Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication date: August 13th 2013
My rating: 5 stars
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...
Burn for Burn was a book which I really adored last year; it was a fun contemporary with a different twist. I don’t know what I was expecting going into Fire with Fire, but it wasn’t this. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian literally came out all guns blazing with this book. It was a story of three different girls coming together, but in particular the stories of Lillia and Kat really struck a chord with me.
I instantly connected with Kat and Lillia’s character in Burn for Burn, so I couldn’t wait to see how things would be different for them in this book. We barely touched upon these characters in the first book, but I really feel as if I got the chance to know them that much more. Despite Kat being tough on the outside and acting like she didn’t give a crap, I admired her strength in this book to actually go for what mattered to her most, her spot at Oberlin. It was always her mum’s dream and one that Kat wanted to fulfil. So getting Kat’s back story, and learning how much of an important role her mother and family played in her life I greatly appreciated. Her story really left a strong impression with me. I was at parts left with swollen eyelids after crying so hard.
The same can be said with Lillia’s story; my heart went out so much for these girls, as they really put their hearts on the line. Lillia really found her back against the wall in this book, she was torn between deciding with whether she should stick with what the girls had been telling her to do or whether she should listen to her heart. Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian did a tremendous job, in displaying the inner turmoil Lillia had to battle with. Her depth of feelings which she developed over the course of the book and having to constantly battle them away was so hard to watch. And then there was Alex, in my review of the first book I admitted that I didn’t know his true feelings and once again this was the case here. Alex was a great guy, who I adored from the first book, but I’m going to have to say that somebody else stole the limelight away from him in this book. I know we’ve been shown and told just how bad this other guy is and he deserved everything coming his way. But honestly my heart so went out for him. Yes he could be a punk at times, but the moments when he shared his sweet and tender side I loved! I need more of this guy right away!
Fire with Fire was a book which I thought would highly fixated upon the girls and getting their revenge. But it was a lot more than that, I loved Lillia’s and Kat’s stories, and to be honest that’s all I wanted, their stories. Whenever Mary popped up I really wanted to skip her chapters. I wasn’t able to connect with her character in the first book and this feeling just became stronger with this book. I understand she was hurt by what happened, but I think her idea of revenge just got totally got out of control in this book. I didn’t want Reeve to get hurt anymore, poor guy had already been put through so much and had his life completely side tracked because of the girls. And then when I got to know him that bit more I was even more against her plan. And as the story progressed she came across really deluded, with her lurking about and not considering that she had such great friends in front of her. However I thought I knew my feelings when it concerned Mary, but the ending just completely threw me. I honestly just don’t know what to think now.
Fire with Fire was an incredible follow up book from Burn for Burn. We’re thrown back together with a wonderful set of characters, some which just shredded away at my heart and others two in particular; Mary and Rennie which just left me enraged. With so much going on constantly, I never wanted this book to end. Also with things going off in so many directions I didn’t expect especially with that ending *shakes fist*. And the great depths we got to experience of my favourite characters made this a top read of this year for sure. I cannot wait to see where this story will go next, I’m sure there will be a lot of heartache and consequences to deal with in Ashes to Ashes.