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I’M SITTING ON MY BATHROOM COUNTER, TRYING TO remember what the makeup lady at Saks told me about how to do eyeliner on Asian eyes. Only . . . I can’t think straight.
I think she said to wing it just the tiniest bit. I do my right eye first, and it looks okay. I’m finishing up my left eye when my little sister, Nadia, bangs on the door so loudly that I jump.
“Lil! I need to take a shower!” she yells. “Lilli-uhh!”
I pick up my hairbrush and then reach over and unlock the door. Nadia rushes in and turns on the water. She sits on the edge of the tub, in her big soccer T-shirt with her shiny black hair mussed up in the back and watches me brush my hair. “You look pretty,” she says, her voice scratchy with sleep.
Do I? At least the outside is still the same.
I keep brushing. Twenty-three, twenty-four, twenty-five, done. I brush my hair twenty-five strokes every morning. I’ve done it that way since I was little.
Today will be like any other day.
“But I thought you weren’t supposed to wear white after Labor Day,” Nadia adds.
I look down at my sweater. It’s new—white cashmere, soft and snug. I’m wearing it with my white short shorts. “Nobody follows that rule anymore,” I tell her, hopping down from the counter. “Besides, this is winter white.” I swat at her butt with my hairbrush. “Hurry up and get in the shower.”
“Do I have time to curl my hair before Rennie gets here?” she asks me.
“No,” I say, closing the door behind me. “Five minutes.”
Back in my room I start filling my brown saddlebag with my school things, like I’m on autopilot. My new pen and the leather planner my mom got me as a back-to-school gift. Lollies. Cherry ChapStick. I try to think if I’m forgetting something, but nothing comes to mind, so I grab my white espadrilles and head down the stairs.
My mom is in the kitchen, wearing her robe and drinking an espresso. My dad bought her one of those fancy espresso machines for Christmas, and she makes a point of using it at least once a week, even though she prefers tea, and even though my dad is hardly ever at home to see her use it. He’s a doctor, the kind who does research. For as long as I can remember, he’s been working on some new drug to cure cancer. He spends part of the month working at a lab in Boston, and he gets sent all over the world to present his findings. He was on the cover of some science journal this summer. I forget the name of it.
Gesturing to the plate of muffins, my mom says, “Sit down and eat before you go, Lilli. I got those sugary ones you love.”
“Rennie will be here any minute,” I say. When I see the disappointed look on my mom’s face, I take a muffin and wrap it in a napkin. “I’ll eat it in the car.”
Touching my hair, she says, “I can’t believe you’re a senior in high school. One more year and you’ll be away at college. My pretty girl is grown-up.”
I look away. I guess I am grown-up now.
“At least I still have my baby. Is Nadi getting ready?”
“You have to look out for Nadi now that you’re at the same school. You know how she looks up to you, Lilli.” My mom squeezes my arm, and I swallow hard. I do have to look out for Nadia better. Not like how I did on Saturday night, when I left her at Alex’s party. She was with her friends, but still.
I should have stayed.
Rennie’s horn honks outside, and I stand up. “Nadia!” I yell. “Rennie’s here!”
“Just one more minute!” Nadia shrieks back.
I hug my mom and head for the garage door.
“Take a muffin for Rennie,” she calls out as I close the door behind me. Rennie wouldn’t eat it anyway. She goes off carbs at the start of every cheerleading season. She only lasts about a month before she gives in, though.
In the garage I slip on my espadrilles, and then I walk down the driveway to Rennie’s Jeep.
“Nadia’s right behind me,” I say, climbing inside.
Rennie leans over and hugs me good morning. Hug her back, I tell myself. And I do.
“Your skin looks awesome against the white,” she says, eyeing me up and down. “I wish I could get as tan as you.”
Rennie’s wearing tight jeans and an even tighter lacy scoop neck top, with a nude cami underneath. She’s so tiny, I can see her rib cage. I don’t think she’s wearing a bra. She doesn’t have to. She’s got a gymnast’s body.
“You’re pretty tan too,” I say, clicking my seat belt.
“Bronzer, baby.” She puts on her sunglasses and starts talking a mile a minute. “So here’s what I’m thinking for the next party. It came to me in a dream last night. The theme will be . . . Are you ready for this? The roaring twenties! The girls could wear flapper costumes with, like, a feather headpiece, and long beaded necklaces, and then the boys could wear zoot suits and fedoras. Hot, right?”
“I don’t know,” I say, looking out the window. Rennie’s talking so fast and so much, it’s making my head pound. “The guys might not be into it. Where are they supposed to find that stuff on the island?”
“Hello, it’s called the Internet!” Rennie taps her fingers on the steering wheel. “What’s taking Nadia so long? I want to get there before everybody else does so I can claim my parking spot for the year.” She presses her hand down on the horn—once, then twice.
“Stop,” I say. “You’re going to wake up my neighbors.”
“Oh, please. The closest house is, like, half a mile down the street.”
Our front door flies open, and Nadia comes running down the steps. She looks tiny against our massive white house. It’s different from most of the other houses on the island—modern lines and lots of glass. My mom helped design it. It was originally our summer home, and then we moved to Jar Island for good before my freshman year. I was the one who begged to move here, to be with Rennie and my summer friends.
My mom waves at us from the front door. I wave back.
“So are you yay or nay on the twenties party?” Rennie asks me.
I honestly don’t care, but I know my answer matters to her—which is why I feel like saying nay.
But before I can, Nadia is at the car, her hair sopping wet. She’s got on her new jeans and the black top the three of us bought together when we went shopping back in July. That feels like forever ago.
She climbs into the backseat. I twist around and say, “You should have dried your hair, Nadi. You know you always get colds when you go around with wet hair.”
Breathlessly she says, “I was scared you guys would leave without me.”
“We wouldn’t leave you!” Rennie cries, turning the wheel. “We’re your big sisters. We’ll always look out for you, honey bun.”
Something nasty is on the tip of my tongue, and I swallow hard to keep from saying it. If I say it, we’ll never be the same again. Even worse than now.
We pull around our circular driveway and down the road.
“Cheerleading practice is at four,” Rennie reminds me, bouncing in her seat to the music. “Don’t be late. We need to evaluate the fresh meat. See what we’ve got to work with. Did you remember to bring your mini camcorder so we can tape them?”
I open my bag and look, even though I know it’s not there. “I forgot.”
“Lil! I wanted to evaluate them later tonight in HD.” Rennie lets out a grumbly sigh, like she’s disappointed in me.
I shrug my shoulders. “We’ll deal.” That’s what we’re doing right now, isn’t it? Dealing? But Rennie’s clearly better at it than me.
“Nadi, who’s the prettiest of all your friends?” Rennie asks.
“Patrice,” Nadia says.
Rennie makes a left, and we pass the small rental cottages that populate Canobie Bluffs. I focus on one in particular. There’s a caretaker outside closing it up for the season, now that it’s empty. I think it’s Reeve’s dad. He’s bolting the shutters on the first floor windows. He hasn’t gotten to the master bedroom yet. Those ones are still wide open.
I turn my head away, and out of the corner of my eye, I look at Rennie. Just to see if she has noticed it too. But there’s nothing there—no recognition, no alarm, nothing.
“Nadi, you’re so much prettier than Patrice. FYI, I’m only taking the cream of the crop for the varsity squad,” Rennie says. “Let me know if there’s anyone you want to cheer for, and I’ll hook it up.”
Immediately Nadia says, “Alex. Can I cheer for Alex?”
Rennie gasps. “Ooh! You better ask your sister. He’s her boy toy.”
“Rennie, be quiet.” I say it more snappishly than I intended, and she makes a face to Nadia in her rearview mirror. I take a breath. “Nadia, there’s a whole line of junior and senior girls ahead of you for Alex. We can’t show favoritism like that. I mean, how would it look, us giving a senior starter to a freshman? Besides, you still have to try out. You haven’t made the squad yet.”
At this, Rennie nods. “Lil’s right. I mean, you’re basically in but we have to treat you the same as everybody else. Even though you’re clearly special.” Nadia wriggles in her seat like a puppy. “Oh, and make sure to tell your friends that if they’re even one minute late, they’re going to be sent home. Period. As captain I need to set the tone for this season.”
“Got it,” Nadia says.
“Good girl. You’re going to be our freshman star.”
I feel like I am floating above myself as I say, “She needs to work on her back handspring. It’s weak.”
It gets really quiet.
I flip down my visor to look at Nadia. The corners of her mouth are turned down, her dark eyes hurt.
Why did I say that?
I know how badly she wants to make the squad. We practiced all summer, back handsprings and tumbling and stunts and our routines. I told Nadia that when Rennie graduates, it will be her on the top of that pyramid. I told her she’ll be set at Jar High. Just like her big sis.
But now I’m not so sure I want her to be anything like me or Rennie. Not anymore.
Posted September 21, 2012
You will never want to stop reading once you stop. Is an amazing book and has a really interesting plot. I strongly recomend reading this.
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Posted January 13, 2014
This was the best book EVER!!!! It was making me think maybe revenge isn't so sweet. I loved the characters, but I had a connection to Kat. She doesn't take crap from anyone and it reminds me of wel...ME. If your out there reading this I want to say buy this book. The end leaves you shocked but it's still amazing! It's a serious kick-a** story!!!!!
Excuse my language
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Posted November 26, 2013
Posted March 27, 2013
This book was amazing. After every page I wanted to read on and never stop. You know the book is a good book when it feels real. The dynamics of this book was amazing. I give this book 5 stars and I am sooooooo anxious/excited for the sequel!!
P.S. The ending was amazing. If you like a good book with an ending that leads you on and drives you crazy to know what happens next; read this.
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Posted May 20, 2014
Mary's returning to Jar Island after years away from it to live with her aunt to see a boy she once knew. Why? Closure. Reeve did something terrible to her—something vile and despicable and she needs things to come full circle. Mary is a bemusing character, wispy and enigmatic. There's a twist to her character that had me very confused, but that doesn't stop her from being kind and observant and sweet.
Lillia is the oldest daughter of a priveliged
Korean-American family. She's lived a charmed life; designer clothes, a stable home, wealth, and a high role in the hierarchy of high school. She's beautiful, poised, and, elegant. She is fiercely protective of her little sister, Nadia and has cute, nice Alex wrapped around her finger and wholly head over heels for her. She's best friends with Rennie, the queen of the school, and is content to play princess. Sure, little things bug her and the company she chooses occasionally makes her sick, but she can pretend everything's perfectly fine if she tries hard enough. Everything changes after Rennie abandons her when she needs her most and Lillia is left traumatized. To make things worse, Alex seems to ge preying on Nadia, and Big Sister is the opposite of pleased.
Kat is a wild child and badass. She smokes and cusses and spits in people's faces and sticks around to laugh at them. She isn't afraid to tell people what she thinks or the consequences. She was best friends with Rennie and Lillia, until Rennie dropped her from their group. Rennie now spreads vicious rumors about her and treats her like trash. Kat is brutal and honest and tough as nails. Her family scrapes by; they love each other, and that will get them throuh everything after the death of Kat's mother. Kat wants desperately to get off the island; Kat just wants to mean something, which is something you can't to on Jar Island where nothing is everything and everything is nothing.
After a chance meeting in the girls' bathroom—where else would things like this happen?—the girls meet up and give the people that have wronged them their just desserts. They will make Alex sorry for touching Nadia, fooling Lillia, and leading Kat on. They will steal the thing Rennie wants most for treating Kat worse than dirt and not lifting a finger to help Lillia in her time of need. And they will destroy Reeve's future like he destroyed Mary's life.
There are dark, tragic things in all the girls' pasts. Mary's attemped suicide. The death of Kat's mother. Lillia's date rape and ensuing guilt. They're all terrible things and delicate subjects; however, the authors handle it tactfully, never glorifying it or using it just for a plot device or a catalyst for you to feel sorry for a character. They're shown as what they are: awful.
Besides that, who doesn't love a revenge plot? This is a book where girls don't get mad or sad (well, they do, but that's not the point), they get even. That's delicious in itself.
The writing is gorgeous. Co-authored books rarely come out smooth, but not just smooth, this was also beautiful and impossibly addicting and readable. This book has skyrocketed to my favorites and is on my revolving door of books wonderful enough to reread. Please, read this book, I can't recommend it highly enough.
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Posted November 2, 2013
Posted June 6, 2014
Posted March 26, 2014
Posted March 11, 2014
I LOVE this book. I've loved everything I've read by Jenny Han so far but this is the first by Siobhan Vivian. I loved the storytelling from multiple POVs. The cliffhanger at the end left me so hungry for more though! When I bought it this weekend I didn't know it was going to be part of a series and now I am dying to get the second book. I highly recommend it!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 21, 2014
I liked this book for a lot of reasons. I also disliked several things about it. I ALMOST quit at the 30% mark, but I'm glad I didn't.
What I liked:
Revenge! Oh yes, I am a sucker for devious plotting and evil schemes. I mean, who hasn't fantasized about exacting revenge at one point or another?
The characters. I liked each one of their stories and how their histories were entwined with each other. I loved that we had a popular socialite, a bitter outcast, and the quiet victim of childhood bullying all coming together to take down the people that wronged them.
The writing. This book was really well written. Even though there were a lot of characters, they were unique enough that I didn't get them confused. The author did a great job of developing each of them and giving the reader bits of their stories throughout the book.
What I didn't like:
Lame revenge. Most of the things the girls did were pretty tame and didn't amount to much excitement. I wish they had amped things up a bit. Maybe a lot.
Cliffhanger ending. Just when things started going, the book ended. I nearly screamed.
Content. Parents be warned, when it comes to content, this one has is all: non-descriptive sex, drugs, language, crime, lying, and teen drinking. The one plus side of this is that none of the content is portrayed in a positive light. If anything, it serves as a reminder of how making the wrong choices can leave you with big scars and even bigger regrets.
Supernatural aspect. It was kind of weird and didn't fit with the plot or the rest of the story. Maybe it will make more sense in the next book.
When all is said and done, I fully plan on reading the next one. So take that for what you will.
The Cover: I am absolutely 100% head over heels in love with this cover. The colors are gorgeous and I love the way the title is slapped right on top of the image.
Posted December 10, 2013
This book is amazing. I love it to peices. The three different charaters to attach to and see there different veiws and how there lives are inter-twined. Three different people that all want revenge on the popular group. Its a fantastic book that I was glued to.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 18, 2013
Mary, Lillia and Kat, they all had scores to settle. Senior year was going to be a time to get even.
Mary wanted Reeve to pay. She wanted him to see her and watch his jaw drop when he realized what she looked like now. She wanted him to be humiliated.
Kat wanted Rennie to finally NOT get everything she wanted. To finally feel like she was the butt of everyone's jokes. Finally pay for all the lies she spread.
Lillia wants Alex to pay for what he did to her sister. To think, she once thought he might be interested in her. She thought they were friends at least. How could he?
Was High School ever like this?
No one would ever suspect that these three would work together, even know each other? This could work.
A strong story of hurt, revenge and more. I won't spoil it, but you will want to read it in one setting! It will keep you wanting to know what happens, right up to the end.
Posted September 20, 2013
A little bit of Pretty Little Liars mixed with Carrie, this book is about revenge, plain and simple. Lillia, Kat, and Mary have all been burned, and now they want the people that hurt them to pay for their deeds.
The only problem I had with this book was that it was hard to root for anyone. You wanted the trio of girls to get their revenge, but you also wanted to see them fail. Every character in this book is a human being, for better or for worse, and the more complicated they are, the harder it is to pick out a villain. And if you can't pick out a villain, it's hard to be on the girls' side as they go around seeking revenge.
The writing is great, and the story moves along quickly enough. There's an interesting twist to the book that I didn't see coming, and I'm excited to find out how that will pan out in Fire with Fire.
Posted September 7, 2013
Burn for Burn is the story of three very different girls: Kat, Mary and Lillia. These three girls all have one thing in common: they want sweet, sweet revenge. Each had something terrible happen to them, and because of that they are looking to get even. Karma’s a bit*h, right?!
Mary was tormented by a boy when she was younger, forcing her to leave the island. When she returned, she was expecting nothing more than getting back at him for what he did to her. Lillia’s never had boy trouble of any kind, but when one starts messing with her sister she decides to take matters into her own hands. Kat, the totally intimidating and downright scary badass, seeks revenge on a former friend of hers that made her life miserable. These three, strictly by chance, end up together and immediately start plotting their revenge on all the people that have tortured them and ruined their lives.
The narration of this audio was pretty fun since there were three separate narrators, one for each girl. The fact that each had their own separate voice, personality and demeanor really helped me get into the story and feel for these girls. The shy, quiet girl, the rebellious, tough chick, and the popular, easy-going girl.
This story reminded me quite a bit of This is WAR, which I had a very similar opinion of. It was cute. It was a tad slow in the beginning, but it really picked up once the girls started plotting, and just kept going from there. I was impressed that Han & Vivian made a point of showing that playing tricks on people can have consequences. It really reminded me of why I would NEVER want to go back to high school again with all of the pettiness, animosity and bullying.
The story flip-flopped, going from girl to girl, from past to present, really bringing this story to life. The three girls had such separate personalities. They were complex, easy-to-relate-to characters that I felt as though I knew personally. Though I didn’t agree with their choices or how they handled situations more often than not, I did feel for them and the torment they suffered. Ugh, teens can be so mean!
Burn for Burn was full of drama, secrets, friendship and vengeance at its ugliest. It’s a very real fiction that I can only imagine would hit close to home for many. The ending, if you can even call it that, really leaves you hanging. In part, this frustrates me, yet I know they do this for a reason. Han & Vivian, you tricky little ladies, you’ve definitely got me curious to see what happens in Fire with Fire!
Posted August 16, 2013
booksbysteph says "Revenge is Best Served...Funny"
Through a myriad of events, Kat DeBrassio, Lillia Cho and Mary Zane find themselves alone together in a girl's bathroom of their high school, complaining about the things that are going on in their lives.
Kat is angry at Rennie, her old best friend for spreading really bad rumors about her and her family. Lillia is appalled that her best guy friend, Alex, is hooking up with her little sister, Nadia. Mary wants to upstage the varsity football quarterback, Reeve, who turned the entire 7th grade against her because he made fun of her weight, causing her to try to kill herself.
All three girls want revenge. "No one can ever know what [they are] up to. What [they] do together lives and dies with [them]." They set up some simple ground rules. "[E]ach of [them] has to participate in all three acts of revenge. That way no one can back out or blame someone else." "[T]hey can't be seen talking to each other in public. Ever." Even texting is out. And "no one can bail halfway through. If [they are] in, [they] need to be in until the very end. Until [they] all get what [they] want. If not, well...consider [themselves] fair game. It'll be open season, and [they will] have a hell of a lot of ammo to use against [them]. If [they] can't swear to that, [they] might as well pretend [this idea] never happened."
The girls want to make it so no girl will ever want to hook up with Alex. They want to watch Rennie's dreams evaporate before everyone's eyes. And they want to kill Reeve for what he did to Mary, but will settle on ruining his life.
In the beginning, the girls have fun torturing their targets, but as things begin to play out, some start to question if they are doing the right thing. None of them knew the horror at the homecoming dance would happen.
Each girl blames herself...just like in the oath they created, but they really believe it.
I GIVE THIS BOOK: 5 Stars
* WARNING: The pranks in this book are for entertainment purposes only. Please do not attempt to do any of the revenge plots. *
Cliffhanger ending! I mean that literally. You will have to read the next book, Fire with Fire (available now), in this trilogy to see the consequences of homecoming night.
What can I say that will not spoil the fun for you? Some of the pranks I found to be hilarious because they are imaginative. Some I have seen in movies. Others are extremely dangerous and not funny at all.
These girls are basically taking down the cool group in high school, which Lillia is a part of. I like that because there should not be a group of cool kids who dictate everything. Every person should be on the same level. High school politics are torture and something does need to be done about it.
I cannot say much more or I will ruin your fun. But you will laugh, your inner conscience will be tested and you will see right from wrong and how things might not be as they seem.
Until next time, live life one page at a time!
Posted August 5, 2013
This book is beyond words. I never read anything but romance for teens but this book was just captivating I couldnt put it down. Three word tweleve letters READ THIS BOOK.
--- =] wierd one 4ever
Posted June 24, 2013
This book was amazing, i love jenny han's books and have read books by Siobvion too. Im a big fan of books like this and happy that I can read another book with my favorite author, the only thing i can say is that the ending was suspenseful and came to a unexpected end :P i wanted more more, not wanting to wait for another book... Anyways no spoilers, its really good!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 8, 2013
Posted March 26, 2013
Posted February 4, 2013
I am so mad. STOP DOING THE SAME PLACES OKAY. I HAVE BEEN TO TAYLOR SWIFT AND NICKI MINAGA AND TO MANY MORE. But it is getting boring and a waste time. We need a vote. Put your votes in right away. Write on the headlines to Myla13. Thanx
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