Burn for Burn Trilogy by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

burnforburntrilogy_n

Lillia Cho is rich, smart, beautiful, and popular. She also knows her childhood best friend, Alex Lind, is in love with her. He’s also rich, smart, handsome, and popular. He’s one of her oldest, most dependable, and most trusted friends. Unfortunately, she just doesn’t feel anything romantic for him. So when Lillia finds out that Alex has his sights set on her younger sister Nadia, and that something went down during one of their many wild parties, Lillia swears he’ll be sorry he ever laid a hand on her sister.

Kat DeBrassio used to be friends with the most popular girls in school, Rennie Holtz and Lillia Cho. They were thick as thieves, and summers were always a blast. Until queen bee Rennie decided to stop being her friend shortly after Kat’s mother died of cancer. Rennie chose Lillia. And if that wasn’t awful enough, Rennie made Kat’s life a living hell from then on. She bullied and spread malicious rumors about her just because she wanted to. One day, Kat decides that she’s had enough. It’s time for Rennie to have a dose of her own medicine.

Mary Zane has been holding on to the humiliation and heartbreak caused by her erstwhile friend Reeve Tabatsky for years. That fateful day at the ferry dock is something that Mary will carry with her for the rest of her life. What hurts the most is that Reeve doesn’t even know how much damage he’s caused. He’s still loved by all, still popular, still good-looking, his life so full of excitement, and his future so filled with promise. But he can’t get away with what he did. It’s time people knew what a horrible person he truly is. And Mary Zane is back to make sure that he pays for what he did. No matter what.

These three girls are brought together by their desire for revenge. They cannot do it on their own, but together, they can plot the sneakiest, juiciest, and most flawless revenge plan.

What can I say? It’s wild, shameless, and fun — I loved it! I wanted to hate it simply because these teenagers are horrible. All they do is drink, party, sleep around, and hate on each other. But those things are what actually make this trilogy such a delicious read. Plenty of booze, boyfriends, bitches, and bestfriendships here. And oh, not to mention revenge plots and ghost stories that will have your heart racing and your hands clammy.

Don’t be quick to hate because there’s more to Lillia, Kat, and Mary than meets the eye. It’s not all about boys and catfights. It’s not all about fun and games, either. It also talks about serious issues like date rape, suicide, sex, and depression. They look like a mindless read, judging from the book covers, but I can’t say that they totally sucked. I enjoyed reading them and didn’t think for one minute I wasted all those hours for nothing.

The ending leaves a lot to be desired, but I can’t really talk about it without spoiling it for you. Now that I’ve finished reading all three books, I actually miss the rich and beautiful people of Jar Island. Especially Kat and Reeve. It really sucks that they’re not real, because in my head, we’re like BFFs. Once again, I’ve managed to crush on a fictional high school quarterback, who’s an asshole most of the time, but really sweet and romantic when nobody’s looking. And once again, I have to break up with these book characters and move on to my next book. Oh, I hurt.

Advertisements

The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers

comfort of lies

Tia is a young woman who fell in love with a charismatic, intelligent, but unavailable man. Their connection had been intense, and they were good together. But when it came right down to it, he couldn’t give her the happy ending that she desperately wanted. The love affair ended, and Tia was left to fend for herself and the baby inside her. She had no family, and she could barely take care of herself. How could she even raise an innocent little girl?

Caroline’s life had always been about her career as a pathologist and as a wife to her hardworking and successful entrepreneur husband. Theirs was a quiet and happy marriage. But as time went by, she realized that her husband wanted more. He wanted to have a child. Despite her uncertainty over her capability of raising a child, Caroline and her husband adopted Savannah to give her the good life that she deserved. A good life that her young, heartbroken, and messed up mother Tia clearly couldn’t.

Juliette had always been perfectly content to be a wife and a supermom, with a booming business on the side. But deep inside, she is still coming to terms with her husband’s infidelity. She thought she had forgiven him for his transgression, but there are just some things you could not let go that easily. Especially after you just opened a letter addressed to your husband with a photo of the little girl he had no idea was his daughter.

Three women whose lives are turned upside down by one man’s moment of weakness. Do they dare go take the path of least resistance and live in the comfort of lies? Or do they accept the painful reality and do the right thing, even if it breaks their families apart?

It was a good and okay story, which basically translates to “You can skip reading this book altogether and just grab yourself a suspense thriller that is this year’s Gone Girl”. Sadly, I’ve read too many ensemble stories like this one. I don’t like ensemble stories that much because more often than not, the characters are one-dimensional or just plain annoying. Just like the women in this book (especially Tia!). Instead of sympathizing with them for every heartbreak, and cheering them on for finally making the right decision (which they should have done years ago!), I really just wanted to show up at their doorsteps and wring their necks. They are the book characters that can really drive you to fling the book across the room in frustration.

These women are thrown into a whirlpool of conflict, but it was very hard to connect with them on an emotional level. I felt like an outsider the entire time, looking in like a nosy neighbor, wanting them to hurry up already and just get to the ending. We don’t want that! We want to be right there in the middle of the action, right inside those people’s heads. The Comfort of Lies is okay when it should have been emotional, and lukewarm when it should have been heartbreaking.

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

ps i still love you

Lara Jean Covey is no longer pretend-in love with Peter Kavinsky. As much as she tried to deny it, she has fallen head over heels in love with the handsome and enigmatic lacrosse player. Had someone told Lara Jean this weeks before, she would’ve asked what sort of medication they’re on. She might have liked Peter Kavinsky in seventh grade, but that was years ago, and Lara Jean is all grown up now. And besides, everybody at school knows that Peter and Genevieve are practically an institution. They break up but they always get back together.

By a quirky twist of fate — mainly brought on by Lara Jean’s secret love letters being mailed out to the five boys she loved in the past — Peter and Lara Jean conspired to make it look that they’re in a relationship. It’s to make Peter’s ex-girlfriend Genevieve jealous, and also to convince Josh Sanderson, Lara Jean’s older sister’s ex-boyfriend, that she’s no longer in love with him. Pretending to be in love with Peter got easier and easier, until one day she woke up and no longer needed to pretend.

But being Peter Kavinsky’s official girlfriend comes with its own challenges. There’s Genevieve, the ex-girlfriend, who can’t seem to let go and still contacts Peter like they’re still together. There’s the video circulating online that threatens to destroy Lara Jean’s reputation and put her future in jeopardy. And then there’s John Ambrose McClaren, another boy who received her love letter, who’s back in her life and wants more than just her friendship.

This is Lara Jean’s crash course in falling in love and breaking up, moving on and starting over, going for what you want and setting limitations, and putting yourself out there to experience life. It’s one awkward, exhilarating, heartbreaking, tear-filled, and confusing journey, but Lara Jean won’t have it any other way.

Before reading the sequel, I had to re-read the first book, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, to refresh my memory on the events that transpired. Like I was expecting, I fell in love with Peter and Lara Jean all over again. I loved the first book, and I loved the second book even more. It doesn’t matter that it’s a teenage high school romance. I always love a book that can make me smile and giggle and make my heart hurt. It’s a really enjoyable, satisfying, and happy love story. Oh, please let there be a third book. Oh, and please let the film adaptation of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before be better than the book.