Cover of Ashes to Ashes, with three pretty girls (two white, one Asian) posed together and staring defiantly at the viewer

About the Book

Title: Ashes to Ashes (Burn for Burn #3)
Published: 2014

Cover Story: Super Stylin’
BFF Charm: Platinum, Meh, Hell No
Talky Talk: Straight Up3
Bonus Factor: Drama!
Relationship Status: Tumultuous Affair

Cover Story: Super Stylin’

I love how all three books have featured the same trio of models on their covers, especially since these girls closely resemble the character descriptions. (Wait, you mean it’s possible for an Asian character to be represented by an Asian model?! THAT’S CRAZY TALK.) The fact that they look like something from the pages of a J. Crew catalog is just icing on the cake. Seriously, uh, where can I buy that yellow sweater?

The Deal:

If you haven’t read the first two books in the trilogy, Burn for Burn and Fire With Fire, STOP NOW OR I WILL TURN THIS CAR AROUND. Okay, well, I’m not actually driving, so I trust you to steer yourself away from this review and race on over to the library so you can get on that shizz.

If you have read those novels, rest easy, because I won’t spoil the third and final installment in this review. I’ll be all vague-like, trust.

Ashes to Ashes begins a few days after Fire With Fire ends, and I highly recommend reading a recap of the latter. But basically, the important things to remember are:  Lillia and Reeve are in love and Rennie is dead. Oh yeah, and MARY IS A MOTHERCUSSING GHOST, although Kat and Lillia have no clue. Consumed by grief, they assume Mary’s absence means she has left Jar Island, and this theory seems to be confirmed by their visit to her house, which is an empty mess. Both girls attempt to move on with their lives, as Kat eagerly awaits acceptance to Oberlin and Lillia struggles with her feelings for Reeve and her guilt over betraying Rennie. But unlike her former friends, Mary hasn’t forgotten their pact to seek revenge, and while Reeve is still her main target, he’s no longer the only object of her vengeance.

BFF Charm: Platinum, Meh, Hell No

BFF platinum charm

Kat was already my girl, but after watching her mature into a more thoughtful, less bitter person in this book, my love for her has grown exponentially. Don’t worry, she hasn’t lost her tough edge and her brash, sassy attitude (thank god), but her heart opens up, and while she doesn’t necessarily learn to embrace the world, she no longer tells it to screw off. Kat is the kind of badass character Siobhan Vivian excels at creating–a smart, driven female who owns her sexuality like a boss–and I finished the book nursing a hard core girl crush. Next time I have a glass of whiskey, I’m totally toasting to Kat.

BFF charm with a :-| face

I’ve got nothing against Lillia, but we never really clicked. Sure, part of that might be due to my insane jealousy over her closet, but mostly I think it’s a personality thing. She’s been so sheltered, and while she’s a good person, she’s a bit too wide-eyed for my taste. I mean, any teenager who calls her parents Daddy and Mommy is a person I’m not likely to call a friend.

Hell No BFF Charm in Flames

I used to feel bad for Mary, but then we both found out that she was a ghost, and then she went completely to the dark side. Sorry, but when it comes to palling around with bloodthirsty spirits, I’m no Peter Venkman.

Swoonworthy Scale: 6

Much of this score depends upon whether or not you’re shipping Lillia and Reeve. Without spoiling anything, I’ll say that the romance in this book is punctuated by SO MUCH EMO BULLSHIZ, but one steamy scene in particular almost makes up for it. And by that I mean, THERE IS S-E-X in this book, y’all! I can’t decide if I’m disappointed or impressed by how the relationships wrapped up, but regardless, Siobhan Vivian and Jenny Han certainly surprised me.

Talky Talk: Straight Up3

Following the format of the first two books, the chapters in this novel rotate between Kat, Lillia and Mary’s point of view. The voices of the girls are distinct and imbued with personality, and their narratives don’t pussyfoot around. With bracing dialogue and even pacing, this book is a quick but solid read, subtly thoughtful and artfully juicy.

Bonus Factor: Drama!

While I admittedly grew tired of the Lillia and Reeve roller coaster, the soapy dramz in this book still kept me massively entertained. So! Much! Shizz! Goes! Down! There’s lies and jealousy and malice and revenge (obvs) and forbidden love and heartbreak and suicide and seriously, the only thing missing was a turban and a person in a coma.

Relationship Status: Tumultuous Affair

The Burn for Burn trilogy and I have had a wild time together, and this book kept our spark alive until the very end. Sure, things got a little crazy, and we didn’t always see eye to eye (that epilogue–really?!), but I can safely say that boredom was never a problem. Sexy and scandalous, Ashes to Ashes spiced up my life and reminded me that sometimes, reading can just be fun.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Simon and Schuster. I received neither money nor cocktails for writing this review (dammit!).

Sarah lives in Austin, and believes there is no such thing as a guilty pleasure, which is part of why she started FYA in 2009. Growing up, she thought she was a Mary Anne, but she's finally starting to accept the fact that she's actually a Kristy.