Think Mary, Kat, and Lillia have nothing left to lose? Think again. The fiery conclusion to the Burn for Burn trilogy from New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han, and New York Times bestselling author of The List, Siobhan Vivian.
They only meant to right the wrongs. It was about getting even. Burn for burn.
But the fire they lit kept raging…Reeve ended up hurt, then Rennie ended up dead.
Everything will turn to ash if they don’t stop what they started. But now that Mary knows the truth about what happened to her, will she want to?
Secrets drew Lillia, Kat, and Mary together. The truth might tear them apart.
About the Author
Jenny Han is the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer I Turned Pretty series; Shug; the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Siobhan Vivian; and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. She is also the author of the chapter book Clara Lee and The Apple Pie Dream. A former children’s bookseller, she earned her MFA in creative writing at the New School. Visit her at DearJennyHan.com.
Siobhan Vivian is the author of the young adult novel We Are the Wildcats, as well as Stay Sweet, The Last Boy and Girl in the World, The List, Not That Kind of Girl, Same Difference, A Little Friendly Advice, and the Burn for Burn trilogy, cowritten with Jenny Han. A former editor for Alloy Entertainment, she received her MFA in creative writing at the New School. She teaches creative writing at the University of Pittsburgh. Visit her at SiobhanVivian.com.
Read an Excerpt
Ashes to Ashes
IF IT WERE A NORMAL day, Nadia and I would be listening to the local morning radio show. She actually laughs at the corny jokes they tell, at the slide-whistle sound effects. I don’t think their banter is very funny, but I do like hearing the celebrity gossip. Sometimes, if they are doing a giveaway or contest, Nadia will call using both our cell phones at the same time to up her chances of winning.
But not today. Not the first day back at school since Rennie died. Today as I drive us, the radio stays off. We ride in silence, except for the swish, swish, swish of the wipers as they push the tiny snowflakes off my windshield.
Nadia tries to peel off her puffer jacket while keeping her seat belt buckled. “Can you turn the heat down? It’s boiling in here.”
I glance at the dashboard. I’ve got the dial set to high, plus my heated seats are cranked. It’s because I can’t get warm. My body’s been cold since I heard the news. “Sorry,” I say.
I pull into a parking spot and watch for a second as everyone slowly marches into school. It’s like a silent movie. No one is talking or joking or laughing. I wonder, will school ever feel normal again, without Rennie here?
I’m sure not.
Sometimes, when I was annoyed with her, I’d tell myself that Rennie wasn’t as big a force as she liked to think she was. That she didn’t hold so much sway, so much power over our school. But now that she’s gone, I know it was true. This place is dead without her.
Nadia unclicks her seat belt. “Do you want me to walk in with you?”
I shake my head. “I’ll be fine.” As Nadia reaches into the backseat for her book bag, I say, “You know, there are supposed to be grief counselors here today. If you feel like talking to anyone. I’ve heard Ms. Chirazo is nice.”
Nadia nods, and she says in a timid voice, “You too, okay?”
I nod and say, “Of course,” but I don’t feel like talking. Not to anybody. I begged my mom to let me stay home sick today. Begged and pleaded. I haven’t been sleeping well. At all, really. I lie in the dark for hours and hours, but I never fall asleep.
I grab Nadi by the sleeve before she’s out of my car. “Hey. Don’t worry about me. I’m fine.” I know my voice sounds tired, weak, so I smile to compensate.
The worst part is—I know people will be feeling sorry for me. If only they knew the truth, that Rennie hated me before she died. That I betrayed her worse than anyone else could have. When I close my eyes, I keep seeing flashes of what happened in those last moments together. Her showing Reeve the pictures she’d found of me drugging him at homecoming. Her slapping me across the face. Her sobbing, hating me for betraying her.
And then there’s Mary.
The thought of seeing her today makes me want to crawl into a hole. How am I going to tell her about Reeve? And what, exactly, am I going to say? That I made a mistake but it’s over now? I’ve practiced it in my head so many times, but I still don’t know the right words.
As I walk through the parking lot, I keep my eye out for Kat’s car, but I don’t see it either. I owe her a million phone calls. I’m sure she’s pissed at me too.
I keep waiting for this to turn out to be a bad dream. To wake up and have things be the way they were. I wouldn’t even care if Rennie hated me for the rest of her life for what happened on New Year’s with Reeve. Or if she never spoke to me again. All I want is for her to be alive.
I see her everywhere. The first-floor trophy case, where we’d hang out freshman year when it got too cold to sit outside by the fountain. The janitor’s closet, where we’d hide notes for each other between classes. Her locker, sophomore year.
I feel the tears come, but I don’t want to cry anymore.
I’m at my locker when Ash comes running down the hallway, pushing her way past people to get to me. “Lil,” she moans, and she throws her arms around me, sobbing hysterically. I have the uncharitable thought that it’s like she’s in a movie about a girl who died in a car accident. Other people in the hallway turn and look at us.
I let her cry in my arms for a minute, and then I break away from her. “I’m gonna go get a juice at the vending machine,” I say. “Do you want anything?” I’m not trying to be cold, but I can’t deal with her right now. It’s just too much.
She shakes her head. “I’ll come with you, though.”
“No, stay here. I’ll be right back,” I say. I give her a peck on the cheek and dart away. I’m halfway down the hall, thinking maybe I’ll just keep walking, maybe I’ll walk right out of here and go back home, when someone grabs my arm from behind me.
“Lil,” he says. “You hanging in there?”
“Yes.” Just barely.
Alex doesn’t look so good either. He has shadows under his eyes, stubble on his chin. He rubs his eyes and looks around and then says, “I keep expecting to see Rennie. It feels . . . really empty here without her. It’s like nobody knows what to do anymore without her here to tell us.”
That’s exactly how it feels. Exactly. And it’s such a relief that someone gets it. I let out a breath that comes out more like a gasp, and Alex reaches for me and I let him hold me, and it feels like his arms are the only thing keeping me upright.
I don’t know what, if anything, Alex knows about the things that went down between Reeve, Rennie, and me on New Year’s Eve, but I’m so thankful that he’s here right now. This is who he’s always been to me, the person who knows what I need, without me having to ask. Even when I don’t deserve it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
*may contain spoilers if have not read Fire with Fire* I have been waiting to get my hands on Ashes to Ashes for so long, because Fire with Fire sure ended in such a huge cliffhanger. Ashes to Ashes is the final book in the Burn for Burn trilogy, which means that everything is finally going to rap up in this book. So many questions have arose from reading Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire, and I just couldn't wait for this book to answer all of those questions for me. Ashes to Ashes immediately began with Mary, and to be honest, I just didn't like Mary anymore. I originally thought Burn for Burn was going to be a contemporary trilogy about friends and revenge, but I really disliked the paranormal twist that was added in the story. I just didn't get why Jenny and Siobhan decided to do that, but overall, the paranormal factors was what really bothered me in this book. Bothersome factors aside, I enjoyed this book. Although, if I had to compare it to the first two, this would be my least favourite. In Ashes to Ashes, we definitely got to know and understand all the characters, not just Mary, Kat, and Lillia, a bit more that we ever had. The romance was also very interesting, and we got to really see who ended up with who. I guess this book was no longer about the revenge (boohoo!) and more about the conflict between Mary and the girls. Due to the fact that I'm not much of a fan of Mary, I really just wanted to get her out of the overall picture. Overall, the ending was a great one for this trilogy. Although it was definitely unexpected, it was still a good ending to the books. Would I recommend this trilogy? Definitely yes, but I would have to mention that it's not completely contemporary, and not get someone fooled like me (*cries*) Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian certainly delivered a good trilogy, and I can't say I'm not excited for future works by both of them!
Loved all three books! Filled with revenge, love, and hope!
I didnt like the paranormal twist it makes the book seem to fake and am i the only one that doesnt like lillia and reeve tigether?
Ok, so i was willing to finish this book, but really? I thought this was going to be good, but i hate Mary now. She used to be cute, like bubbles from the powerpuff girls so much, i would imagine her charecter as bubbles. But, nooo! She just had to be a ghost. I got so sick of it, i had to stop. PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS BOOK!
I'm extremely upset with the ending. On one hand I understand that after high school things don't pan out; not everyone gets that happy ending nor do they get closure, but this is a book! I expect every problem to be touched upon (or else the reader doesn't get any closure...if you couldn't tell). The ending seemed rushed and it disappointed me because the last two books were so good! But the fact that Lilia and Reeve don't get any closure nor a happy ending??? And then she just settles for Alex because why not. And we also don't see what happened with Kat and Alex, do they get any closure? Did they try it out? How was Reeve after the incident? I think that's what really pissed me off too was that it was just "Oh Reeve get's injured and works with his had now! Whatever!) It's like y'all gave up on the characters by the end. The relationships were dangled in front of us by the end and it's just hard to swallow because both authors are such good writers. The book could have been better planned. (However I'm only truly bitter because of Lil and Reeve. The way they built them up was so good and now I'm so sad.) Usually when I read anything of Jenny Han's I'm always a happy camper, but there was just too much looked over (in this one book). Still love her though. Can't wait for her next book (Ms. Lara Jean please make your way to the front)