Title: Crash and Burn
Author: Michael Hassan
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.
My Thoughts: I’m honestly not sure what to say about Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan. For starters, it’s a long book. Very long. We’re talking 500+ pages. And this isn’t a Harry Potter-like 500+ pages, meaning it’s not a fast read. Not at all. You see, Crash has ADD. And he’s telling his story in this book. We alternate between his account of what’s happening now – after the siege – and then – long before, leading up to, and including the siege. The alternating and such isn’t a problem. It’s actually pretty easy to follow. The problem – and I think the word problem here is a bit stronger than necessary – is that he’s very rambly. And I think that’s because of the aforementioned ADD. Again, it’s not hard to follow – not even with the rambly, mid-story tangents. (I must admit that these scare me, because I often have similar communication issues! LOL) This rambling is what makes the story so long – and a not-so-quick read. It’s a long book that reads like a long book. It’s not a draggy, horrible mess. It just wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be.
The backstory of these to guys, David (Burn) and Steven (Crash), is … well … wow. So utterly and completely convoluted, messy, entangled. I picture a funnel cake when I think of an image of their backstory. So many “threads” and everything linked somehow. (The funnel cake is just a visual image – the appearance of a funnel cake that I liken to the connection, as opposed to the actual – quite yummy – cake.) It’s messy, all tangled around parts of itself, and next to impossible to make much sense out of. It’s clear from the get-go that Burn has some serious problems. Clearly he’s off-the-charts intelligent, but he’s also off-the-charts crazy, too. And then his sister, Roxanne. What an interesting, unexpected, and equally messed-up component to the whole thing.
The big secret – not as shocking as it likely was meant to be. What it’s related to, however, made me gasp when I read it. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.
Despite the mess that is Crash and Burn’s backstory, it’s quite interesting. To see what all these kids – not just the boys, but their friends, too – have been through. Burn snapping is no surprise at all, but that doesn’t make it any less tragic. I was unpleasantly surprised by what an ass Crash actually is. All he cares about is weed, sex, and getting drunk. ADD aside, I found it difficult to be inside his head, because I couldn’t stand his mental processes in regards to these things at various points. That likely slowed me down in the reading, I’ll admit. He’s one of those characters I find myself both loving and hating. Although, to be perfectly honest, there’s less love in there …
Issues aside, Crash and Burn is a worthwhile read. It’s written very well, and it’s quite the story. Just don’t expect a fast, thrilling read. Expect a reflective, slow-paced read that packs a punch.
Source: Received through Around the World Tours for review.
Read It: Crash and Burn is scheduled for release around February 19, 2013. You can pre-order your own copy HERE. (This is a Book Depository link, and purchase through this link will result in my receiving a small commission at no cost to you. Your support is appreciated!)
FTC Disclosure: All items reviewed were either obtained by me for my own enjoyment or sent (from the author, publisher, publicist, via tour sites, etc.) in exchange for an honest review. I receive no monetary compensation for my posts. All opinions expressed are my own. Any exceptions to this are clearly noted in the appropriate posts.
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