By: Melanie | January 13, 2015 | (51) Comments

Review: Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan VivianAshes to Ashes by Jenny Han, Siobhan Vivian
Series: Burn for Burn, #3
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Release Date: September 16th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Drama, YA
Pages: 387
Source: Received in exchange for review
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New Year's Eve ended with a bang and Mary, Kat and Lillia may not be prepared for what is to come.

After Rennie's death, Kat and Lillia try to put the pieces together of what happened to her. They both blame themselves. If Lillia hadn't left with Reeve... If Kat had only stayed with Rennie... Things could have been different. Now they will never be the same.

Only Mary knows the truth about that night. About what she is. She also knows the truth about Lillia and Reeve falling in love, about Reeve being happy when all he deserves is misery, just like the misery he caused her. Now their childish attempts at revenge are a thing of the past and Mary is out for blood. Will she leave anything in her wake or will all that remain be ashes?

Only read the first and last paragraphs of this review if you haven’t read Fire with Fire
stickers-my-review (1)

Burn for Burn and Fire with Fire are some of the best high school revenge stories I’ve ever read. Han and Vivian manage to create drama that doesn’t feel aimless or overly melodramatic and characters with incredible depth and growth. It’s safe to say that yes, I loved this series up until this very last instalment which has pretty much tainted my feelings towards the entire series. Words do not even begin to explain how disappointed I am with this series ender.

I firstly want to say that Ashes to Ashes was a decent novel until the last three pages. It had it’s problems, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable (though still, not as amazing as the first two instalments). This book is set not long after where Fire With Fire ends and everyone is dealing with the repercussions of Rennie’s death. The start of this novel is bleak and notably dark. You can feel the guilt that Lillia and Reeve hold in their arms, as they try to juggle with the grief and despair too. As for Kat, she’s confused. She was once Rennie’s best friend and while on one hand she doesn’t want to care, but she’s trembling inside. If I were to rate the beginning of this book, I’d smack 5 stars all over it. However, things soon make a turn for the worse.

I’ll be blunt: I did not like the plot line at all. I didn’t feel that much happened until the second half of the book. Sure, there’s plenty of drama but I couldn’t help asking myself: “Where the heck is the plot line?” I cannot divulge what happens in this book because there’s a big reveal at the start of the book that I don’t think I should be spoiling, but it has to do with Mary. I will say that she becomes completely blinded by revenge on Reeve, and goes absolutely crazy with her infatuation with him. I wasn’t a huge fan of this aspect of the novel, or the big reveal that I aforementioned. Sure, it made many things that happened in the first two novels make sense, but at the same time it felt rather abrupt for Mary’s character to take a 180 twist. I mean, she just went actually crazy here, and it didn’t feel plausible at all because she didn’t even hint that in the first two novels.

What Ashes to Ashes excels in is the romance department. Reeve and Lillia feels all the freaking way; I loved it! Their romance has obvious chemistry to it, and that’s what I loved about Reeve and Lillia. You can tell how much Reeve actually cares for Lillia and it’s seriously the most beautiful thing to read about. There’s plenty of cute scenes in this one, which makes it the highlight of the book.

The ending is pretty much where everything, EVERYTHING goes downhill. I’m hiding my thoughts on the ending in spoiler tags, so only peek at them if you’ve read Ashes to Ashes or if you are a naughty and sneaky person. View Spoiler »

In all, Ashes to Ashes left me incredibly disappointed. I’ve probably used that word too many times already but it’s simply the only emotion I felt once I finished this book. The ending, the plot, and even some of the characters just didn’t make this the epic finale that I hoped it would be.

GIF to sum up my thoughts?

~Thank you Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me this copy!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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51 Responses to Review: Ashes to Ashes by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

  1. I am so tempted to click that spoiler button, aha. But I know I’ll end up regretting it… so I won’t. I actually really loved the first two books in the series! I mean, who doesn’t like a revenge story?! So it’s a shame this one seemed to appear largely plotless, though I’ll still read it to know what happens.
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Good job, Kara. Holding in those temptations 😉 Yes, I loved the first two books in this series as well! But this one? NOPE. A full 180 twist 🙁 I’d be curious to read your thoughts, Kara!

  2. I’m sorry Ashes to Ashes was such a disappointment to you, Melanie. It’s always hard when you look forward to a sequel, and then it just falls flat on its face 🙁 I hope your next books was amazing!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #28 – Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Read…My Profile

  3. Dude, I whole heartedly agree with you. I still struggle to accept that THAT is how Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivien decided to end the book. It completely takes away everything I ever thought or knew and they pretty much hit a reset button because everything goes back to how it was before. I mean, without Lillia and Mary and Kat meeting each other, Lillia and Reeve probably would never get together and she’d end up with Alex like the end of this book tells us. Just URGH. I feel you, girl.

    Amazing review!

  4. I hate that this one disappointed you! I have the first book sitting on my shelf to read but I’ve heard not so great things about this last one in the series so I’ve kinda been putting it off. Maybe I’ll give it a try someday.
    Christy @ Novel Ink recently posted…Trivia Tuesday (7)My Profile

  5. Amelia says:

    Oh dear D: I really loved reading Burn for Burn and I’m planning on reading Fire for Fire soon so it really sucks that the last book was a bummer. It sucks that everything just got worse and worse in this one 🙁 I will have to lower my expectations when I read it then! Honestly, I am worried….
    Lovely review Melanie 🙂

    • Melanie says:

      I’m glad that you are loving the series so far, hun! I definitely wounldn’t want to have my expectations high for this one, so maybe that’s the best way to go into this?

  6. Siiri hated this ending too and she told me exactly what you mentioned in the spoiler tags. I absolutely hate when authors do that. I was going to pick this up based on all the love for the first 2 books, but I’m better off not reading it. I’m sorry this sucked so much for you, Mel. Crossing my fingers that your next read will blow you away.
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Review : Rebound by Noelle AugustMy Profile

  7. See, this is what I hate. It’s like authors write a book and then at the end they’re like ‘LOL NO MORE I CAN’T BE BOTHERED BYE’ and things are just . . . not good.

    I peeked at the spoiler tags because I remember Siiri telling me all about the ending already haha and DUDE. You literally said the exact thing she did so, man, Vivian must’ve killed those ships 🙁
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…Bad Boy Rules That Must Be Obeyed {The Birdie Rules}My Profile

  8. I’m totally with you girl. I hated this book 🙁 I gave it 2 stars because, well, I loved the first two books, but this one was just the most disappointing finale ever! You totally said what I was meaning to say: that the ending was very anti-climactic. Ugh. I feel like the finale wasted so much potential 🙁
    Faye le Potato recently posted…Potato Prints #5: Harry Potter, Throne of GlassMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      RIGHT? Like I was already put off by Mary being some crazy ghost but then you pull that anti-climatic ending and I’m just like NOPENOPENOPE. Le sigh 🙁

  9. I haven’t read any of the books in this series because I typically struggle with revenge stories, and after reading the spoiler tag (yes, I cheated, I can’t help it!), I think I’m going to continue to pass on these books. It’s a shame those last couple pages ruined things for you Melanie, especially since the previous two worked so well.
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…Review: Love, LucyMy Profile

  10. I only read the first and last paragraphs because I haven’t read Ashes to Ashes yet, but it sounds like for the most part, the series is a really nice read. Too bad the series finale wasn’t as good as the other books. This might be a series that I might at least try out because I’m sick of books portraying teens unrealistically, and it’s really refreshing to see a book portraying REAL teens.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Mean’t To Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah the first two books are fantastic but here…not so much. It’s only saving grace was really the Reeve and Lillia moments 😐 I definitely still recommend you check the series out! xD

  11. Jasprit says:

    I was utterly disappointed with this ending too, why couldn’t we have gotten what we’d all wanted?? And I actually had to skim read through Mary’s chapters because she made me so mad. I did enjoy this book still and I think I’m just going to make myself believe the last three pages didn’t happen 🙁
    Jasprit recently posted…Blog Tour: The Perfect Couple by Jennifer EcholsMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? It’s like Han and Vivian purposely did the opposite of what we wanted. Yeah omg I skimmed a lot in this book because either 1) the character was being a pain or 2) it was plain boring.

  12. I am not a fan of high school revenge books, so this series hasn’t interested me despite the good reviews. I cheated and read the spoiler, and man oh man what a disappointment. I am not going to read the series now.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Tell Me Something Tuesday #85: Do You Buy Hardbacks When Books Release?My Profile

  13. I only read slivers of your review so I didn’t ruin anything for myself. I’m happy you enjoyed the first two books. I have Burn for Burn but I didn’t want to get into a series that I didn’t have all the books for. I hope I don’t feel the same way about the ending… I’m sure it’s a hit or miss. The romance sounds lovely though (:
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    • Melanie says:

      Actually, I’ve looked at lots of goodreads reviews and everyone is pissed about the ending, heh. I mean, sure, some loved the book but those last three pages? Unforgivable. ._. Yes, the romance was so on point!

  14. I’ve been planning to read this series ASAP and have heard very mixed reviews on the third book. It seems that the trilogy overall is worth the read, though.
    Lauren at Bookmark Lit recently posted…Top Ten Tuesdays #24: Meant to Read in 2014My Profile

  15. Veronika says:

    Thank you for saying EXACTLY what I think! Oh my God I was so annoyed. The thing is that thanks to tumblr I spoiled the ending. I was disappointed but I LOVE this trilogy so I wanted to give a real chance to Ashes to Ashes. And I did. I waited for the romance between these two characters who ended up together in the end but felt ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Why would the authors thought this is okay? They pretty much ruined a whole cast of freaking amazing characters. And Kat’s decision about uni? Where the hell did that come from? Also maybe Lillia was the main character but Kat was important too, and everyone else too, so why only Lillia got the chance to sum up like five people’s lives in 3 pages. The ending was probably written in 15 minutes or less.
    Sorry for the rant but I’m so freaking mad. I’d been waiting for this for so long and then bamm, total disappointment.
    Wonderful review! 😀
    Veronika recently posted…Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

    • Melanie says:


  16. I recently read Ashes to Ashes and have yet to post my review, but I completely agree with you on the ending! I didn’t rate the book quite as low, but still… I felt like the authors COMPLETELY disregarded the relationships they spend the entire beginning of this book and Fire with Fire building. It was so ridiculous. I was EXTREMELY upset that Reeve and Lillia never made it out together. I can’t believe that they would go through all that trouble, and instead of becoming a stronger couple, they fall apart and never speak to each other again. I mean, HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN??? Same with Lillia and Kat. They just never talk. Ever. And Kat’s dog gets killed, so shouldn’t that mean she should still have her ticket to Oberlin? Or did she have to sacrifice two things as Lillia didn’t even keep her end of the deal? I just have no clue. Well. Great review, I like the GIF!:D
    Claire @ Cover to Cover recently posted…Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant to Read but Didn’t Get ToMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Omg right? I am still so pissed that the authors just disregarded everything that they ever preached about in the first two novels. Yeah, stupid Lillia for not holding her end of the deal and then Kat has to pay for it <.<

  17. Very interesting, I’ve read a few reviews on these books and I don’t think they are for me. The revenge plotline sounds like it’s quite fun but not having a clear plot line would surely bug me and have me annoyed all the way through. Great review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…I Was Here by Gayle Forman Review: Overcoming GriefMy Profile

  18. Sydney says:

    I’m sorry this was such a disappointment for you, Mel! This is one of those series that I’m very tentative to even touch. It reminds me a lot of those Clique books from my middle school days, and I never really enjoyed those. I see this series in a lot of places, though. I just don’t think they’re the right books for me. 🙁
    Sydney recently posted…Looking Back, Moving ForwardMy Profile

  19. Booo. How many books to this series? And that’s all the readers are going to get as far as closure goes? What a gip. Demand a refund! Lol.
    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted…[478] The Chocolate Kiss by Laura FlorandMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      There’s 3 books in the series and yep, that’s the freaking closure we get. Bahahahhaa I would totally demand one but I got it in exchange for a review 😛

  20. Aw, sad gif! I’m sorry the end really ruined the book for you, and that it didn’t have much of a plot to begin with.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Review: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, DarthMy Profile

  21. Ugh, this almost makes me not want to start the series in general 🙁 Unfortunately, I have seen quite a few reviews that agreed with you, and I just don’t know if I want to get invested. I do have Burn for Burn but I don’t know if I’ll ever read it, honestly. I am so sorry that the series was ruined for you, that is the worst 🙁 Hope the next series ending goes MUCH better!
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    • Melanie says:

      The first two were good but now I no longer even know if reading this series is a good idea because you’re just getting set up for major disappointment 🙁

  22. Ah crap. I want to finish this series for closure, I WILL finish this series, but now I am a little bummed about the lack of direction and whatever ending awaits me. If all else fails, maybe I will just skim…
    Nicole @ The Quiet Concert recently posted…Top Ten Character Mash Ups!My Profile

  23. sarah nguyen says:

    I know I’m years too late but girl I agree with everything you said. REEVE AND LILLIA ALL THE WAY! It’s been a while since I’ve read a book with characters that have that much chemistry it’s crazy; same with Alex and Kat (although their relationship was just starting). TOTALL COP OUT to say that Lillia and Reeve wouldn’t have gotten together if it weren’t for Ren -___- I hated the ending and how only Alex and Lillia (ew by the way) got their happy ending while Kat and Reeve are stuck on Jar Island. This is a very un-Jenny Han like ending. I never thought I’d get so angry over fictional characters but well…here I am lol

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