Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Review: Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes
By Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
Simon and Schuster Children's Publishing, 2014
Review from eBook
Audience: Grades 9 to 12
ISBN:  9781442440814
Publication Date:  September 16, 2014

What's done is done.  Lillia and Kat both feel responsible for Rennie's death, and both girls are trying to overcome their part in it.  But the biggest question on their mind is, where's Mary?  After Mary found out that she's really a ghost haunting the island, her aunt bound her to her room, but the bonds are broken when Lillia and Kat come looking for her.  Now an unpredictable Mary can roam the island exacting her revenge and since Kat and Lillia seem to no longer be on her side, they are fair game.  Lillia has fallen in love with Reeve, earning her hate from not only her old friends, but mostly from Mary, who is still intent on punishing Reeve for what he did to her.  Kat is trying to get off the island, but she gets sucked in by graduation goggles and eventually finds herself missing the island before she's even gone.  It all comes crashing down on prom night, of course, and this story goes out with a bang.

Spoiler alert!  Honestly, I knew vaguely how this would end.  I knew that none of the major characters, including Reeve, would really be hurt.  I knew Mary would go crazy, but that Kat and Lillia would break through to her.  Even knowing all of that, I still had to read this book, which proves that the authors really knew what they were doing.  It's rather formulaic, but despite that, I kept going.  Mary's revenge gets darker as she gets stronger and it was entertaining watching Kat try to figure out how to tame her.  Kat as a character opened up more in this book than others.  She starts caring about people after her spring break trip and finally becomes involved.  I would say that Kat is my favorite character.  Mary is too out of control, Lillia is too privileged, but Kat is just right.  

Lillia's relationship with Reeve is ridiculous and can't last, not only because of Mary but because it is so high school.  They love each other so deeply that Reeve is lost without her.  Some of the drama could have been amplified because Mary was messing with Reeve's dreams so much, but this relationship had all of the disturbing hallmarks of an obsessive high school relationship.  It was never going to work anyway, but it's still a little sad that it came crashing down like it did.

Ashes to Ashes was a fitting end to the Burn for Burn trilogy.  It tied up all the loose ends, especially with the epilogue, and did justice to the characters and plot so far.  I think that readers will be satisfied with this ending.

Happy Reading!

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