Crazy Dangerous

Crazy Dangerous

by Andrew Klavan

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781595547941
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 02/05/2013
Pages: 328
Sales rank: 1,277,240
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Crazy Dangerous


By Andrew Klavan

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2012 Andrew Klavan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4016-8648-2


Chapter One

Under 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.

Didn't.

Like.

Getting.

Pushed.

Around.

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 Two

A 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.

(Continues...)



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.

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Crazy Dangerous 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 33 reviews.
Novelsontherun More than 1 year ago
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.
l_manning on LibraryThing 22 days ago
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.
kissedbyink on LibraryThing 22 days ago
This is the first Andrew Klavan book I have read, but it certainly won¿t be the last. He begins Crazy Dangerous with a creepy description of a vision that Jennifer is having. This vision does not get explained until later on in the story, but it definitely sets the stage for the trouble Jennifer and Sam will get into.Throughout the entire story, I kept guessing what would happen. Would Sam choose right from wrong? Would he be able to save Jennifer? Would Sam get caught? Not until the end, where the author wrapped everything up neatly with a bow, was I able to discover just how much of a hero Sam was.This is a wonderful story for teen boys. One that shows right from wrong with out preaching. One with mystery and adventure. A clean story without language and sex! One that teens are guaranteed to love!5 out of 5 stars!!
Bookswithbite on LibraryThing 22 days ago
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.
fredamans on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I couldn't keep my hands off this book! I'd put it down and have to pick it back up again. I had to get to the end and find out what all happened.I really can't decide if I like Sam or Jennifer more. Both characters, different in their own ways, were both delightful, wholesome, loving characters. They had personalities that were personable and made you want to get to know them.The morals that came across in this story, like love, trust and acceptance, were told solidly. It will continue to resonate through me for some time.I think lots of people will enjoy this book. Even Stephen King fans. It has a pretty groovy, scary element and suspenseful feel throughout that horror and thriller fans will greatly appreciate.
Justjenniferreading on LibraryThing 22 days ago
I LOVED this book. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next and yet the closer I got to the end the less I wanted it to end. Sam is just a normal kid. Not really outstanding at anything. He's a preacher's son and stays out of trouble. But then he starts hanging with the wrong crowd and starts to get into trouble. I didn't feel bad for Sam, as I think what he was going through was fairly normal - the feelings of wanting to fit in and being awed by a lifestyle that he wasn't used to. I think he knew what he was doing was wrong and yet he did it anyway. But he absolutely got more than he bargained for. And once he befriends Jennifer he appeared to be way in over his head. Even though Jennifer is portrayed as being "crazy" I kind of liked her. She had mental problems, but what was going on to her was as real as it could be. It was Jennifer I felt sorry for. She just kept getting blown off because she was a bit weird and the way she was interpreting what was going on to her seemed too odd to be true so no one believed her. I loved the story. I was drawn into the story immediately. Jennifer's abnormal way of describing what was going on was a neat idea. Jennifer was telling us what was going to happen, but it took a bit to "unscramble" what she was saying. Plus the story just goes, there's a few slow parts but for the most part this one keeps moving right to the end. It wasn't the kind of fast paced story that drains you, but it does move pretty quickly. I would say that even though this is a YA book that it would be enjoyable for anyone to read. The writing was good and I didn't feel like it was being dumbed-down to meet the younger audience. It was just a good story.
BookishDame on LibraryThing 22 days ago
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 hisreputation 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.
alwaysyaatheart on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Sam Hopkins is a preacher's kid, who just wants everyone to accept him for who he is, not for who his father is. Most of the book is narrated by Sam, whose inner dialogues are hilarious. I really liked Sam. He has a funny, charismatic personality, and he doesn't take any crap from others. The rest of the book is from Jennifer's point of view. She is a mentally ill teenager, who is having disturbing visions. As you can read in the book description, Sam is one tough little dude. After a run-in with three hoodlums, Sam ends up becoming friends with them....not a wise decision. They teach him how to break into cars and how to pick locks. One evening he ends up running into Jennifer, and she tells him about her visions. Sam knows she is a little off, yet he can't help but feel that there is more truth to what she is saying than just the rantings of some crazy person. His hoodlum friends show up and end up trying to hurt Jennifer. Sam ends up punching Jeff, the leader, and telling Jennifer to run. He then ends up getting beaten-up pretty badly. Unbeknownst to Sam, one of the hoodlums filmed the whole thing on his phone and posts it on Facebook, only it backfires on him, and Sam ends up being a hero at school. At this point in the story, things get even more interesting as the plot thickens.When I first started reading Crazy Dangerous, I immediately liked Sam Hopkins. It took me a few chapters to really get into the book, but once I did, I was anxious to see what was coming next. Jennifer was portrayed as mentally ill, but Sam believed there was more to her visions, and almost felt they could be prophetic in nature, like something in the Bible. Needles to say, everyone thought Sam was crazy for even thinking along those lines, even his father, yet Sam couldn't put the things Jennifer said out of his mind. The story is mysterious and filled with twists, turns, mayhem, and murder. I didn't know what was going to happen next, and I couldn't wait to find out. It also advocates good morals, love, and truth, while bringing to light the turmoil those with mental illnesses face. Andrew Klavan has done an outstanding job in writing this YA thriller, which depicts the age-old struggle of good versus evil. The story is suspenseful, has an element of horror, and a hero to boot, and it is definitely an good read.
herdingcats on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Intrigue, insanity, and danger make this a thrilling adventure novel with a Christian twist. Sam Hopkins is a preacher's kid who is tired of everyone feeling like they have to be perfect around him and when circumstances put him together with a bully, who wants to be his friend because he stands up to him, Sam decides to fall in with the wrong crowd. Jennifer, whose older brother Mark is a track star, is insane. When Sam stands up to his bullying friends to protect her, he becomes her hero and her "magic friend". This story is believable with unexpected plot twists that keep you reading to find out what is next. To be honest, I thought the disappearance of the angel statue was a bit too much and it tipped this book into the land of corny Christian fiction. I think it would have been just as good if the statue really did exist and the old man remained as a mysterious figure. However, for the most part, this novel really was fantastic and I totally enjoyed it.
AngelaFristoe on LibraryThing 22 days ago
Crazy Dangerous was nothing like I was expecting. The first half or so is really a look back. Sam is retelling what happened to lead up to the point he begins telling the story. This was where I was very hesitant with the story. The style wasn't something I was particularly comfortable with, though looking back I can't really pinpoint what it was that made me feel that way. The second part is told after the beginning. This part worked much better for me and it's where I really started to connect with Sam and Jennifer.Sam is a typical teen boy, without really being typical. Klavan was able to show the pressure Sam felt being the preacher's kid, as well as showing how Sam struggles with understanding how faith and God work in the world. Sam's got a sense of humor and he's pretty mouthy, which gets him in a bit or trouble.Jennifer was really intriguing. I know very little about schizophrenia so I don't know how accurate her portrayal is, but she clearly suffered from a mental illness. I loved how she latches onto Sam as her magical friend, that she sees him as the one person who can save her. I cried near the end when she turns around and tries to save Sam. There is a line near the end which I won't do an exact quote on because it would spoil the story, but it makes reference to how being mentally ill doesn't cause someone to be evil, that there must be something else inside them.Klavan throws in some great twists and I didn't figure out who the villain was until right before Sam did. But once Sam figures it out and connects all of the pieces he's been given, I had one of those 'slap my forehead' moments for missing all the clues. There's lots of action and although this is Christian fiction there is some violence and dark elements. This is a pure good versus evil story and how evil can hide in the most unsuspecting places. It is about how friendship requires faith and how believing in someone sometimes means believing in a higher purpose.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing take on mental illness to create a page turner
eternalised More than 1 year ago
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.
paigetwo More than 1 year ago
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!!!
Mccullh More than 1 year ago
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.
TheAddLibrarian More than 1 year ago
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.
wnk More than 1 year ago
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!
JVDLA More than 1 year ago
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.
l_manning More than 1 year ago
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.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
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.
Novel_Teen_Book_Reviews More than 1 year ago
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.
StephWard More than 1 year ago
"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.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
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.
MarB1 More than 1 year ago
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.*
CaraPutman More than 1 year ago
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.
Kellie4 More than 1 year ago
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.