Ashleigh Paige

I'm a full-time college sophomore pursuing my B.A. in English with hopes of one day working as an editor. Cats, musicals, documentaries about cults/disasters/tragedies, and curse words are just a few of my favorite things. Also, check out our blog or I WILL FIND YOU.

Burn for Burn

Burn for Burn - Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten!1.5 stars.The use of vengeance as motivation in novels is one of my favorite motivations. It's the main reason I like The Count of Monte Cristo, aka the ultimate revenge book. I even have a small stuffed pig named Nemesis, her namesake being the Greek goddess of vengeance and divine retribution. Vivian and Han's collaboration seemed like it was perfectly tailored to suit my love of fictional vengeance, but it ended up falling flat in more than a few areas--especially concerning the cheerleaders' duties to the football players.One-hundred fifty pages into the book, it seemed this was going to be a solid four-star read. The girls had the potential to be fully realized characters worth getting invested in, though they hadn't managed to actually gain that sort of depth in those first one-hundred fifty pages. They still had plenty of time to develop. Little happened to start with, but there was something about the book and the way it was written that kept me reading and wouldn't let me put it down. All but the first twenty pages were read in a single day.Sadly, as the book went on, it kept getting worse. I ignored a few prose/bad word choice problems because this is an ARC and I expect such blatant errors as a thumb and a ring finger being next to one another and eyes doubling their size (not just widening, but growing twice their size) to be caught before final copies are made.Other problems are not as easy to ignore. Lillia calling a girl slutty took away one star, as is my policy. Another half-star was lost because as a big football fan, I can tell proper research was not done on the system used to give football players their numbers. I spent over half an hour confirming that a quarterback would not be number sixty-three and that kind of distraction wasn't good for me. Lillia also holds the Idiot Ball for a moment when she thinks sunburns are just a cosmetic issue and don't actually hurt. Even when they're really bad sunburns all over a person and it's her fault they're sunburned.Then I came to this.In the school Lillia, Kat, and Mary attend, each cheerleader is assigned a football player at the beginning of the year and given his name, birthday, favorite kind of cookies, locker numbers and combinations, home address, cell phone number, etc. in order to take care of him. The cheerleader's job is to support him, decorate his locker, bake him cookies on game days (and probably his birthday too), and keep him happy. If one of the girls doesn't cheer for her assigned player at a game, she is reminded of the commitment she made to that player. You mean, the commitment she was forced into, since she is not allowed to choose or object to her assignment? Only the head cheerleader, Rennie, and the football players have any say in who is assigned to who.This can't be excused as a creation of the antagonist Rennie either. Considering she was assigned to someone her freshman year, it appears she inherited it. The only objection to this blatant, offensive use of gender roles is a mild one coming from a cheerleader who isn't happy she was assigned a player who will never make it onto the field. The only reason this cheerleader-football player dynamic appears to be in the book is to give Lillia a way to find Alex's locker combinations and numbers. There