Crazy Dangerousby Andrew Klavan
Do Right, Fear Nothing.
Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.
But one day, Sam sees these friends harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to/b>
Do Right, Fear Nothing.
Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.
But one day, Sam sees these friends harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.
Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the devil, and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies—prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.
With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.
“The adrenaline-charged action will keep you totally immersed.” —RT Book Reviews
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- Age Range:
- 12 - 17 Years
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By Andrew Klavan
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Andrew Klavan
All right reserved.
Chapter OneUnder the Bridge
I was running when the thugs attacked me.
I ran a lot, almost every day after school. It was part of my secret plan to get in shape and try out for the track team. Which was a secret plan because I was never much of an athlete, and the track team was the most important team in school, and I didn't want anyone to laugh at me for thinking I could make the grade.
So almost every day, without mentioning it to anyone, I would go home and change into my running clothes. I would ride my bike out of town, then set the bike down among the trees and take off on foot along one of the empty country trails.
This particular day was in early March. I was pounding my way over the McAdams Trail, which goes up a steep hill through the woods and then comes out for a long, steady stretch along a ridge. It's a nice run with a great view of my hometown below. You can see the houses clustered in the light-green valley and the brick towers of the town hall and the column of the Civil War monument and the river sparkling reddish in the afternoon sun. I could even make out the steeple of my dad's church as I ran along above it.
The cold of winter was still holding on. The trees were still bare, their branches stretching naked into the pale-blue sky. But as I ran along, I caught an occasional whiff of spring drifting through the air. The last snow had melted. The ground that had been ice-hard all winter long felt softer now under my sneakers.
Up ahead of me, at the end of the ridge, there was a railroad bridge. Very old, very narrow—just one thin track supported by concrete pylons. The bridge stretched from the crest of the hill, over the river, to the edge of another hill on the far side. Then the train tracks took a long looping curve around the far ridge over the valley before they ran out of sight behind the surrounding hills. It was an old line, but the freights still used it. They'd go whistling past above the town two and three times a day.
Usually, when I reached the cluster of trees just before the bridge, I would turn down and follow the trail along the descending slope of the hill, heading back for home. That was my plan for today. Only I never made it.
I had just come into the trees. I was running along under the lacework of tangled winter branches. I was feeling good, feeling strong, my legs pushing hard, my wind easy. I was enjoying the touch of spring in the air. And I was thinking about getting on the track team. I was thinking: Hey, I might do this. Thinking: I might really be able to do this.
Then suddenly, I fell. For no reason I could tell at first, I pitched forward, just lost my footing and went flying through the air. I came down hard on the earth. I was going so fast that I knew I couldn't catch myself on my hands—I'd have broken my wrists. Instead, I twisted as I fell and took the worst of the impact on my shoulder. It was a good, solid jar too. I felt it right up through my forehead, a lancing pain. My momentum carried me along the dirt path a few inches, the stones tearing at my clothes.
When I finally came to rest, I lay where I was for a second, dazed. Thinking: What just happened?
Then I looked up—and I knew.
Jeff Winger was standing above me. Seventeen, wiry, narrow rat-like face with floppy sandy-brown hair falling down over his pimply forehead. Black hoodie and sweatpants too low on his waist. Quick, darting weasel eyes that seemed to be looking in every direction for trouble. A thug.
And he wasn't alone. Ed Polanski and Harry Macintyre were also there. They were also thugs. Ed P. was a big lumbering thug with short-cropped blond hair and a face like a potato. Harry Mac was a muscular thug with bulging shoulders and a broad chest.
They must've been hanging back in the thick bushes behind the trees, hidden from my view as I ran past. I figured one of them—Harry Mac, judging by his forward position—had seen me coming and tripped me as I ran along.
Now Jeff Winger looked down on me where I lay. He grinned over at his two friends.
"Somebody fell down," he said.
Ed P. laughed.
Harry Mac said, "A Poor baby."
Painfully, I sat up. I brushed the dirt off my face, also painfully. I spit the grit out from between my teeth. I rolled my shoulder, testing to see if it still worked. It hurt when I moved it, but at least it was operational.
I looked up at the thugs laughing down at me. "That's funny," I said to them. "You're real funny guys."
Now let me get something straight right up front. I am not a tough guy. In fact, I'm not a very good fighter at all. I'm a little under average height and not very big across. I'm not particularly strong, and I never learned to box or anything like that. Every time I'd ever been in a fight, I got beaten up pretty badly. So probably? In a situation like this? I should have tried to be a little bit more polite. It would've been the smart thing to do, if you see what I mean.
But here's the problem: I hate being pushed around. Really. I hate it. Like, a lot. Something happens inside me when someone tries to bully me—when someone shoves me or hits me or anything like that. Everything just goes red inside. I can't think anymore. I go nuts. I can't help it. And I fight back—whether I intend to or not—and even if it means I get my head ripped off. Which, in my limited experience, is exactly what happens.
Now, I could already feel the anger building in me as I climbed to my feet. I dusted myself off. I saw Jeff watching me, still grinning. That made the anger even worse.
"I guess you want to be more careful next time," Jeff said. His thug friends laughed as if this were really hilarious, as if he were a professional comedian or something. "Running around here can be kind of dangerous."
Again, this would have been an excellent time for me to keep my mouth shut. But somehow I just couldn't. "Okay," I said. "You tripped me and I fell. Ho ho ho. That's very funny. If you're, like, seven years old ..."
Harry Mac didn't appreciate that remark. "Hey!" he said, and he pushed me in the shoulder—hard. I knocked his hand away because—well, just because, that's why. Because I don't like being pushed around. That made Harry Mac even angrier—so angry, he cocked his fist as if he were about to drive it into my face. Which I guess he was.
But to my surprise, Jeff stopped him. He slapped Harry Mac lightly on the shoulder. Harry Mac hesitated. Jeff gave him a negative shake of the head. Harry Mac lowered his fist, backed off me with a look that said: You got lucky this time. Which was true.
Jeff looked me over, up and down. "I see you in school, don't I?" he said. "Hopkins, is that it?"
I slowly drew my eyes away from Harry Mac and turned them on Jeff. "That's right. Sam Hopkins," I told him.
Jeff nodded. "And you know who we are, right?"
I nodded back. Everyone in school knew Jeff Winger and his thug buddies.
"Okay, good," Jeff went on in what sounded like a reasonable voice. "Because here's the deal, Sam. This isn't a good place for you, okay? This isn't where you want to do your running anymore."
Some part of my mind was telling me to just keep quiet and nod and smile a lot and get myself out of this. Any one of these guys could've pounded me into the earth. All three of them could pretty much kick me around like a soccer ball at will. But the part of my mind that understood that was somehow not getting through to the part of my mind that Just.
So instead of keeping quiet, I said, "What do you mean, it's not a good place? It's a great place. I like running here."
Jeff laughed. It was not a friendly laugh. He took a casual step toward me—casual, but threatening. He went on smiling and he shook his head as if I had misunderstood him. "No, no, Sam, I don't think so. I don't think you do like running here. Not anymore, anyway."
"Oh yeah?" I said—and, okay, it wasn't exactly a brilliant comeback, but it was all I could think of under the circumstances.
And of course Jeff answered, "Yeah. In the future, Sam, I think maybe you ought to run someplace else. Anyplace else. This isn't your place anymore. This is our place. It's our place and we don't want you here."
Through the red haze of my anger, I began to understand what was going on. My eyes moved back over the trees and the bushes around us. It was a dark, lonesome spot up here. You could sit in the underbrush and no one would ever see you or find out what you were up to. So I guess Jeff and his pals were up to stuff they shouldn't have been up to, and they didn't want me or anyone else to see.
"Okay," I said. "Okay, I get it."
"Good," said Jeff.
"Sure. You guys want to be left alone. And that's fine with me. Really. I don't want to bother you. I don't want to bother anyone. I don't care what you're doing here. I don't know what it is and I don't want to know. And I'm sure not gonna report you to anyone or anything. I just want to go for my run, that's all, okay?"
"Sure," said Jeff with another laugh. "Sure, you can go for your run. You can go for your run anytime you want. Just not here, Sam. This is not your place, I'm telling you. This is our place now."
Just so I'm sure you have the picture here. Them: three big tough guys. Me: one little guy, not tough. Place: middle of nowhere. Raise your hand if you know what the smart thing to do would have been. Right. I should have smiled and said, "Okay, Jeff, sorry to intrude," and shut up and run off on my way just as fast as my legs would carry me.
Instead, I said: "Forget it, Jeff. This is where I run. I like it. I'm not getting chased off. No way."
Jeff gave what sounded like a grunt of surprise. He looked over his shoulder at his buddies. He looked back at me.
Then, so fast I had no time to react, he grabbed hold of the front of my sweatshirt. While he was at it, he grabbed a handful of my chest as well. He dragged me toward him.
"Listen ...," he started to say.
I punched him in the face.
I didn't mean to. Okay, I did mean to. Of course I meant to. It's not the sort of thing you do to someone by accident. What I'm trying to say is: I didn't plan it. I just got so angry when he grabbed hold of me that I sort of automatically let fly.
My fist cracked into Jeff's cheek, right under his eye. I didn't connect very hard, but it was hard enough, a good solid, stinging jab. And, of course, Jeff wasn't expecting it—not at all. He was so startled, he actually let go of me and staggered back a step. He grabbed his cheek and just stood there, stunned.
They were all stunned. Jeff and Ed P. and Harry Mac. They all just stood there for that long second, staring, as if they couldn't believe what had happened. Which they probably couldn't.
And you know what? I couldn't believe it either. I was stunned too, totally taken by surprise. I just stood there, staring at Jeff and the others.
Then—out of nowhere it seemed—there came a loud, high shriek. It pierced the air, deafening. I didn't know what it was at first, but whatever it was, it sort of jolted me awake. My brain started working again.
And my brain said to me: Uh, Sam? Run for your life!
Which is exactly what I did.
Chapter TwoA game of Chicken
Harry Mac made a grab at me, but too late, he missed. I took off along the ridge. Jeff and Ed P. and Harry Mac charged after me. When I looked back, I could tell by the expressions on their faces that they were determined to catch me and take their revenge. They were gaining on me too. Especially Harry Mac. He was a muscleman, like I said, and a lot of times guys like that aren't flexible enough to move well or run fast. But just my luck, Harry Mac was plenty flexible, and it turned out he could run like the wind. He was running like the wind, in fact, his thick, powerful legs pistoning under him, driving him after me, leaving his two thug pals behind and quickly closing the gap between us.
Then I heard it again: that high-pitched shriek—the sound that had brought me back to my senses. I glanced across the valley as I ran and I saw what it was. It was the whistle of a freight train. I could see the train winding out from behind the hills, heading for the far end of the railway bridge.
Which gave me an idea. And I think it's safe to say it was the craziest idea I had ever had. It's possible it was the craziest idea anyone had ever had. But what can I tell you? I was totally panicked. I knew if Jeff and his pals caught me, they would break me into little bits and then break the bits into even littler bits. I saw only one chance to escape them and, crazy as it was, I took the chance without really thinking.
I ran for the bridge. Moving off the McAdams Trail onto the gravelly dirt along the ridge. Dodging through the sparse and scraggly trees. Running as fast as I could.
I glanced back over my shoulder as I ran. Harry Mac was closing in on me fast. I had to go up a steep little incline to reach the end of the bridge and that slowed me down, and Harry Mac got even closer.
Now I stepped onto the bridge, onto the tracks, and started running over them. The world dropped away on either side of me. Suddenly I was high, high up in the air with no escape route, Jeff and his pals behind me, the train coming up ahead of me, nothing but sky to my left and right. I kept to the center of the tracks, between the rails, between the edges of the bridge. My feet flew over old brown wooden ties that were strung close together with only small strips of grass and gravel between them.
As I ran, I looked up ahead. I could see the train. It sent out another piercing whistle as it steamed along the ridge over the Sawnee, heading for the bridge's far side. My idea was this: If I could run across the bridge fast enough, I would get to the other end before the train reached it. Jeff and his friends wouldn't follow me because they couldn't possibly be ridiculous enough to run across a single-track bridge with a freight train about to cut off their only exit.
You can see what I mean when I say I hadn't quite thought this idea all the way through. For instance, if I thought Jeff and his thug pals were too smart to run across the bridge with the train coming—well, then, shouldn't I have been too smart to do it also? Just to save you the trouble of looking up the answer, it's: Yes! Of course yes!
What I was doing was absolutely insane! But with everything happening so quickly, and with the whole panic thing going on and my fear of Jeff and Ed P. and Harry Mac, I just wasn't being very smart, that's all.
So I continued running as fast as I could, down the center of the train tracks, over the bridge.
It wasn't easy running over those wooden ties. I had to be careful not to catch my foot in one of the gaps, where I could've twisted or even broken my ankle, running as fast as I was. Also, some of those wooden ties felt kind of soft and rotten under my feet, as if they could break at any time. I didn't know what would happen then. If one of them broke and I plunged through, would I just land on the gravel underneath? Or would I keep on falling down and down into the river below?
Even in my panicked state, it was beginning to occur to me: this was a dumb plan. A really, really dumb plan.
I was about to stop. I was about to turn around and run back. Then, amazingly, I felt fingers snag the collar of my sweatshirt. Startled, I whipped a look over my shoulder.
You gotta be kidding me! I thought.
But no, there was Harry Mac, his face red and twisted with effort, running after me, closing on me, reaching out with one hand to grab hold of my shirt.
He'd followed me out onto the bridge. How crazy could anyone be? Didn't he see there was a train coming? What was he, some kind of idiot?
I faced forward and put on some extra speed, fueled by fear. I felt Harry Mac's fingers lose their hold on my shirt and slip away. I looked ahead and there was the train, snaking around the curve to head for the end of the bridge. Once it got there, there would be no way to get out of its path.
I glanced back one more time. Now, even Harry Mac had figured out this was the craziest thing ever. He had stopped on the bridge. He was standing in the middle of the train tracks, breathless, staring after me, shaking his head.
Just before I faced forward, I saw him turn away. I saw him start jogging back toward where Jeff and Ed P. were standing in safety at the bridge entrance. They had stopped where they were. They had not come after me. They weren't complete idiots after all.
Excerpted from Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan Copyright © 2012 by Andrew Klavan. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Meet the Author
Andrew Klavan is an award-winning writer, screenwriter, and media commentator. An internationally bestselling novelist and two-time Edgar Award-winner, Klavan is also a contributing editor to City Journal, the magazine of the Manhattan Institute, and the host of a popular political podcast on DailyWire.com. His essays and op-eds on politics, religion, movies, and literature have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, and elsewhere. He lives in Southern California.
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RECTE AGE NIL TIME DO RIGHT. FEAR NOTHING. This book was a fantastic, suspenseful, crazy, dangerous ride. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sam Hopkins is a PK = Preachers Kid. He starts off trying to shake the image of a PK, becomes the apprentice to three thugs, Jeff, Harry and Ed and learns the trade of some things that can come in handy being a thug. After a short lived apprenticeship, Sam sees the error of his ways when he meets Jennifer . Oh the mystery of Jennifer. I loved Jennifer’s fragile mind. Andrew writes her incredibly well. You are questioning Jennifer’s character all the way through the book. Jennifer talks in rhymes. It’s her quirky thing she does. “Run!” I shouted again. “I don’t want to leave-you-believe-you!” she cried out wildly. “Believe me, leave me!” I shouted back. “Sometimes, yes,” Jennifer managed to say. Rice cakes, ice skates, mice on skates. Mice on skates—that was a funny idea—but she knew she couldn’t say it out loud or the doctor really would think she was crazy. Andrew throws curveballs into his story that just keep the pages turning. This is a fast paced ride that just keeps you guessing. Andrew writes with such energy. You really believe you are with Sam , doing all these Crazy Dangerous things a PK should not be doing. It felt very, very, real this story. What would you honestly do if a troubled girl was telling you bad things would happen? What would you do when you finally started to believe that in her crazy mixed up mind there may be some truth. DO RIGHT. FEAR NOTHING. This book was not what I expected. It was much, much, more. Andrew is very, very, good at keeping the reader intrigued, turning the pages, trying to work out if this is a paranormal book or is it a disease of the mind that leads Jennifer to seek out her ‘ magic friend, Sam Hopkins.’ Around 2/3rds the way through this book , it escalates and your heart will be hammering in your chest. I could so easily see this as a movie. The book is that good. It’s not predictable it is Crazy Dangerous. I highly recommend this read. DO RIGHT. FEAR NOTHING.
This book was amazing – nothing like I expected. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Sam is one of the most engaging main characters I’ve come across in YA. Jennifer was inspiring as well, but Sam was my favorite. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I would rate this a MILLION if I could! I LOVED it!!!!!! Crazy twist! Never saw it coming! Great characters that left me missing them when it was over. MUST READ FOR ALL!!!
I enjoyed this book- it was fast paced for the most part and there is a twist at the end that you might not see coming. It is definately a book that I could recommend to young adults because it speaks as to how easy it is to get in with a "bad crowd" in school and bullying and peer pressure that goes on.
I LOVED this book! Klavan’s writing is phenomenal! (You would think I would no longer be suprised by that…) His characters are extremely realistic. Sam talks directly to the reader, telling us his story, which I usually find annoying and contrived, but Sam is so real that his asides to his audience are my favorite part of the story. Jennifer is also very well-done.
When Sam falls in with the wrong crowd and doesn’t know what to do, he takes some advice from an unexpected source that tells him: Do right. Fear nothing. For awhile, it seems things are finally going well for Sam, but when a schizophrenic girl starts calling Sam her “magic friend” and begging him to help her defeat demons, and Sam is accused of a major crime, he begins to wonder if doing right is always the best policy, and whether there really are darker, more dangerous things out there that he should be fearing. As a YA suspense/thriller, this book is crazy awesome. The first-person perspective provides insight into Sam’s sometimes erratic decision-making, and makes him feel like a very real character, even when he’s doing completely out-of-the ordinary, crazy things, like playing chicken with a freight train. His inner dialogue is true-to-life and somewhat sarcastic, which made it fun to read. The scenes portraying Jennifer’s mind were intense, harrowing, and downright creepy, and I loved how the author stepped into her cracked frame of mind with the narration during these parts. There’s danger, suspense, and a few twists along the way that I didn’t anticipate. Although the ending was a bit crazy, I liked how everything was resolved at the end, and the epilogue wrapped the story up very nicely. Despite a realistic glimpse into the mental frustrations of a PK (pastor’s kid), I’m not sure that this makes the best Christian novel. Some of the things that Sam did weren’t necessarily “doing right” even though that was the mantra he tried to live by, and I was left with the impression of “the ends justify the means.” In fact, that was kind of the take that Sam’s father, the pastor, had in his discussion with Sam in the epilogue. When “doing right” includes breaking curfew, breaking into a mental hospital, and breaking a number of laws, that might just be sending the wrong message. Regardless, I’d still recommend Crazy Dangerous to fans of the YA suspense/thriller genre. It’s a quick, thought-provoking read that does not disappoint! Thanks to the publisher for providing me a review copy of this book!
What a fantastic book. The MC, Sam Hopkins, was probably the most realistic character I've ever read in a book. First of all he's a PK (Preacher's kid). So am I. What I loved is that Klavan didn't make him this perfect guy. So many times PKs are expected to make the right choices because of their parents. It was great to see a character making mistakes despite his label. The story line kept you hooked throughout, and I was on the edge of my seat until I finished it. Nice job, Mr. Klavan.
Sam Hopkins is a pretty good kid. The son of a preacher, he has lived a fairly normal life. He has always wanted to get a little more attention though. One day he starts to get that attention, but not from the people he probably should. When Sam starts to feel a that he's in a bit over his head, he decides that now would be a good time to get away from his new crowd. Things go terribly wrong when a strange girl from his school crosses his path. Jennifer Sales is the sister of one of the most popular guys in school, but she is very strange. Some say she's crazy. Sam can't quite get all the things Jennifer tells him out of his head though, and he soon discovers that Jennifer's crazy may be the key to averting disaster. I went into this book thinking it would be one thing, and it was a different thing entirely. It's hard to describe the plot of this book, and I certainly don't want to give away certain aspects of the plot. There were some huge surprises. I really felt for Sam. He was a in general good kid, and he definitely had a good heart. You couldn't help feeling worried for him though. I actually felt my heart racing at times as if I were watching an action movie. It's always exciting when a book can evoke that much emotion from me. The author is able to really make you see things unfolding so clearly. I found Jennifer to be a particularly interesting character. The things she sees and hears make you so sad for her. She has to deal with so much. I want to say a lot more about her, but I don't want to spoil anything. I guess that is all I will say about that. One of the things that drives Sam throughout the book is a statue with a phrase that translates to, "Do right, fear nothing." At times I was amazed at the lengths Sam went to in doing right, but it was also a pleasure to see. I highly recommend this book.I think it reads well for both younger and older readers. There is enough action to appeal to everyone. It also makes you think about how doing right and fearing nothing could be applied in your life. This book was really enjoyable. I probably would have read it all in one sitting if I could have. I certainly did not want to put it down at times. Definitely check out this book! Galley provided for review.
Car chases, murder, and prophecies? I would describe Crazy Dangerous as a Nancy Drew type novel…but to the extreme! It was one wild rollercoaster ride that I was not ready to get off of yet. From the opening paragraph to the very end, Crazy Dangerous had my complete attention. Told primarily through the eyes of main character, Sam Hopkins, we are carried off to a world of mystery and truth. Sam Hopkins is your average teen…just trying to survive high school and feel accepted. As the son of a preacher, Sam feels that he has to work harder at being accepted by his peers since he is expected to act like a son of a preacher….always good, can do no wrong, etc., etc. Sam finds himself running every day in hopes to be able to be part of the track team next year. It’s during one his runs that he encounters the school bullies and known thieves and thugs Jeff Winger, Ed Polanski, and Harry Macintyre. It is at this point where we see just how brave Sam is. Even though the odds are totally against him (3 vs. 1) he punches Jeff. Did I expect Sam to get beaten to a bloody pulp? Of course! Did I think that would be the start of a crazy “friendship” between Sam and the three thugs? Not at all. Taking Sam under his wing, Jeff shows Sam the ropes of lock picking and the ins and outs of car theft. Knowing that nothing good can come out of this newly formed friendship, Sam realizes that he has to cut off all ties with this crew before it’s too late. How exactly is he going to do this? Enter Jennifer, a teen from Sam’s school who believes that demons are talking to her and telling her of upcoming doom. Blood, death…bodies everywhere. Sam chances upon Jennifer one evening. Being the white knight that he is, Sam takes it upon himself to protect Jennifer which in turn makes him a target. At this point, Sam finds himself involved in a murder and begins to believe Jennifer may, in fact, be a prophet. Andrew Klaven’s Crazy Dangerous was fantastic. I totally believed I was reading the story through the eyes of a teenage boy. Klaven’s description of the events that happened throughout the book had me completely immersed. I didn’t even want to blink, thinking that I would miss something. I, personally, was able to figure out what was going to happen midway through, but that didn’t stop me from continuing to read this fantastic book. There was so much that was going on in the pages that it felt like one of those perfectly executed movies. Fans of mysteries, action, and are looking for a hero need not look any further. Crazy Dangerous has it all, and perhaps a little sprinkle of magic. You won’t be disappointed.
When the pastor's son, Sam Hopkins, falls in with the wrong crowd, it's only a matter of time before he gets into serious trouble. His new friends harass an odd girl name Jennifer, and Sam sticks up for her. Then Jennifer tells Sam that she has dreams of demons and death, which freaks out Sam even more when her prediction comes true. When Jennifer tells him about another prediction, Sam is the only one who takes her seriously, which means he's the only one who can stop it from coming true. This book was a lot of fun. Sam had a great personality that sucked me in and kept me laughing out loud. I liked the way the story was told, taking us from the bizarre changes in Sam’s life straight into a mystery. The only thing that bothered me was Sam’s father’s insistence that Jennifer’s dreams couldn’t possibly be prophecies. I was shocked to see a pastor so certain that God wouldn’t use prophecy in the world today. Maybe that’s a denominational thing—I don’t know. But most pastors I know keep an open mind in regards to what the God of the universe is capable of. So other than my little pet peeve with the pastor’s treatment toward his son, this book was awesome. And entertaining thrill ride. Recommended.
"Do right. Fear nothing." This is the first book I've read by Andrew Klavan and I certainly wasn't disappointed. Crazy Dangerous is an incredibly well written thriller/mystery that is fast paced and addicting to read. The plot twists keep the reader guessing until the end of the book, making this a great page turner. Aside from dealing with normal teen issues of popularity, bullying, friendship and family, the novel also provides a unique look into mental illness and schizophrenia as well as the tough topic of morals and ethics. The story is told mostly from Sam's point of view, although at times we get to see into the troubled mind of Jennifer as well. By using Sam as the narrator, we are able to see his character grow and change drastically throughout the book. At the beginning, Sam is just seen as the PK (the preacher's kid) and is always trying to be perfect. As the story progresses, we see Sam begin to trust his intuition more and to take risks that could, and usually do, result in bad things happening. His motto throughout the book is "Do right. Fear nothing." This phrase perfectly reflects the change in Sam's character and also is a great moral lesson to readers. There were also some religious ideas mixed into the story, but these fit in well with the plot because Sam's father was a pastor. The characters question important things like evil in the world, faith, and why God would allow suffering and pain. Also, through Jennifer's character, we see the questions of if God ever leaves us and why he lets bad things happen. These are very worthwhile questions for readers of all age to ponder and along with the other moral lessons in the book, there is much going on beneath the surface of this extraordinary young adult thriller. In all honesty, I had this book on my wishlist before I signed up for the tour. The description sounded really interesting and I thought it would be something I would enjoy reading. After reading the ebook copy of Crazy Dangerous, I am very glad I trusted my instincts about this book and I loved it so much that I'm hoping to get a hardcover copy for my shelf so I can read it again! I highly recommend this book to readers of all ages who enjoy paranormal, thrillers, mysteries, suspense, YA, and just really fascinating plots with awesome writing. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for the tour in exchange for an honest review.
This story is really action packed. I adore each turn of the page, a new mission to be had. Now, I was never a pk (preachers kid) but my family has a long legacy of godly people. My grandma runs a church, my uncle is a pastor and my husband is the worship leader of the church we attend. So, I understand what its like to be under the scrutiny of the church. Being in Sam shoes felt refreshing. To get a whole new prospect of what he sees and feels, made me giddy. I liked that he is not perfect. He is human and made lots of mistakes. What showed more is his heart in fixing what he done wrong. That I truly admire. The Lord is always searching for that one guy to do his work. The Lord never picks anyone perfect but someone who is...well normal. Sam fits this part perfectly. Lost in who he is, Sam takes on a mission of helping a girl who everyone believes is crazy. I like that Sam had faith in her when no one else did. Sam saw beyond what other saw and knew exactly what to do. The ending is really explosive. With a dangerous plot to kill hundreds, Sam rushes to stop the plan. He helps others even when he is pursued and accused. He stops at nothing to fulfill the mission that is given to him. Sam is selfish in his action that make me admire him more. Crazy Dangerous is an amazing action story that keeps the reader entertained till the last page. Soaring with crazy thoughts, of others you thought to be normal, it makes you think twice of what you really know about the person. Crazy Dangerous is an ambitious story that make me want more.
Sam Hopkins is a preacher's kid. When he's out running three boys attack him, because they don't want him running there. When he shows that he's a brave kid the boys ask him to join their friends group. Sam knows these boys from school and he knows they're not up to much good. As a preacher's kid Sam has always lived a safe life. He wants a little bit of change and decides to join the group. Soon he learns that was a BIG mistake and he wants out. Jennifer is a girl on Sam's school. She's talking funny and she's seeing things. When she gets into trouble Sam is there to save her. Now Sam is her magical friend and she's telling him about her visions. Sam finds it all very creepy, but somehow he believes Jennifer is telling the truth. When Sam is trying to help her it gets him into a lot of trouble. After reading and enjoying The Homelanders series I knew I had to read Crazy Dangerous. Some scenes were a bit creepy, so if you are having trouble sleeping at night after reading creepy things, you better don't read this before going to sleep. Andrew Klavan is an original and clever writer. The story might be written for young adults, but as an adult I really enjoyed this book, too. *Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.*
Crazy Dangerous is a well-written thriller. Sam is a regular boy who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. He just wants to be a normal kid, but not pushed around anymore. Jennifer is a school mate with some type of mental illness. She talks crazy and hallucinates. This shouldn't impact Sam but it does because the thugs that are trying to mess up Sam's life are messing with Jennifer, too. Sam has a strong desire to protect Jennifer and stop whatever she's facing. This was the first Andrew Klavan book I read. I enjoyed it so much, that I've now raced through the Homelanders series. The author's books are great because they are action-packed. They are impossible to put-down. And are perfect for kids who like to read stories about heroic struggles. My 8.5 year old son likes his books because they are action-packed and heroic. The kid is in trouble the whole way through the book. My husband enjoyed the series because it captured all the angst of the teen years but equipped the main character for the struggles he would face.
Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klaven was quite interesting. I was immediately drawn into the book by the opening chapter, however, I had a hard time focusing on what was happening, even though the plot was fairly simple. The two main characters, Sam and Jennifer were well developed while the supporting characters were just that, supporting. I felt at times that the supporting characters “died off” without being mentioned much. That being said, the plot was very interesting and made me want to read to the end to see what was going to happen. This would be a great novel for older teens to read. They would definitely be transfixed by the story. It had a few biblical references, but I felt that this story could have been written with more of a Christian perspective for readers who get caught in similar situations and need something to grasp and hold onto in their lives. All in all, it was a fun read, definitely one I had to finish to see what would happen! I received a copy of this book from Booksneeze for my honest thoughts.
Sam was a typical kid who started hanging out with the wrong people. He has a good heart though, so when some bullies are picking on Jennifer because she is strange, he stands up for her even if he gets beaten up for it. Sam is following a new philosophy, “Do right. Fear nothing.” (Klavan 106). Jennifer sees and hears things most people don’t. She is plagued by nightmares and visions that taunt and trap her. As time passes, and the events Jennifer describes come to pass, Sam realizes that she is not crazy or strange, she it psychic. Now Sam and Jennifer must work together to prevent her horrifying visions from coming to pass. Sam is a great hero. He tries to do the right thing, even when it is not popular or puts him at risk. Confused, afraid, and tormented, Jennifer relies on Sam. Her faith is admirable and her intentions are always good. This book is funny, despite intense situations and Sam is a great narrator. He is witty, smart, and clever. Anyone could enjoy this book; Klavan’s writing style can be enjoyed by any age group or gender. I give it five out of five stars.
Fast-paced, humorous, with the flippancy that only a teen-aged boy narrator/protagonist can pull off, "Crazy Dangerous" is one of the best YA novels I've read in ages with a male at its heart. For those reasons alone anyone would enjoy this book, but there's so much more to it! A sort of John Green meets James Patterson... Andrew Klavan, an Edgar Award-Winning author lives up to his reputation with this one...and I can't wait to read his other books. As our famous Stephen Tyler of American Idol and Aerosmith fame said this week: "Courage is fear that's said it's prayers." And Mr. Klavan said: "Do right. Fear Nothing." Both quotes close to Scripture and honest truths played out in "Crazy Dangerous." The inspirational aspects of the book have to do with following what we know is the right thing despite all the outward pressures we have surrounding us to do otherwise. This is a lesson any of us can learn and relearn at any age. That's what makes this book the perfect cross over fiction. I thoroughly enjoyed the journey, the laughter over the spunky protagonist, Sam, the seriousness of helping those in dire need, and the reminders... You decide if this is an awesome thriller, or not once you've read it. I rate it 4 stars.
Crazy Dangerous is told from two views. First we get to meet Sam Hopkins, the goodie goodie preacher’s son who wants, more than anything, for his classmates to accept him and stop tip toeing around him because of who his father is. Tom, in a freak show of spunk and guts, wins the friendship of the biggest bully in school and realizes this may be his “in” to the cool crowd. While Tom is spending his afternoons with Jeff and his thugs, learning how to hot wire cars, we meet our other speaker from the book, Jennifer. Jennifer goes to school with Sam but doesn't fit in. She has a form of schizophrenia and is constantly picked on for the strange way she talks and the visions she sees. One day Sam runs into Jennifer in the woods on his way to tell Jeff he can no longer be friends with him and his gang, but Jeff shows up before Sam can get Jennifer out of harm’s way. Sam knows Jeff is going to do terrible things to Jennifer if he doesn’t interfere, so he throws the first punch and gives Jennifer the chance to get away. Jennifer has never had a friend before, and instantly becomes infatuated with Sam, her magical friend. The man who saved her when no one else would. She starts to tell Sam about her vision, and when Sam realizes they are coming true, it is up to him to save everyone from the terrible event Jennifer says will happen next. It was amazing to be inside the head of a person with schizophrenia and I will never look at the disorder the same. Jennifer is terrorized with monsters that are in her head, but the more you read, the more you realize she may be more set in reality than everyone thinks. The author did an amazing job of making memorable characters and Sam was a delight to read about. He was smart and quick witted and had internal struggles that we can all relate too. You could visualize the action in your head as you read and I can see this book eventually being made into a YA Thriller on the big screen! With a intriguing beginning, and one hell of an ending, I suggest you add Crazy Dangerous to your Reading list today! -Review by Cassie
Andrew Klavan is back with an exciting, action-packed YA adventure. Sam Hopkins is a normal kid. He does the things he is supposed to, most of the time. However, the choice to hang with the wrong crowd puts him into many situations where Sam has to consciously make good decisions, which becomes increasingly difficult. When Sam sees his "friends" harassing Jennifer, one of his schoolmates, his choice is to help her. What does that do to his "friendship" with the group? Will there be repercussions? Jennifer is quirky. Soon Sam finds out that she sees and hears things, things that truly scare her. She tells Sam about seeing death, the devil, and demons, and he thinks she may be crazy. But, is she? Or, is she seeing things that are truly happening or will happen in the future? As Sam starts to put the pieces together and begins to believe, he finds himself trying to prevent oncoming events. Will he be successful? How dangerous will it become? What will happen to Jennifer and Sam? Pick up this book and let Sam tell you the whole story! Wow! "Crazy Dangerous" is a great title for this book. It had my attention from the beginning and kept me reading. I was drawn to Sam, the preacher's son who made a bad choice in friends but wants to make it right; and Jennifer, the quirky girl who is terrified by the sights and sounds she witnesses. They could be any of us. This is a great YA novel and I recommend it to anyone who loves action-packed YA literature. I think it would be a fun discussion for teen groups, with many topics to discuss.
Crazy Dangerous is a book about a young man trying to do the right thing. The only problem is that he doesn't know what the right thing to do is. Should he protect someone even though he will get a fierce beating for it? Does he listen to the ravings of a girl who's hallucinating about demons, death, and destruction? Should he abide by his father's advice and just let the doctors and police handle things? Should he steal a car to save hundreds of lives? This book, while fraught with moral dilemmas, delivers a compelling and fast-paced read. I found this book to be very interesting for a number of reasons. First, the writing style is somewhat peculiar. It's written primarily from the perspective of Sam Hopkins as he tries to figure life out, especially when life is dishing out so many curve balls. Every several chapters, the writing shifts to the perspective of a young girl, Jennifer Sales, who is hearing the whispers of demons, seeing strange demonic visions, and is convinced that the only person she can trust is Sam. Another reason I found this book interesting is that it tries to find the balance between mental illness and spiritual warfare. Is Jennifer a prophet having visions of the spiritual battlefield, or is she just a young girl struggling with schizophrenia? A third reason is that this book places the main character into many moral dilemmas, from standing up for someone to breaking the law for the greater good. I was left asking myself the question, "Does the end justify the means?" The author seems to think that it does. All in all, I would recommend this book. Because it seems to be written to teenagers, I believe the content and questions raised in the story should be followed up by discussion to help work through the various issues and situations the main characters find themselves in. There is a discussion guide at the end of the book which would help facilitate this. I received a copy of this book from the publishing company and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
This book was crazy good! One word comes to mind when describing this book - AMAZING! This story is nothing short of Amazing. I am a fan of Andrew Klavan's books - this is the 5th one I have read by him. I also loved the Movie "Don't Say a Word" which he wrote. In my opinion, Andrew Klavan is a mastermind comparable to Ted Dekker (and y'all know how I love him!). This story starts out amazing on the first page. It was so intense I was hooked right from the beginning. It takes you on a rollercoster ride that never stops till the end of the book. WHISPERS CAME AT HER OUT OF THE DARK. Death. We are death. We are angels of death. We will destroy them. We will destroy them all. The whispers came from every corner. They crawled up the sides of her bed, skittered over her blankets, over her skin. Like cockroaches. First one, then another, then a swarm of them, covering her. We are angels of evil. Angels of death. We will teach them to be afraid. Jennifer gasped and sat up quickly, staring into the shadows, searching the shadows of her room, her lifelong room, her girl-room, suddenly strange to her now in the dark. So many eyes staring back at her. Stuffed animals—friends all her childhood long—her teddy bear, her crocodile, her baby giraffe. Glass eyes, black glass eyes, staring back. The posters on the wall: her favorite singer, her favorite band. Paper eyes, flat eyes, staring. Her calendar. Disney princesses. Their bright smiles suddenly different, suddenly knowing and mocking and wicked. Eyes staring at her from the shadows. And the whispers everywhere: We are angels of evil, angels of death. We pledge in blood to kill them all. Who was it? Who was there? Her heart beat hard as she scanned the room, searching. No one. Just her computer, the dull screen, watching her out of the shadows. Her stereo. Stary-oh! Scary-oh! Circular speakers like eyes, staring. Jennifer grabbed her pillow, held it in her arms for comfort, held it in front of her as if it could protect her. But the whispers kept coming. They skittered up the wall. Roaches swarming darkly up the wall and over the ceiling where they could drop down on top of her and scramble over her skin, get tangled and crawly in her long brown hair. There is excellent character development. First you have Sam, the PK (or Preacher's Kid), let's face it - he's a geek, a wimp, invisible to the rest of the school, but he does have guts! He does not like to be pushed around and will defend himself even if it means taking a beating. Then there's Jennifer. I LOVED Jennifer! I would love to read another book just about her. She is a very disturbed and sick young lady with possible Schizophrenia. She is having bad visions and Sam is her Hero! Well there has to be bad guys or "The Thugs" as Sam calls them, Jeff Winger, Ed P., and Harry Mac. You know the kind, will beat you up if you look at them wrong. But there are a few twists! Of course. So there are a few other bad guys that you do not expect to be bad guys. WARNING! You will have to schedule a whole day of reading because you will not be able to put this book down! I read most of this book in one sitting. I just could not stop reading, I had to know what was going to happen! It is intense, action filled, scary, and sad. I hate to sound like a broken record, but seriously - WOW! I don't remember the last time I felt such an adrenalin rush while reading. I think there was a point where my heart actually did stop for a few seconds. Then a few pages later there were tears running down my face. That is the kind of emotional rollercoster I am talking about. This is not a book I will soon forget.
Crazy Dangerous made me happy reading it from the beginning and won me over thanks to its main characters, Sam and Jennifer. The story is told in alternating voices of these two. I can't remember the last time I've read a YA book with a voice so crystal clear and genuine as Sam's. He's a character so wonderfully mischievous and cute and real. He has no supernatural powers, he's not super-hot and mysterious and brooding. He's your regular next-door 16-year old kid who gets into trouble. Jennifer on the other hand is broken and haunted. Her visions make for a chilling and nightmarish reading experience. When they get together, it's not an explosion of hormones. Another big plus for this book is that there's no sizzling romance. The relationship between Sam and Jennifer develops as a sort of friendship. Jennifer is not exactly a person to chat with over coffee. If I tell anything about her condition, it might spoil the book. But in the end, it all makes very much sense. The ending...I wish it followed the path that was set from the beginning of the story. It takes a leap of faith, so to say, as some things are revealed. Crazy Dangerous is religiously colored, particularly in the last third of the book. I'm not a religious person (but that doesn't affect my opinion of the book.). I got the not-so-subtle hints (guy in the truck). Still, I felt like these details were in discordance with what was previously established, and that was something very logical and rational. Crazy Dangerous has its moments of hilariousness and creepiness, and a wonderful main character. Despite the little bump toward the end, mainly because of different views, I would still highly recommend this book for many reasons: not a single YA cliche in sight, a male POV, thoroughly frightening psychological insight, excellent narration and well-developed characters.
I don’t think I would classify this one as a favorite or anything but it was definitely a fun use of my time on a relaxed morning. Today I decided to read at home for a bit. My husband is getting a bit tired of my disappearing act. So I sat next to him and read while he studied for his A+ networking exam. The story centers around a boy named Sam who is the son of the town’s preacher. As a kid who grew up with parents in ministry (my dad was a youth pastor for a while), I immediately connected with the main character. He makes some interesting choices and for a while ends up hanging out with some of the bad kids in town. He is able to get out of a bad situation when he defends a young girl named Jennifer who is mentally disturbed. This leads down some very dangerous choices that cause everything to spin out of control. I liked the characters in this book. Sam was realistic and Jennifer was down right creepy. I thought that the author balanced her character well and that while the revelation at the end was a bit far fetched, it was still barely logical and someone might have leaped to that conclusion, especially if they were going off the word of someone who was delusional. I found the story telling to be good, a bit dry but the pacing was what was needed for the storyline. I did find some of it a bit disjointed and wished that he had spent less time trying to make the reader feel off kilter. I think that it would have been more effective than the disjointed style he chose.