The Burn for Burn Series Sparked Some Interest… And Then Went Up In Smoke

So full disclosure: I never had a massive burning desire to read these books. I guess I warmed up to the idea cos I’m a Han completionist and was curious about Siobhan Vivian’s books. And as you might be able to tell from the title, it started out well… buuut went totally downhill :/ Let’s see how it all began first though…

burn for burn

Burn for Burn– I enjoyed Burn for Burn a lot more than I thought I would. The authors created some amazingly complex characters and an intriguing plot. I really appreciated the way the flashbacks built up a picture. However, at this stage in the series, I couldn’t understand why there was a supernatural element further into the book. It came across as a little weird, because it didn’t mesh well with the feel of the rest of the story. The ending was also a little spoilt by its Carrie like similarities. Still, it got me curious enough to keep reading. Overall, to my pleasant surprise, Burn for Burn was hot stuff.

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

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fire with fire

Fire with Fire– this had a great deal more hints of the paranormal elements than the first one. Even though this was my least favourite parts of the first, somehow it worked far better here and I was curious about where it was going. The atmosphere still wasn’t totally perfect for it, but I guess I find it easy to embrace the supernatural 😉 I did guess the twist- yet that wasn’t a bad thing. By this stage in this series, I definitely felt the books were *on fire*.

Rating: 4/5 bananas 

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ashes to ashes

Ashes to Ashes– from the outset, I knew this was going to be darker than the others. I still couldn’t be quite sure whether that would be a good thing or not- since it hadn’t necessarily worked with its predecessors. However, I was willing to be open minded, as I’d made it this far into the series. Yet- it let me down again. Again, I felt it was all tonally wrong and didn’t blend the contemporary thriller vibe with the paranormal genre all that well. It did prod my sympathies, especially with regard to Lilia, but ugh, that wasn’t enough to save this book. Because I wish that was the worst of it- because honestly I haven’t been this disappointed in an ending for a long time. I could see the banana rating plummeting as I read it. So *spoiler alert* for people interested in reading this series, cos I’m going to vent for here on out. I HATED the fact that Reeve’s redemption arc was unfulfilled. I know that he did something terrible as a kid… however he really tried to make amends and suffered the whole way through the series. I just felt like he could have caught some break. It also didn’t help that I had *zero* sympathy for Mary by the end and kept thinking “what kind of justice is this?!” And in case that wasn’t bad enough, Lilia ended up with the wrong boy. Sorry, but Alex is a typical “nice guy” and I found it frustrating that I was supposed to sympathise with him there. Sure, she let him love her cos she was selfish and rich, but she grew over the course of the series and this decision kind of undermined that growth. She should have been able to let him go (and he shouldn’t have continued to insist that he was right for her despite her rejecting him). And this is a big deal because it just felt like Lilia was being punished by the author’s choice here. Punished for the person she was at the start and not for who she became. Worst of all, she had already undergone enough heartache throughout the course of the story and didn’t deserve that conclusion. ARGH it was so frustrating to have that be how the series came to a close!! It was like all the air being let out of a whoopee cushion. So much build up- such a letdown.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

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So have you read this series? What did you think about it? And more importantly what did you think of that ending? Let me know in the comments!

 

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34 thoughts on “The Burn for Burn Series Sparked Some Interest… And Then Went Up In Smoke

  1. Suziey Bravo says:

    I’ve never heard of this series but it’s like the person above said, sounds like Divergent. It’s always terrible when you invest time in a series and you’re enjoying it, only for the last book to be a letdown smh. Bummer. Hopefully the next book you read is better!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Norrie says:

    I have the first book but i haven’t read it yet. I had to skip the description of the last one cuz the spoiler thingy, so not sure where these books are going. I don’t normally like supernatural stuff, but something just seemed interesting about this one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marie says:

    I completely agree with you on these books! I thought they started off great, but I was kind of disappointed by the last book, too, ugh. It was so promising and then it went downhill, that made me so mad :/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Vera says:

    I haven’t read this series and have a feeling I would find it equally frustrating as you – I get disappointed when a character’s growth is overlooked during the final ‘justice day’. On the flip side, I’m really glad you enjoyed those first two books! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. lucindablogs says:

    Wow, you’re definitely back on it if you’re doing mini reviews! This series looks like it features backpacks so I won’t be indulging (especially after that disappointing final instalment). Such a shame that the authors couldn’t pull off a better ending though, especially as it sounds like you were starting to enjoy the series. Oh well, you can’t win em all xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. auroralibrialis says:

    Great review! I’m so happy I’m not the only one who hated the ending to this series, it was such a let down. And I agree the supernatural element didn’t always feel like a natural part of the story, the setting and characters felt too light contemporary for it to fit. It should’ve had a slightly darker atmosphere. I still enjoyed the first two books though, they were very entertaining reads!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Thank you! Yeah me too! And yeah I’m glad I wasn’t the only one that thought that about the supernatural element- it just didn’t feel like it worked as a whole. I agree with you there and I did think the first two were entertaining reads overall- just a shame about the last one!

      Like

  7. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    I didn’t even know Jenny Han had written these books. I’ve heard of her Lara Jean trilogy, and her Summer series (though I haven’t read those ones) but didn’t realise she’d wrote a series with another author. It’s a shame this trilogy went downhill though. There are a few series which I’ve read which have started out really promising, and that I’ve really loved, but have been seriously let down by the last book. It always sucks when that happens.
    Great reviews. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Beware Of The Reader says:

    This is the first time that I see this series! I have heard of Jenny Han of course but …. And this is so hard when the last of a series does not live to the others!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nicola @ Thoughts on Fantasy says:

    I’ve seen the covers of this series around but never paid much attention to them – after reading your reviews though I don’t think I’ll be picking them up! Interesting that the paranormal elements didn’t work so well in this blend. They certainly don’t look like paranormal novels so I would have never suspected there were any such elements! Reminds me of that film I forget the name of that annoyed people because it randomly turned into a zombie horror movie halfway through… I guess there’s something about setting up certain genre expectations and a tone/style and then changing that that doesn’t always work.

    Liked by 1 person

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