Note: This review is spoiler-free. (I’m really surprised that I managed to keep it spoiler-free, by the way.)
Since listening to Burn for Burn last year, I’ve been looking forward to revisiting Jar Island. Burn for Burn surprised me for being a teenage revenge tale. It was dark, engrossing and mystifying. With an ending like that, I was curious to see what happened in its sequel Fire with Fire. Despite having a drawn out plot and being predictable in some places, Fire with Fire is darker, crazier and even more engrossing than the first. If you aren’t hooked on Jar Island drama now, you will be.
The girls—Lilia, Mary and Kat—are still reeling from how badly their revenge plot went. Reeve is in the hospital with a broken leg, an obnoxiously overprotective Rennie at his side, and all of his college football prospects are shot to hell. The girls feel guilty, even Mary who doesn’t know why she should feel so bad because of how terrible Reeve had been to her. Despite their missions being over, the girls still consider each other good friends, and Kat and Lilia start worrying about the increasingly unstable Mary. Thinking that maybe they didn’t exact the right kind of revenge on Reeve, they hatch a new plan to get back at him. When it becomes clear that Reeve has been secretly crushing on Lilia, Kat and Mary convince her to lead him on and then break his heart. Lilia isn’t all too crazy about the plan, since she doesn’t want to cozy up with Reeve, a guy she can’t stand, but her new kinship and loyalty to Mary makes her agree to do it.
I had hope that the incidents in the previous book and the overwhelming guilt they were feeling at the beginning would be a lesson on the often bad outcomes of revenge. Nope! The girls unleash this new plan that–despite Reeve’s asshole-y past–seems plain cruel. You know from the moment they agree on it that nothing good will come of it. That dread stayed with me until I reached the end.
The supernatural aspect hinted at the end of Burn for Burn is upped a level. Mary is starting to question some of the odd occurrences she may be causing. In addition, her aunt is acting strangely and gives Mary obscure advice. It doesn’t help that Mary is becoming increasingly depressed and keeps sidelining the supernatural issue. Mary’s “woe is me” attitude and the constant avoiding of her OBVIOUS supernatural abilities issue are annoying. I also can’t help but feel bad and terrified for her. She’s a major reason why this story delves into darker territory.
Kat’s character seems to be put on the backburner sadly. We hardly get much of a storyline with her, besides her desperately wanting to get accepted into college or egging her friends on. She was my favorite of the three, and there is a moment in her perspective that absolutely touched me. I just wanted more from her.
Lilia is practically the lead in the story, as she’s the one who is doing the actual vengeful task. It’s quite obvious how things will turn out for her, but I enjoyed it and found myself eagerly anticipating the parts in her perspective. Watching her relationship with Reeve evolve was fascinating; it was great and enlightening to finally get to know Mary’s former tormentor. It definitely made things complicated, and if there’s anyone the reader can sympathize with, it’s Lilia. How do you reconcile what you think you know and what you think you see in front of you?
Just like with Burn for Burn, I feel like this story is better experience via audio. Not only do narrators Joy Osmanski, Madeleine Maby and Rebekkah Ross voice the characters well, but they also help me connect with the girls, even during those moments when I don’t exactly agree with them.
Fire with Fire has a hell of an ending. Even though I found most of the book predictable (I mean, come on, if you know these characters well, you can sure guess what they’ll do next), the ending shocked me. I didn’t expect the turn of events, and it’s not something I would ever even think of when starting this series. It’s pretty brilliant and a total game changer. All I will say is that the third and final book is going to be INSANE. While I just “looking forward” to this book, I absolutely cannot wait for Ashes to Ashes.
Fire With Fire by Siobhan Vivian & Jenny Han is now available wherever books and Digital Audio are sold.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (August 13, 2013)
Length: Approx. 11 hour, 5 minutes
Series: Burn for Burn Trilogy #2
Source: Unabridged Audio Download (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Revenge, Supernatural, Romance
Completed: August 2013