12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn

( 6 )

Overview

James “Hercules” Martino has until the end of the summer (a.k.a. two weeks) to accomplish the

twelve tasks given to him by his Uncle Anthony. The tasks will take him to the far reaches of Baltimore, lead him to a Beautiful and Unattainable Woman, and change the way he sees his past, present, and future.

Spare in words, but abundant in big ideas and laugh out loud humor, James Proimos has crafted a novel for ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (27) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $3.29   
  • Used (17) from $1.99   
12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$9.99
BN.com price
Note: Visit our Teens Store.

Overview

James “Hercules” Martino has until the end of the summer (a.k.a. two weeks) to accomplish the

twelve tasks given to him by his Uncle Anthony. The tasks will take him to the far reaches of Baltimore, lead him to a Beautiful and Unattainable Woman, and change the way he sees his past, present, and future.

Spare in words, but abundant in big ideas and laugh out loud humor, James Proimos has crafted a novel for any teenager who’s ever had a complicated relationship with a parent. In other words, everyone.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Time and again, picture-book creator Proimos has demonstrated a rock-solid sense of humor and outside-the-box thinking. His first book for teens is no different, opening a promising new chapter in his career. Sixteen-year-old James Martino, nicknamed Hercules, is spending the summer in Baltimore with his Uncle Anthony, who has given him a list of 12 tasks to accomplish (one even involves cleaning a stable). It’s meant to stave off boredom and maybe help Hercules deal with the recent death of his father, a beloved self-help author and talk-show host. Beloved by all but Hercules, that is, who eulogizes his father thusly: “He was an ass.” In chapters lasting just a page or so, Hercules gives a blunt and blisteringly funny account of his misadventures (“Horses are running everywhere. We are in the jeep. Chasing them. Through streets. Through other people’s farms. Through hell and high water, really”), which revolve around his efforts to reconnect with a “Strange Beautiful Unattainable Woman” from the train to Baltimore. Proimos fully inhabits the mind and voice of his hero, whose almost mythic journey offers moments hilarious, heartbreaking, and triumphant. Ages 14–up. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
“Hercules charms readers with humor and honesty…”—School Library Journal

 

“This fun, slim book has a very interesting premise: a boy who happens to be nicknamed Hercules and who has recently lost his father is assigned twelve tasks (labors) to complete when he goes to stay with his uncle over the summer.” —VOYA

 

“Proimos fully inhabits the mind and voice of his hero, whose almost mythic journey offers moments hilarious, heartbreaking, and triumphant.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

 

"Told in short, near-poetic vignettes, the chapters of Proimos’ first teen novel are packed with plenty of small details and genuine moments of ridiculous humor." —Kirkus Reviews

VOYA - Kevin S. Beach
This fun, slim book has a very interesting premise: a boy who happens to be nicknamed Hercules and who has recently lost his father is assigned twelve tasks (labors) to complete when he goes to stay with his uncle over the summer. His well-chosen tasks are intended to keep him busy but also are aimed at finding him a job, giving religion a chance, working hard, finding a girlfriend, doing something for others, setting goals, and thinking big. So the protagonist who is pretty much a slacker at heart discovers new insights about himself while employing repressed skills he did not know he had as he goes about his quest, always tongue in cheek. Hercules's famous father was a poor excuse for a dad, and through his trials, our likable hero learns to become his own person, stepping out of his father's shadow. Overall the story is rapid fire, told mostly in short chapters with staccato sentences and thoughts. And while the book has its witty moments, it is also a little silly and unrealistic. This reviewer would have liked to see more depth in the characters, but it works in its own way. The author has written numerous books for the juvenile market. This is his first young adult novel. Reluctant readers will really enjoy it for its slacker humor, its readability, and, of course, its brevity. Reviewer: Kevin S. Beach
Kirkus Reviews
Homeless dudes, hot pizza girls, tanning salons and horse-stable make-out sessions punctuate a summer in Baltimore. After his television-celebrity dad's death, 16-year-old Hercules Martino is sent from his Upper West Side home to Baltimore to spend the last two weeks of summer with his Uncle Anthony. Upon arrival, Hercules is handed a list of things he must accomplish during his stay, and despite his resistance, he somehow manages to stumble into each and every one of them. The one he deems most important finds him chasing a lost copy of Winnie-the-Pooh for a hot college girl and sets him on a trajectory to complete the other tasks. Although Hercules and Anthony have never hit it off, their hilarious "man speak" insult-based dialogue intimately suggests that a connection does exist between them. Told in short, near-poetic vignettes, the chapters of Proimos' first teen novel are packed with plenty of small details and genuine moments of ridiculous humor. Often these chapters are too short and lack connective tissue, however, which results in confusing passages of time, odd jumps in plotting and, most often, a longing for more details. Still, readers will relish Hercules' smart-alecky, slacker sense of humor and his dogged determination to get the girl. An all-too-brief madcap summer adventure of longing, lust, confusion and clarity. (Fiction. 12 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up—Hercules Martino, 16, sits in a room full of his famous father's admirers listening to mourners shower the closed coffin with gushing eulogies. Hercules, however, can't quite make himself say anything nice about the man. After the funeral, his mother sends him to finish out the summer with his bachelor uncle. On the train ride to Baltimore, the teen sits next to a "Strange Beautiful Unattainable Woman" and thinks he must have her. When she gets off, she leaves her book behind. From that point on, she becomes a much-needed distraction for Hercules, as well as part of the 12 tasks his uncle assigns him to complete during his two-week stay. His first task is to choose a mission. He opts to find the Strange Beautiful Unattainable Woman and return her book. As Hercules halfheartedly completes the tasks, he finds small moments of everyday magic and discovers new aspects of himself, his family, and life. In a minimum of pages, Hercules charms readers with humor and honesty, often in raw language, and his story will appeal to those who have admired the passing Strange Beautiful Unattainable person, including reluctant readers.—Mindy Whipple, West Jordan Library, UT
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596435957
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 644,250
  • Age range: 14 - 18 Years
  • Lexile: HL540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

James Proimos is married to a Beautiful and Attainable Woman and they live on a small horse farm outside of Baltimore. He has written several books for children, but 12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn is his first novel for young adults.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

1

 

 

The casket is closed. It was a plane crash, after all.

The pews overfloweth. As do the sentiments of the never-ending line of avid admirers, casual acquaintances, business associates, relatives, and what have you that take their turn at the podium on the church stage.

One person leaves, another takes his or her place. It’s been going on for hours.

A chubby lady wobbles to the microphone:

“He was as fabulous as a man could be. He was rich, but he was charitable. He was strong, he was sensitive. I was lucky to know him. We were all lucky to know him.”

She wobbles off.

A tall man in a black suit with a big red bow tie sprints up to the pulpit:

“He was a god. A god, I tell you.”

He sprints back to his seat.

An entire family, one of them holding a crying baby, gets up there and sings “The Wind Beneath My Wings.”

Now the whole place is bawling.

There is a long silence.

Suddenly, all eyes turn to me. I seem to be the last person who might have something to say.

I slowly walk up to the front of the church. I stand at the podium. I clear my throat.

“He was an ass. My father was a complete and total ass.”

 

Text copyright © 2011 by James Proimos

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 6, 2012

    Live To Read

    When James' father passes away, he is sent to live with his Uncle Anthony. Along the way, he sits on a train next to this beautiful girl he determines is someone he wants to date. When he finds her Winnie the Pooh book left behind, he knows he must return the book. His Uncle Anthony has a unique way of helping him deal with his "grief" and tasks him with a list of twelve to-dos. Anthony begins at the beginning and slowly makes his way through the list, some by accident and some by seeking the action or person out.



    James is an interesting character. He is sullen, stubborn, and determined. He is a bit blind when it comes to girls and has a very interesting social life while with his Uncle. His Uncle Anthony is a different character. He has some secrets that he reveals to James later on in the book that will give the reader that "Aha" moment. The other characters affect James and his development in the book, but do not feature majorly.



    The events were interesting, the concept was far from the typical. The reader will enjoy James' sarcastic, caustic nature and take on life. The ending is perfect, the reader will be happy he/she read the book. This book is recommended to young adult/teen readers.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2014

    The idea of this book intrigued me, so I read the first few page

    The idea of this book intrigued me, so I read the first few pages available online. I know that might not be sufficient for some people to give up on a book, but it was enough to greatly disappoint me.

    Proimos attempts to write in present tense, but does not succeed. He randomly slips in past tense sentences in ways that are completely incorrect. Of course, here and there are sentences about the past, which does make sense. But there are also sentences such as "It was the look in her eye." Everything else during this exchange with James's mother happens in the present, and logically it should be "It is the look in her eye." I'm really shocked that no one picked up on the disaster that is Proimos's use of tense.

    The actual story is alright. The moment where James calls his father an ass at his funeral should be shocking or dramatic, but it didn't do much for me. James's character is not very likeable. I think he is meant to be that "sarcastic and relatable, but also troubled" type that is way overused, but he comes off as rude and unrealistic. The plot of the "Beautiful and Unattainable Woman" is just creepy. The way he follows her off the station is creepy, the face that he calls her "Beautiful and Unattainable Woman" is creepy, and the way he acts like he deserves her, or at least a chance with her, is creepy. His description of her along with the nickname is dehumanizing and very sexist. In fact, up to this point in the novel, there have only been two female characters of importance, and they are both characterized as stereotypical female tropes. The mother is the saint. The "Beautiful and Unattainable Woman" is just that.

    The writing in this book, even overlooking the confused tenses, is not great. The plot is decent but the characterization is quite bad. I will not be buying "12 Things to Do Before You Crash and Burn" and I would not recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Awesome book

    This book is an awesome book buy it now

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    this is a awsome book its so great i read 5 times actually i lov

    this is a awsome book its so great i read 5 times actually i love it so who ever is reading this plz read the book <3 genesis<3

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2012

    Hey

    This seems like a rly good booj... i read the sampl and i loveeee it... i will totally buy it someday.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)