Crash and Burn

Crash and Burn

by Michael Hassan

Hardcover

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Overview

Major streaming series coming soon to Hulu

Starring in the Hulu adaptation of this cult bestseller: Alex Fitzalan, Alex Wolff, Sebastian Chacon, and Camila Perez.

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.)

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.

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."

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."

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.

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)

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.

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.

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062112903
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 02/19/2013
Pages: 535
Product dimensions: 6.18(w) x 8.24(h) x 1.66(d)
Lexile: 1050L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 17 Years

Customer Reviews