Monday, August 19, 2013

Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan

Steven Crashinsky, aka "Crash", is living the hero life.  On 4/21 of his senior year, he single-handedly saved the lives of hundreds of students and teachers in his school when he diffused a situation with a would-be school-shooter.  But something happened during that confrontation that he's never told anyone... until now.  

With a book deal inked, he begins writing about the events leading up to 4/21, which turn out to encompass most of his life.  You see, the kid who could have become the next big school-shooter was someone who Crash has been connected to for a long, long time.  And this story is going to have to start back in elementary school.  David Burnett, aka "Burn", has been a loose cannon for years... but no one really thought he was capable of something like this.  Except Crash (and maybe Roxanne, Burn's sister).

So, Crash is going to tell the uncensored story of his life and how he saved the day... and exactly what those words were that Burn whispered just before everything came to an end.

I am 100%, in love, obsessed with this book!!!  It was just such an honest portrayal of a teenage boy, a really cool teenage boy, that I can't help but appreciate the commitment this author had to his character.  I mean there's a lot of offensive stuff in this book that I could imagine the editors wanting to cut, but I could just feel the courage in the pages of this book to tell the honest story of how teenage boys think and act.  I can't believe I'm just now reading this (it's been out since Feb.), and I could kick myself for waiting so long!!

Steven Crashinsky is this kid with ADHD, who has had his problems (with school, his dad, girls, medications, etc), but he always manages to come out on top.  He has this mojo about him, this luck factor, that ensures he's always able to get through tight situations and come out a winner in the end.  He was a typical guy, but he also managed to see things really deeply in a weird way.  I mean he wasn't a real smart guy, he was just really intuitive or something... or maybe it was the pot.  This may sound pretty crazy, but seriously I think if I was a teenage boy I would be just like Crash, except for the whole ADHD- hating books/school and thinking he's magical stuff.  In fact, even though I am a girl, I wasn't far off how this guy is when I was in high school.  I was all about my friends and partying and playing guys and getting around my parents rules to get what I wanted.  Although I wasn't near as lucky as this kid was... and I didn't have to deal with a bona fide psychopath.

That brings us to David Burnett.  WOW.  What an amazing freaking villain.  As it's said in the book, he's the Voldemort to Crash's Harry Potter.  The thing is, he would have these moments when he was pretty normal, and even helpful.... and I would be thinking he's not a bad guy to have around.  But then, yeah it never lasted.  David Burnett was a troubled individual who was connected to Crash and there was nothing Crash was going to do about it.  He was stuck.

Hands down the best part of this book: Roxanne (Burn's sister).  She made me see Crash for a guy with real emotions and not just the typical sex-obsessed teenage boy he was most of the time.  I don't want to give anything away, but she definitely makes Crash a better, smarter person.

One of my favorite parts of this book: as the years evolved in Crash's life, there were a ton of pop culture references (songs, movies, video games, tv shows that were out) along the way.  It made it so much fun to follow along with his life being able to compare it to my own memories of those things.  Like, I can totally remember when the Jackass craze went on and everyone at my college was doing all those stupid, assinine stunts.  It was also really interesting to read about a father-son relationship that was so-beyond fractured... but his father's wife was such a savior in Crash's life that it made for really interesting situations.  But pretty much all of Crash's relationships led to interesting situations :)

Now a warning:  There's a lot of stuff that goes through this kid's brain (and he tells you every thought he's EVER having) that I could see people finding offensive.  He's a teenage boy after all.  A major partying, pot-head, womanizing teenage boy.  He smokes weed constantly and swears and just talks about girls in a pretty demeaning way.  But I freaking LOVED it!!  It's hard to explain why I connected with this so intensely, but I did.  Crash encompasses everything I loved about being young and dumb.

So this is definitely for an older YA crowd.  There's a ton of drug use, swearing, some homophobia, and sex, sex, sex.  But if you're old enough to read about that stuff, and you're not prudish, READ THIS BOOK!!!

2 things:  HATED Christina.  She's everything I hate about girls in general.  She reminded me of like 20 girls in high school that just annoyed the shit out of me.  And does anyone know what the Boston thing was at the end??  Was there deeper meaning to that?

OVERALL:  One of the most realistic portrayals of a teenage boy that I've ever read.  The characters and subject matter in this book just completely blew me away and left me addicted.  It's about a school shooting... and so much more.  It'll make you laugh and also rip your heart out.  An AMAZING debut, I hope Mr. Hassan has more books up his sleeve!

This Book Contains:

  • Teenage debauchery
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Mental illness
  • ADHD
  • Drug use
  • Sex
  • More sex
  • Porn sex
  • Really freaking smart kids
  • Foul language
  • 2000's pop culture references

My Rating: 4/4

How I got this book: Library... but I will be buying it!
Date Published: 2/19/2013

1 comment:

  1. You know I've heard this book was good, Michelle,but I don't think I've read an actual review of it. Now I am definitely going to pick it up! Thanks for sharing!!!!