I’ve never had any desire to harm any of the people that have hurt me. All I’ve ever really wanted was the courage to tell these people how they made me feel, and for them to magically understand my pain and be genuinely sorry. Obviously, this is just as much a fantasy as anything this book had to offer, but I think that the message this book is sending is dangerous.
Instead of plotting horrid schemes and wishing ill on the people who commit cruel acts, we should teach today’s young people to instead speak out against these acts and to use their words to create good.
As for this book, maybe the three protagonists were able to build a special relationship amongst themselves and somehow redeem this story, but based on other reviews that I’ve read, I don’t think this stops them from their spiteful plotting of revenge. People get hurt, emotionally and physically, and overall it’s not the kind of message we should be sending to teenage girls.