- Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
- Format: Hardback | 535 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 211mm x 46mm | 590g
- Publication date: 19 February 2013
- ISBN 10: 0062112902
- ISBN 13: 9780062112903
- Sales rank: 207,183
On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers' lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don't know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.Until now.Michael Hassan's shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It's a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it's a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.
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By Moodyno1 08 May 2014
Favourite Quote: “You can’t make a fox into a dog no matter how hard you try. A fox is always a fox. And in the end, you have to let them go.”
Words cannot describe how much I loved this book. The feels. The feels. I know for a fact is will be one of my favourite books of the year and may even be in my top 10 books of all time! 5/5 stars from me!
Let’s start with the plot. We know the big event is the school hostage situation and we have to wait until the end to know what and how everything went down. I thought the waiting would kill me but Michael Hassan manages to direct your attention by writing about these two teenagers whose lives were intertwined from a young age, and seeing this unfold was just brilliant! The first half of the book was good but the second half was just incredible, it was so emotion, I just loved it. The chapters alternate between before the hostage and after, this was great in the sense that it kept the book interesting and moved the pace along. I preferred the ‘before’ chapters but the ‘now’ chapters provided hints of things that had happened and that make me excited to read more because I knew they would be revealed in later chapters!
There was a lot of issues raised/explored such as mental illness, drug use, underage drinking, sex, divorce, suicide and so much more. All of these issues were done very well in my opinion and kept the book interesting and realistic. My only negative is that I felt the book was about 100 pages too long.
Onto the characters, which were the reason this book was awesome! There’s Crash who I just loved, he was a typical teenager and I was completely intrigued with his ADHD – the way he saw things differently and what a struggle school was for him – it give him depth as a character and opened my eyes about ADHD. He had many flaws and I didn’t agree with all his decisions but that made him realistic and human. His relationship with his family was interesting, I hated his dad and the way he treated Crash. He was such a dick and I wasn’t a fan of his older sister either. His mum was great, I loved her but his relationship with his younger sister was my favourite, they were hilarious and just got each other. The was another person Crash had a special relationship with, I won’t name the character because I think that spoils the book a little because this character was such a huge part of the book and you don’t even realize it until somewhere in the middle! That was a big surprise for me and I loved it and the relationship, so much so that I got teary-eyed at parts of the book!
Then there’s Burn, who is one of the most unique and interesting characters I have ever read! He has such a complex mind, and I was completely bewildered/awe/fascinated/shocked/horrified by all his thoughts and actions. He was an unpredictable character and that brought up so many questions – what was he going to do next? What is he thinking? – all of which made the book exciting! Despite a lot of his actions, I sympathize deeply for him. He had a harsh life and it is not hard to see why he lost his mind at the end! His theory about being connected to Crash and also his relationship with him because of that was incredible to read and they have to be one of my favourite book duo’s ever.
There’s a whole bunch of side characters some who I liked like Newton but most of the others I couldn’t care less about like Crash’s stepmom or the love interest, they were boring and I never connected to any of them!
Overall this book was brilliant and incredibly impressive for a debut novel! Cannot wait to read future works from Michael Hassan.
By Kim Heimbuch 05 Aug 2013
Reviewed by Janessa, Age 15
This is a powerful, disturbingly accurate tale of what it is like to be a teenager and how screwed up our generation has become. But all is not lost as there are still those, like Steven Crashinsky, aka Crash, who care enough to step up and be a voice for troubled teens like David Burnett, aka Burn. This fictional book is about the troubled life of Burn and his past and the day that Crash talked him out of a hostage situation where more than a thousand people posed to lose their lives because of Burn.
"I know he's crazy, but he's not just my brother, Crash, he's all I frickin' have left."
Read Full Review at http://www.musingwithcrayolakym.com/3/post/2013/08/crash-and-burn.html
"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."--Ned Vizzini, author of It's Kind of a Funny Story and The Other Normals