Saturday, September 20, 2014

Ashes to Ashes - YA Bingo

Completed on: September 18th
# of Pages: N/A
Bingo Category: The Last Book in a Trilogy
This is a book (an audiobook to be specific) that I have been eagerly waiting on the release of for about a year now, and so when I woke up on the 16th I jumped onto iTunes to download the audiobook and transferred it to my iPod so I could start listening on my way to the bus stop before class

This is the final book in the Burn for Burn trilogy by Jenny Han & Siobhan Vivian. I don't actually own the physical copies of any of these books, and I have stuck strictly to the audiobooks. For anybody that is curious about this series, I highly recommend that you give the audio book a shot. The voice actors fit these characters spectacularly, and hearing these particular voices act out the role of the three female narrators/main characters added a whole new element of entertainment to this trilogy. The voice actors are Madeleine Maby, Joy Osmanski, and Rebekkah Ross, and their performances in all three audiobooks, Burn for Burn, Fire with Fire and Ashes to Ashes, are so spectacular. The voice of Kat was so perfectly suited to the character, and her wit and cutting tone always had me laughing. The voice of Lillia was soft and light and depicted "Princess Lillia" in the best way. And finally, the voice of Mary always suited the character's mood, whether it was cheerful, haunting, or utterly and terribly filled with sorrow.
Both authors actually ended up favoriting this tweet - Booya :)
Now I don't see any reason to spoil the final book in this trilogy for anybody that hasn't read any of the books in this series yet, and more than anything I want to talk this series up for anybody that is looking for a new YA title (or three) to read next, so I'm going to try and tell you about the very first book without any spoilers.

Burn for Burn starts out like many typical YA series with three high school girls - 2 seniors and one sophomore - that each have a problem directly connected to somebody in their lives. These girls who are unlikely friends - Outcast & Badass Kat, the Popular Princess Lillia and the New Girl, Meek Mary - make a pact one night to help each other get revenge on the people in their lives that have wronged them. Much like Strangers on a Train, they vow to help cause havok to each other's targets so that the deed cannot be traced back too easily, and they all promise not to talk about the pact to anyone outside of the three of them and also that none of them can back out once things got started.

This series is far from a typical story about high school jealousy and immature amounts of revenge. Sure, things start off in a way that is very typical of YA fiction, but the story quickly turns in many unpredictable directions, turning this series into one full of suspense and intrigue, even bordering on the edge of a horror series.
One of my favorite exchanges between Kat and Lillia from Ashes to Ashes.
One of the main things that I love about this series, which is one thing that I look for in a lot of YA fiction that I read, is that unpredictable factor where the author(s) don't take the traditional route in any sense of the word and are always able to leave be guessing - about the characters themselves, the story line and generally just on the edge of my seat as I'm asking to myself "WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN NEXT?!"

Aside from the outstanding performances of all three voice actors that bring the three characters in this series (and countless secondary characters) very much to life, I would recommend that this series be purchased as an audiobook for the very large suspense factor of this series as well. Much like the heart-wrenching yet humorous Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, which is voiced by a male voice actor, Joel Johnstone, to portray Clay Jensen and a female voice actor, Debra Wiseman, to portray Hannah Baker, this is a series that I feel becomes an entirely different experience as an audiobook. Thirteen Reasons Why is told partly through the narration of Clay and partly from the audio tapes that the recently departed Hannah has left behind and had sent to Clay, so that is very much an audiobook that has an entirely different tone when a person listens to it as opposed to simply reading the book. I believe that all three books in the Burn for Burn series can exist as an entirely different experience in audiobook form as well, because it contains the same sort of suspense that can give you that shivers-down-your-spine feeling that horror movie enthusiasts crave on a regular basis.

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