Review: Fire with Fire by Jenny Han + Siobhan Vivian

"An eye for an eye,
A tooth for a tooth,
a burn for a burn."

Fire with Fire by Jenny Han + Siobhan Vivian
Publishing Date: August 13, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
# of pages: 528
Genre: Supernatural (I suppose) / Drama

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 thin you can do is let it burn. . . . 

I was really hesitant over the sequel. The first novel, Burn for Burn, I felt had a decent conclusion. After all that went down, Mary, Kat, and Lillia were obviously going to be forever reminded of what they had and were going to live with personal guilt they feel over it. I just didn't feel like the first warranted a second book, much less a trilogy.
Add on the fact that for some goddamn reason, Mary was still obsessed with Reeve. There's no reason she should be. The reason, "He can be different" is used to justify her "love" but it why would you love someone that made your life a living hell? It doesn't matter how he acts, why would you love someone who so easily turned on you and was only there when it was convenient? It's not like he gave her the necklace or came to her birthday (as mentioned in book 1) because he wanted to, it was because his parents made him. I just don't get it. If you do, please, explain it to me. I'd love to know.

Want to know what also frustrates me? The constant outfit description. I don't care if Lillia is wearing a blue silk dress shirt or a suede booties (that I want). Move on. Also, Kat's language is... eccentric. She shouts things that are over-the-top and out of place for the setting and how others talk. Rennie also occasionally had dialogue that was jarring, taking me out of the novel. They also like to word the use baby a lot. Not in that mushy-couple-God-where's-a-bin-so-I-can-hurl way, but in a way of, "I'm a badass so I say baby because nothing says badass like saying the word baby a lot"? Putting it short (which I will never learn to do), dialogue needed cleaning up. It was just weird at times.

However, despite all the rage, I really did enjoy the novel. It's a guilty pleasure to the core and rides that fact to the very end, just being a classic revenge plot with a slight twist that never seems to get old. The characters are shallow as hell with you not really rooting for anyone as much as you are just wanting to see how everything plays out, even if you have a big honking idea on how.

With the last novel, I had problems with the supernatural elements of it and that still hasn't changed. I'm actually even more frustrated about it because it makes no damn sense. There are way too many plot holes for it to even work. There was zero explanation. They spent too little time investing on the idea in the first novel for it to even sell in here. I definitely dig the idea of it but the execution was just no. No, no, no. I ended being so frustrated over it because of all the holes and all the questions but lack of answers it provided. Damn, it would've been so interesting if it was just fleshed out earlier.

The same point goes for the secondary characters. I could not give two flying fraks about either of them. They had no personality, playing out every trope in the book, who serve no purpose. There's a realization that some of them only serve the purpose so that there's a posee surrounding Lillia and Rennie for both to manipulate, but some sort of plot or development would've been nice. Or at least more than a paragraph appearance for one of them. The supporting cast is to support the main cast, and usually steal the spotlight. But these guys? Nothing. On top of everything else, the will-they-or-won't plot line for Lillia + Alex is in play for no reason. Other than to make Reeve jealous? But that's a cheap shot at best. I feel bad for Alex, I really do. Way to screw over the only decent friend you have Lillia. (Even if he's only doing everything to impress you. But even then!)

I seem like I'm complaining a lot. Truth to be told, there's so many things I can rave and nitpick on but I'd be flat out liar if I said I didn't enjoy it one bit. Like I said, guilty pleasure to the core so while there were issues it's not to say it isn't a fast, fun ride. I'll say the three girls friendship is very fun to read. Despite being such different people, they find little things to have in common making it work enough to be believable and maybe the only thing you root for in the novel.