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On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet ...
On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.
Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.
Posted January 30, 2014
I can not express enough how amazing this book is. This book is so complex with so many levels, I don't think I have read any other teen fiction that has been so well thought out. This book makes my heart hurt it was that good. I loved everything about, from the deep and complex relationships to the odd connections with everybody mentioned in the book, even the harsh life style the kids in this book live. I can not get this book out of my head.It is the best damn book
Posted August 19, 2014
It was a very incredible, powerful book that I just simply could not put down after I first picked it up. I was surprised many times throughtout the book and I would definitely reccommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 2, 2013
I can’t even begin to review this book in my usual style: plot, what I liked about it, what I didn’t like about it, and end with a summary. This book deserves much more than this kind of review, and yet as I sit here, trying to write it, I have no idea where to begin. Having finished this incredible piece of literature only moments ago, I should start by saying that it was not a book I chose. I received an inquiry quite a while ago as to whether I would like to review this book, and I agreed. I received a copy of the novel in the mail, was drawn to the fabulous cover, and then put it on my schedule to read. Having gotten a little behind in my review writing, I had to push it back a couple of times. By the time I finally decided it was time to read it, I had completely forgotten what the book was about.
This is usually my MO, and, I must say, I really prefer going into a book without any preconceived notions, with no memory of the plot or the point of the story. This way, I feel I can really have a true idea about whether I liked it or not. It just works for me.
True confessions time: though the cover art is intriguing, I had, more or less, resigned myself to reading the book. I kept pushing it off, reading other stuff, knowing, somehow, that this book was heavy It weighs in at a hefty 535 pages, and though I am a pretty fast reader, I soon found that it wasn’t the number of pages that took me so long to read it; it was the story itself. Intense and intriguing, though not one of those books that totally wears you out (in a bad way), it is a lot of story. A lot of great story.
Simply put, this is a book about how one boy stopped another boy from blowing up their high school, including all of its students and faculty. But this book is anything but simple. The book is more than the story of that day, the day Steven “Crash” Crashinsky became a hero; it is about everything leading up to that day, from Crash’s long, complicated relationship with David Burnett, the almost-perpetrator, to Crash’s own issues with ADHD, drugs and his relationship with his difficult father. Every bit of the back story and what happens after the siege is woven so dexterously into a tale where everything has meaning. Honestly, when I was about 150 pages in, I thought “what else could there be to say?” The answer is: EVERYTHING. There was not one bit of wasted prose in this book.
Incredibly, sometimes painfully, honest, the story does not back off from anything. This boy is real; a living, breathing raging ball of hormones, someone who finds his own, albeit illegal, ways to cope with the ups and downs in his life. And the secondary characters ring with a truth and intensity that contain an authenticity that takes this book beyond mere fiction.
It makes you think: what is a hero? Does the epithet of “hero” make you a completely different person? What happens to the real boy, the boy who parties with his crew and hates his father? The boy that has trouble concentrating in class, the boy who hooks up with random girls because they found him on Facebook? Do those things diminish the label? What's the difference between a hero and someone that does a heroic act?
And, what is a villain? Is it guy who is too smart and unbalanced for his own good? Is it someone who has been pushed to the edge repeatedly by tragedy? Can it be a mean teacher, a horrible dad, adults who don’t listen? Is it “the system?” Ultimately, this is Crash’s story, so he gets to decide the good guys and bad guys. But he is unflinchingly candid in his answers.
Genres: Young Adult Fiction Contemporary
Ages: 14 and up
You might want to know: There are extreme amounts of weed smoking, jungle juice drinking, sex and language in this book.
Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan was published February 19, 2013 by Balzer + Bray. A free copy of this book was given to Ink and Page in return for an honest review. Big thanks to the author, publisher and EMG Entertainment Marketing Group.
5 of 5 Stars
Posted August 4, 2013
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
This is a powerful, disturbingly accurate tale of what it is like to be a teenager and how screwed up our generation has become. But all is not lost as there are still those, like Steven Crashinsky, aka Crash, who care enough to step up and be a voice for troubled teens like David Burnett, aka Burn. This fictional book is about the troubled life of Burn and his past and the day that Crash talked him out of a hostage situation where more than a thousand people posed to lose their lives because of Burn.
“I know he’s crazy, but he’s not just my brother, Crash, he’s all I frickin’ have left.”
As a high school student myself, I know the pressure put upon to succeed, get into a great college, and become successful, as it has been shoved at us every day since entering kindergarten. Gone are the days of letting kids be kids. Children are not meant to be adults and the pressure is often times too much and in this case, Burn finally cracked from having a poor upbringing, no emotional support, and no intervention. I see students like this every day. All we can do is hope there are more Crashs than Burns.
*This book was provided in exchange for an honest review*
*You can view the original review at San Francisco & Sacramento City Book Review
Posted May 20, 2014
Posted April 20, 2013
Man, if this is a reflection of what teen life is REALLY like now, I am once again glad I didn't have kids. With all the worry and anxiety brought on by behavior of the sort in this book, I don't see how a parent's brain wouldn't explode, their heart implode, and their soul expire. The boys are completely caddish, the girls are (mostly) weak in their desire to please any boy they even remotely like, and the parents not clued in at all at what their kids are doing.
Crash (Steven) and Burn (David) are NOT friends. Crash actively and very wisely fears David's up & down behavior. Crash has learning difficulties based on his ADHD, but uses both it and his good looks to make everything go his way with little to no effort. He has a sort of "magic" which is really just a combination of intuition, absolute trust in his own instincts, and, it seems, a true psychic ability at times. Burn has been diagnosed as bipolar, but other things also. Cursed or blessed with true genius, he rarely uses it wisely...more often as a weapon against Crash and others because "revenge is sweet." When he finally blows, his behavior is what causes Crash to become a hero and write a book about what really happened on that fateful 4/21.
I don't mean this review to sound so harsh, because I loved the book. It was beautifully written, but the subject matter is brutal in its frankness, and the sex, drug and alcohol use is so over the top in your face for a book about characters aged 14-18...whew! Read with caution and newly opened eyes about how really hard it is to survive high school in the modern age. I'd also recommend Chris Wooding's Kerosene, Lauren Roedy Vaughn's OCD, the Dude, and Me, Julie Anne Peters' By the Time You Read this, I'll be Dead, and Chris Crutcher's Period 8.
Posted March 19, 2013
This was good very good it's may have alot of pages but it's was good book to read. I whould recommend to anyone who love a juicy dramaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.