Crash and Burn [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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Crash and Burn

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Overview

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.

Until now.

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.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Steven "Crash" Crashinsky becomes a hero when he saves more than a thousand people at his high school by confronting his armed and dangerous classmate, David "Burn" Burnett, during a chilling hostage situation. Crash signs a book deal to write about events leading up to the crisis, his understanding of Burn, and the final secret Burn shared with him that horrible day. In chapters that alternate between the past and the present, Crash details a sporadic and at times competitive, supportive, and antagonistic friendship. Crash's energetic but often rambling narrative delves into his ADHD; learning and behavior issues; dislike for his unsympathetic father; affinity for alcohol, drug, and sexual excesses; self-image illusions; and aspirations to become a better person. Crash describes Burn's intelligence and uncanny perceptions, which mask a troubled teenager haunted by staggering personal tragedies. During Burn's occasional absences for mental-health treatment, Crash becomes romantically involved with his sister, who tutors him and offers insight into her brother's erratic behavior. Crash's empathy for Burn enables them to connect on that fateful day. The protagonist is a restless antihero whose maturation and self-realization occur in (often amusing) spurts of self-awareness. Although insecurity, improprieties, profanity, and hedonistic behavior abound in this overlong account, Crash's spontaneity is engaging and entertaining.—Gerry Larson, formerly at Durham School of the Arts, NC
Publishers Weekly
In Hassan's gritty but ponderous first novel, ADHD sufferer Steven "Crash" Crashinsky has become a local hero, having stopped his sometimes friend David from shooting up their high school. Steven has been offered a major book deal, sans ghostwriter and with a two-month deadline, and as the apathetic student and pothead attempts to write, he reflects on his history with David over the years, as well as drugs, booze, learning disabilities, school, family, and his constant quest for sex (which often includes getting girls drunk). Over the course of 12 years, readers see abusive parents and teachers, school pranks, divorce, death, 9/11, a suicide attempt, and more. Hassan effectively conveys the numbing influence of drugs and alcohol on Steven's life and the messy social relationships of young adulthood, with a tone that blends ennui with an undercurrent of aggression. However, the most compelling and painful aspect of the novel—Steven's complex and sometimes sinister connection with David—isn't satisfactorily explored. That Steven's eventual redemption comes at the hands of another tragedy may strike readers as anticlimactic rather than profound. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kirby Kim, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar.)
Booklist (starred review)
“Sprawling, messy, vulgar, sexy, irreverent, violent, bighearted, harrowing. These are just a few of the many adjectives about to be hurled in the direction of this roaring freight train of a debut… Gutsily conceived, written, and edited, this is, quite simply, a great American novel.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
“[Crash and Burn] is a must-read for teens and adults alike who want to understand the lack of empathy that permeates contemporary culture; it offers no answers, but the mirror it does present may be chilling enough to awaken readers to the costs of not getting it right.”
Booklist
"Sprawling, messy, vulgar, sexy, irreverent, violent, bighearted, harrowing. These are just a few of the many adjectives about to be hurled in the direction of this roaring freight train of a debut… Gutsily conceived, written, and edited, this is, quite simply, a great American novel."
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"[Crash and Burn] is a must-read for teens and adults alike who want to understand the lack of empathy that permeates contemporary culture; it offers no answers, but the mirror it does present may be chilling enough to awaken readers to the costs of not getting it right."
Ned Vizzini
“Michael Hassan has written a darkly funny story about a school shooting. I didn’t know it was possible but I knew it was brave. Thankfully, he pulls it off.”
Kirkus Reviews
Two teens' long-standing conflict culminates in an aborted school shooting in this bloated debut. ADD pothead Steven Crashinsky and evil genius David Burnett have been best frenemies since Burn almost blew up their elementary school--with Crash in it. Circling each other uneasily throughout their school careers, they always come back together when tragedy strikes, as when Crash's parents divorce or Burn's mother dies. Both believe that they are somehow connected by fate or magic, and both are fixated on Burn's doomed sister, Roxanne, who is the dubious object of Crash's affection. Hassan sacrifices storytelling for voice, which might work if this overwritten novel were half as long. It feels as though the author has thrown everything at this plot but the kitchen sink. There is a sadistic teacher, a sadistic father, multiple suicide attempts, Thanksgiving Day family meltdowns, deaths from cancer, 9/11 and overdoses, copious pot smoking, a gun pulled in a parking lot and a teen sex video. The effect is numbing, especially when related in Crash's obvious, dense, blow-by-blow first person. Most readers will have zoned out by the time the author finally gets around to the novel's nonclimactic climax. No fire here, just fizzle. (Fiction. 14 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062112927
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/19/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 544
  • Sales rank: 321,305
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. Crash and Burn is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    I can not express enough how amazing this book is. This book is

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2014

    Such a good read

    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.

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  • Posted September 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I can¿t even begin to review this book in my usual style: plot,

    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

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  • Posted August 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15 This is a powerful, disturbingly acc

    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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2014

    One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read

    Just read it.

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  • Posted April 20, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Man, if this is a reflection of what teen life is REALLY like no

    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.

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  • Posted March 19, 2013

    This was good very good it's may have alot of pages but it's was

    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 drama 

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