August 13, 2013

Latest Read: Fire with Fire by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Here are the basics ...
Fire with Fire (Burn for Burn, #2) by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Publication date: Aug. 13, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary / Paranormal
Source: Received ARC at BEA (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. 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. 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: The infamous second book syndrome. I think it we all know what that is.  Most of the time it means the sequel didn't live up to its predecessor. But you know, I can think of a few series where I liked the first book but it was the second one that made me stand up and take notice. Fire with Fire falls into that category. Last we saw Liliana, Kat and Mary, their plans for revenge on Rennie, Reeve and Alex had worked. But things took a more dangerous turn than they expected at the Homecoming Dance and unknown to them, Mary seemed to be channeling some Carrie-esque vibes. In Fire with Fire, they're back to planning for revenge but to me, it felt much, much different this time around.

The friendship between the girls is stronger. It feels more real and based on something more than just getting back at the people who've wronged them. They talk, they hang out, they look out for each other. And you know how I feel about female friendships in books, so I totally appreciated this.

The chapters still alternate POVs between the three and Liliana is still my favorite. I can't help but relate to her the most. She struggles with everyone's perception of her that she's perfect but at the same time, despite getting involved with these schemes, she's a good person whose instinct is to help people. I like that the authors also let us get a better glimpse into her home life, the pressure her father puts on her, her being Asian and finally addressing what happened to her in the first book. (Finally! I had to say that again.) But even though she's my favorite, it wouldn't be the same without Kat and Mary. Kat is the perfect counterpart to Liliana. She's loud, abrasive and doesn't give a crap about what other people say or think. It's why I like her so much. And then Mary.. she's the wild card. In the first book, she's mostly meek and timid, which she still is, but you know there's more beneath the surface now and the authors did not disappoint on that front.

But the biggest reason why Fire with Fire worked for me was the revenge plan (plus anticipating the paranormal aspect). Instead of these mini-schemes which felt all over the place, they had one solid plan - make Reeve fall in love with Liliana and break his heart. Simple, not over-the-top, and cohesive. It met all their desires to knock Rennie (who is still a b*tch; I couldn't bring myself to like her one bit) and Reeve (oh this boy!) off their pedestals. I will say, Reeve and Liliana really surprised me. In a good way. I kind of anticipated where it would go but that didn't stop me from unexpectedly rooting for them.

(Potential) reservations: It's a long book but trust me, it doesn't read that way. It took me one day! (Granted, I made time for it but I really wanted to know what happened.)

Do I recommend?: I do! There's a jaw-dropping twist at the end that makes me want the third book like NOW.

Happy reading!

9 comments:

  1. Considering how I didn't really like the 1st book, Idk if I wanna pick this one up. BUT seeing as how you said this one is slightly better than the first, then I might have to reconsider. Lol. Great review!

    Vi
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. I had a very blah response to the first book and I was actually certain that I wouldn't continue the series. But the 2nd book was available at BEA so I picked it up. I was really surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. Def reconsider!!

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  2. Ooh, okay, you're the second review I've seen that said Fire with Fire didn't fall into the hands of second-book syndrome. Since I wasn't a massive fan of Burn for Burn, although I did enjoy it, that makes me want to read Fire with Fire for sure! Moving this up on my list :) Thanks for the review, Rachel!

    Tara @ Hobbitsies

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    1. Read it! I wasn't even planning on reading this one but on a whim, picked it up at BEA. I was SO surprised!

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  3. Wow, this is the third amazing review for this book that I've read today! It looks like Fire With Fire really doesn't suffer from Second Book Syndrome at all. Liliana is my favorite character as well, but it's great that the girls complement her as well! I'm so excited to see this major plot twist at the end-- everyone's been talking about it! Fabulous review, Rachel! :)

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    1. I hope you like it just as much as I did! <3

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  4. I loved this one too! A friend of mind called the twist at the end, so it didn't surprise me. BUT I did like this one better for Burn for Burn because a lot of the characters ended up being more likable. I have so much love for this series it's ridiculous!

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    1. I did not expect the twist at the end! I mean there was a point where I started to suspect, but it was like only a few pages before the actual reveal. And even then, I wasn't sure if they would go there. I can't wait to see where they take the series next!

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  5. I am really, really excited to read this sequel! It makes me quite sad that I wasn't able to bring it home with me and read it before release date. But seriously, I've only heard good things so far, so I can't wait. Glad that Lillia's *event* was explained in this one!

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