Monday, 15 July 2013

Review: Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan

Book: Crash and Burn

Author: Michael Hassan

Publisher: Balzer and Bray

Pages: 532 Pages

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 3.5/5

Goodreads Summary

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.

I first saw this book on Tea Time with Team Epicreads and the cover was practically burned into my mind - pun intended. When it came in at the library, I picked it up, not knowing a thing about what it was about, and I was surprised.

Crash and Burn, or Stephen Crashinsky and David Burnett were two extremely different characters that will stay in my mind for a while. Stephen was reckless and he didn't really care about the consequences. David on the other hand, was detail oriented, and everything he did was perfectly planned out. He had an answer for everything and took shit from no one. My favourite character, though, was Roxanne. I can't really say much about her without spoiling the book, but just know that she was the pinnacle of character development.

The writing was, if anything, realistic. The author didn't hide behind metaphors and instead wrote the same way a teenager would think. He didn't censor anything and no topic was taboo. It was very interesting. At the beginning, it was hard to really get into, but as the story progressed, you got used to it. 

The story had weird pacing, as well. And I don't mean bad weird, or good weird, but just...weird. It wasn't fast, but by no nature was it slow. It moved fast enough to get you through the book easily, but slow enough that you were kept in suspense. And that was important. When we get down to it, the real plot, what we had been waiting for, was in the last 50 pages of the book. He (Stephen) actually warns you that you won't want to put it down till you finish it, and to get a snack! XD

I don't know if I really liked this book. I appreciated the themes and the way it was written, but I don't know if I actually liked it. It wasn't my cup of tea, but it did leave an imprint on my mind, but it was hard to get through.

3.5 out of 5 stars. I will recommend this to everyone though. But beware the language.


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