Crash and Burn

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Crash and Burn
Publisher
Age Range
14+
Release Date
February 19, 2013
ISBN
0062112902
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Steven "Crash" Crashinsky relates his sordid ten-year relationship with David "Burn" Burnett, the boy he stopped from taking their high school hostage at gunpoint.

Editor reviews

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'Crash and Burn' Does Anything But
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
“Wow. Just wow.” That’s all I could think when I put down Michael Hassan’s “Crash and Burn.” It’s one of those books that I’m still digesting, even now, but in the best possible way.

“Crash and Burn” follows recent high school grad, Steven Crashinsky, as he’s tasked to write a book recounting how he stopped a school shooter from killing his classmates. Steven – or Crash, as his friends call him – simultaneously loves the fame his heroism earned him, yet worries his ADHD and stoner lifestyle will prevent him from writing a book that will live up to the expectations of his new fans. What follows is a sort of freestyle journal, alternating between Crash’s present and his past with David Burnett (Burn), the school shooter whose life was intricately wrapped up with Crash’s.

What I loved most about this book was that I’ve never met a protagonist like Crash. A good chunk of the time I found myself completely loathing him. A lot of Crash’s life consists of being a cocky, womanizing, stoner loser, and that’s just a lifestyle I can’t respect. But what makes you like and relate to Crash are his moments of vulnerability. Despite his attempts to hit it and quit it and become the ultimate playa by hooking up with as many girls as he can, Crash falls in love. It’s his reflecting on how he fell in love that allows Crash to not only discover his priorities, but to save his school. Hassan doesn’t make Crash’s priorities completely straight-and-narrow, but rather leaves a character who’s extremely realistic in that he has strengths you love yet weaknesses you can’t stand.

This intricate and captivating mix of good and bad is again present in Burn. By no means do you put down the book supporting psychotic plans to kill classmates. You can, however, see how the cards were stacked against Burn all along. There are numerous times when you feel for Burn as he experiences hardship after hardship. Two majors events that only scratch the surface of these difficulties are Burn’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder and his father’s death in 9/11. Knowing from the get-go that Burn stages a school shooting later in life makes you want to reach into the book, pull Burn out, and give him the healthy attention he’s dangerously crying out for.

The best part about Hassan’s world is that you find yourself rooting for and hating both the hero and the villain. These complicated and compelling characters’ lives weave together in unexpected ways, leaving you in open-mouthed awe as the story ends. “Crash and Burn” does anything but.
Good Points
A protagonist you simultaneously can't stand yet can't help but love.
An antagonist you only want to help.
Relationships between characters that are intricately and expertly woven.
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Overall rating 
 
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Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
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Wow, I'm in Shock, Don't talk to me
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Crash and Burn is about two teenage boys who met on elementary and their lives have being intertwined ever since. The story is about a school shooting/bombing/hostage plot performed by David Burnett (knows as Burn since he was 8 years old) an 17 year old troubled genius, and how Steven Crashinsky( known as Crash)a stoner, player who has ADHD, save more than a thousand people when he stopped Burn by seeing who he truly was. I loved the concept of a book within a books which is how this impossible to forget story is written. Crash is the narrator of the events before and after April 20 (420, the siege) and the writer of the book within this book about what led up to the events and about the secret that Burn told him before he was taken into police custody. Wow that sounded a bit confusing, Crash style. The story isn't all about the siege but about Crash and Burn's life, about experiencing, messing up, discovering who they truly are and what connects them both to each other. I got to say Crash, being the hero and all, wasn't my favorite character, he was f**** up, his behavior something sucks, but Crash is Crash and he holds true to who he is.I don't hate him but don't love him either he just seems true to me in a way not any other book characters has. Burn on the other hand, is troubled and misunderstood at times. It's hard to describe him; he is who he is and in a twisted way I get him.Not so different you may think, they is a bond beyond belief between this two. All male characters is this book were screwed up. The female are more powerful and insightful, specially Jamie, Crash sister. She is smarted beyond her years. Okay, she screwed up too, it's normal, but she help Crash and Burn in ways not any others could. I laughed, cried, cursed, got angry, loved, forgave;I experienced every feeling/emotion involved in this novel. I completely lived this book. So, "you should probably be prepared to spend time with this book because you're not going to want to put it down until it's finished" and the secret it's reveal. Hassan did a magnificent job. He time it perfectly all the events and the unexpected (Oh My God) moments. The author was capable of telling a complicated, shocking, controversial story through the eyes of a realistic, authentic teen. Crash it's a eye opening book about what it's happening out there. Sad, but true. The ending was perfect, Crash style.
Overall, Crash and Burn it is funny, witty, unique, complicated, screwed up( in a good way), honest, shocking, and freaking Awesome. It's not a story to motivated you or inspired you in any way. It's a story about a dude's life from his perspective. Simple and complicated at the same time. I'm looking forward to read more for Hassan. 5 stars
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