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Crash and Burn

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,696 ratings  ·  347 reviews
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 i ...more
Hardcover, 532 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Balzer + Bray
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Misty Boston Hikes mall in Massachusetts. Crash couldn’t remember the last place he’d seen Roxanne, and Burn was telling him. Crash was trying to find the m…moreBoston Hikes mall in Massachusetts. Crash couldn’t remember the last place he’d seen Roxanne, and Burn was telling him. Crash was trying to find the mall because he wanted to go back to the last place he saw her(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,696 ratings  ·  347 reviews

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Feb 25, 2013 rated it liked it
I haven't been this conflicted over a book since Libba Bray's The Diviners - and for pretty much the same reasons. Crash and Burn is definitely something that I wouldn’t hesitate to call indisputably well conceived and written, yet at the same time, I’d be lying if I said there weren’t aspects to Michael Hassan’s debut novel that didn’t bother me. Don’t get me wrong, I for one totally appreciate how Hassan’s written an incisive contemporary that really speaks to me as a twentysomething guy and n ...more
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've given Crash and Burn some honest thought, and I think I love it. The operative word being "think" because there's a lot to hate too, and I can see why some people didn't enjoy this book.

But in this review, mine is the only opinion that matters and I'll do my best to explain why this book messed me up so bad.

See, I thought the writing was refreshing. It's not artistic and pretty. It's not stupidly plain. The writing has a voice and so when I read this book, I could imagine Crash talking. T
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Okay, let's start this review off by mentioning that a drunk person cannot consent to sex. Because the main character of this book has a lot of sex with girls who are drunk, high, or both, and let's just clarify right off the bat that that's 110% not okay. Sex and drugs basically set the tone of this book, with one or the other mentioned practically on every page of the story. A lot of really problematic behaviors are normalized, with the main characters constantly treating women like objects fo ...more
Adam Silvera

Michael Hassan's timely and tragic debut novel chronicles the genesis and aftermath of a school hostage situation with authentic and unforgettable characters.

Readers know the outcome at the start of the book: on April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky thwarted his troubled classmate David "Burn" Burnett from blowing up Meadows High with explosives. Crash's ADHD originally hindered any chance at college, but his heroic deed opened the door to first-tier sc
Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok

Steven Crashinsky -- Crash -- was the person who talked David Burnett -- Burn -- down when he held his school captive. But what was it Crash said to get Burn to stop?

Unfolding over 540 pages is Crash's growing up with and without Burn in his life. The two of them were never friends, but they spent a not-insignificant amount of time with one another. Crash tells this story through his ADD-afflicted mind and it's told as though he's writing a book. But it's not entirely linear, as the story g
Mar 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
I have mixed feelings about this book, and here they are, kind of scatter-brained.

Crash, the main character, is a pretty repulsive character. He's a poor little rich boy that I never quite managed to be sorry for. Set up against Burn, the manic depressive boy genius whose natural destructive tendencies are exasperated by loss after loss after loss, and his father, a sociopath businessman, Crash certainly sees himself as innocent - a hero even. What's disturbing then, is the ways he can't see how
Helene Jeppesen
Jun 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was PERFECT! This book was everything I wanted! I went into it not knowing anything about it, because I couldn't seem to get a clue from the synopsis. Now, it is - hands down - one of my absolute favourite books! It reminded me so much of "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger. Even though the story is very different, the writing style, tone of voice and main character are very similar and I loved that about it!
Sara Williams
School shootings and suicide and absent parental figures and a lot of shit faced drunk/stoned people and partying and a very annoying sort of narrative can pretty much describe what this book felt like.
It doesn't follow a chronological narrative which can be an hassle, but still that's one of the smallest problems I have with Crash and Burn.
We're in the mind of this 16(?) year old boy named Crash, who saved his entire school from getting blown to pieces by this guy called Burn and guess what, T
Aug 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-again
I just finished this book and I'm still in tears and I should be in bed but I have to write this review.

I hated this cocky little punk Crash when I started the book. He was every douche I knew in high school, charming his way out of trouble and into girls' pants.

But that's just part of the story. This book about a hard-partying, womanizing kid with ADHD and his frenemy that almost blew up his high school, it turns out, is actually a beautiful, sad, brutal, sweet, thought provoking novel. It migh
Irina Elena
This is another one of those books that I can't seem to review.
Whether it's because I don't have the time, or because I don't really feel like it, or because I can't figure out what to say, whenever I think of sitting my ass down and doing it I never actually end up doing it.
Which is weird, since I loved the hell out of this book.

Crash is an extremely fun and relatable character, and even though his narration often assumes a comedic, slightly off-kilter tone, what he goes through never stops fee
Nov 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: i-own-arc, will-trade
What in the holy heck did I just read? Crash and Burn is a long winded, scatterbrained story about a boy, Stephen Crashinsky and his pratical life long fear of a fellow sometimes classmate David Burnett. Both kids have their fair share of issues, certainly one more so than the other.

I wouldn't say I hated this book so to speak, but I found it a bit tiresome. It's a very long book. The subject matter is a bit disheartening given recent events.

I wouldn't say the book is terrible. The book had a
Kathy Cunningham
Jan 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Michael Hassan's CRASH AND BURN is one hell of a fantastic novel. It's witty and brilliant and funny and terrifying and damn near impossible to forget. Eighteen-year-old Steven Crashinsky is probably the most absolutely real, totally authentic teenage protagonist since Salinger's Holden Caulfield, and that's saying something. It was actually hard for me to imagine an adult writer creating this character - it was as if Hassan were channeling a real kid, with all his quirks, his weaknesses, his ou ...more
Steven Crashinsky saved his school from blowing up at the hands of a super psychotic kid. And he's a complete asshole. Told from his point of view, he is working on writing a book based on his life and what actually happened that fateful day, and the narrative goes back and forth. It's bizarre. And pointless. It's boring. And repetitive, and HE'S SO UNLIKEABLE. Plus, Burn (I forgot his full name), is also TERRIBLE. I mean, sure he's the one who threatened to blow up the place, but SERIOUSLY. I h ...more
Paul Lunger
Mar 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every so often there comes a book that may be the most important book you may not ever read. In 2013, that book could very likely be Michael Hassan's "Crash and Burn". This is the story of Steven "Crash" Crashinsky who becomes a hero when he prevents his friend David Burnett from blowing up their high school on 4/21/08 in Westchester, NY. The story is told as a series of flashbacks from the present with Crash who is writing a book about the events of that day & events in the present which show t ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
Grade: B+

Steven Crashinski (Crash) , unlikely hero who saved his school from David Burnett's (Burn's) bullets and bombs must finish confronts himself, his father and his past writing an account of the incident.

Narrator Crash is sympathetic yet maddening, arrogant yet lacking esteem, thoughtless and thoughtful, hurting yet hurtful. Verbally abused by his father, I found rooting for Crash to be easy, though sometimes I wanted to shake some sense into him and other times I wanted to teach him how t
Richie Partington
Nov 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Richie’s Picks: CRASH AND BURN by Michael Hassan, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, February 2013, 544p., ISBN: 978-0-06-211290-3

“We all stood up, and Obie stood up with the twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures, and the judge walked in with a seeing-eye dog. He sat down, we sat down. Obie looked at the seeing-eye dog, and then at the twenty seven eight-by-ten color glossy pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.
And he began to cry ‘cause Obie came to th
Jan 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm not good with reviews. Not good at all. But all I know, is that everyone should give this book a chance. Wow. Just wow. ...more
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
It seems most reviewers either love this one or hate it. I find myself feeling much the same way I felt about Gone Girl: while I don't particularly LIKE any of the characters or their actions, the story is SO DAMN COMPELLING. I admit...I kind of like Crash, our ADHD hero/antihero. Many reviewers loathed him, and while I can see why that is the case (constant pot smoking, vulgar, drunken sexcapades, using girls for sex, etc.)...for me there is just something likable about him, maybe because he's ...more
Nov 25, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf

(DNF @ 80%)

This book was very different from what I expected. From reviews I've read about this book, people said the characters are great and that you'll most likely get attached to them. I found the characters to be forgettable, I may think about them sometimes in the future, but probably not. The main character was especially the one I had problems with. He didn't think about how his decisions would affect other people which stirred up some drama.

I enjoyed most parts of this book, the wr
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing

Holy shit.

I just finished the galley of this book about ten minutes ago. This is a freight train of a book. This makes all other young adult books look like lightweights. This 530-page monster of a story took me on a ride that books rarely have the balls or spine to provide. Nails the voice, nails the incandescent frustration of being young and a dude in the 2000's, nails it all. I would have waited longer to write this but my phone is almost out of power. I hope this book knocks a hole 530 pa
May 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Spenser Rush
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book. It is a very realistic representation of teenage problems and the realistic possibility of losing yourself. This novel sheds light on medical labels and their damaging effects. Being as this is Michael Hassan's first novel, I sincerely hope he writes more. ...more
Aurora Dimitre
High four stars. Probably more around 4.5

I did love this. I did love this a helluva lot. I liked how rambling and sometimes semi-coherent the writing style could be, and I liked how voice-heavy it was, and I liked how unapologetically asshole teenage boy it was. It felt honest, and it felt raw, and these are all things, these things that I mentioned loving, are things that other people could have problems with. I can one hundred per cent see where someone would have a trouble with the treatmen
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What WAS this!?

I don’t understand how no one has ever mentioned this book to me. Holy shit.

I can’t even really evaluate if it was good or not good, or if I liked it. All I can say is this. This book does something different. There is almost no artifice.

The main character actually for once feels like a real person who is speaking. In this way, he is often an asshole and not fun to read about lol. But he felt authentic.

The whole book felt authentic. And to be honest, the ending blew me away.

It too
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm still not exactly sure what this book was about. Partying? Alcohol? Drugs? Mental illness? Family problems? There is just too much of everything and in the end, it doesn't make sense. Not for me. ...more
Jul 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
I loved this but sometimes the "girls as sex objects" type of boy teenagehood got old. It was probably a very accurate portrayal but still. ...more
Xian Xian
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
This book took me forever to read. Despite that it's a YA novel, which is usually less complicated to read, prose-wise, I had the hardest time trying to finish this novel. It is possibly the longest YA novel I have ever read, other than maybe Eragon, but I'm not even sure if that counts as YA. It took me months to finish this.

It's on a topic that is quite tragic and controversial. There's two, 9/11 and school shootings and bombings. Okay, that's more than one.The title is in reference to the c
Audrey Wilkerson
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I can’t even begin to review this book in my usual style: plot, what I liked about it, what I didn’t like about it, and end with a summary. This book deserves much more than this kind of review, and yet as I sit here, trying to write it, I have no idea where to begin.

Having finished this incredible piece of literature only moments ago, I should start by saying that it was not a book I chose. I received an inquiry quite a while ago as to whether I would like to review this book, and I agreed. I r
Apr 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-galley
It’s day three post Crash and Burn and the words still no longer elude me. What aspect of this held me? It certainly wasn’t any of the characters as they were all worlds away from perfect. Crash particular was a douche.. no doubt about it. Hero status notwithstanding, all the cruising and the boozing, the cussing and name dropping with his boys and the girls, the hooking up and the what not… made this almost too dark but with a a lack of depth. There seemed no reason for all of it, save to shock ...more
Nov 21, 2012 rated it it was ok
Check out more of my reviews at ***Singing and Reading in the Rain***!

After many positive reviews about Crash and Burn, it was easy to say I was really excited to start. However, after I turned the first few pages, my enthusiasm started to wane. And wane.

The very first telltale issue I had with Crash and Burn was the writing. Theoretically, it was great, really easy to follow, and I had no problem with it. Grammatically, it was stellar and the story was executed well. Technically, it was all ov
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Realistic 2 25 Oct 01, 2014 07:47AM  

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Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. Crash and Burn is his first novel.

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