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Crash and Burn

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  1,404 Ratings  ·  308 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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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Lauren good question. I looked that up on Google and all I got was directions for good hiking spots near Boston. :/

Community Reviews

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Raeleen Lemay
Feb 28, 2013 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own
This book can basically be described as INSANE.
1) because one of the characters is actually mentally unstable.

Steven (Crash) Crashinsky and David (Burn) Burnett are two characters that I feel will leave an impact in the world of fiction. Most of the time after finishing a book I don't really have lasting impressions of their characters, unless of course it's The Hunger Games or Harry Potter. However, I will never forget Crash and Burn and the c
Feb 25, 2013 Mitch 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 P.E. 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 Runa 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
Dec 23, 2012 Kelly 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 Becky 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
helen the bookowl
Jun 14, 2014 helen the bookowl 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
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
Paul Lunger
Mar 21, 2013 Paul Lunger 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 sh ...more
Nov 11, 2012 Audra 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
Manuel de Acha
Okay so yeah, I really enjoyed this books.

This is one of the most amazing novels I've ever read. It deals with a lot of different interesting topics and Michal Hassan is great at writing every single one of them.

The writing was of course perfect and this is sure one of the most surprising novels I've read so far. The characters blew me away and this is for sure an unforgetable story.



Richie Partington
Nov 20, 2012 Richie Partington rated it it was amazing
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
Kathy Cunningham
Jan 28, 2013 Kathy Cunningham 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
Oct 11, 2015 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 30, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 30, 2015 Kristen 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
Aug 13, 2012 Liam 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 pag
May 16, 2014 Maya rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Spenser Rush
Apr 07, 2013 Spenser Rush 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.
Xian Xian
Mar 07, 2013 Xian Xian 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 Audrey Wilkerson 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 Isamlq 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 Eileen 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
A talky, frenetic young adult novel about a boy with ADHD and LD nicknamed Crash and a mentally unstable boy who bullies him beginning in late middle school nicknamed Burn. Both come from high income families in Westbury, CT where kids are expected to attend Princeton for college and maintain impeccable high school records. The story begins with Burn talking Crash to go into the basement of the school they are attending for middle school and Burn setting fire to the janitor's office. They both g ...more
Mar 26, 2013 Whitney rated it really liked it
I stayed up kind of late to finish this book, because I had to finish it fast. It was heavy. Obviously, I mean it deals with an almost school shooting incident, as well as a lot of other issues that, as a kid in today's world you would encounter. I was impressed with the narrative style--brilliant writing, perfectly capturing the ADHD nature of Crash and his world. I appreciated how the writing totally opened a window on kids dealing with ADD/ADHD--and not that I have it myself, but I've worked ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Liviania rated it really liked it
CRASH AND BURN lingered in my to-read pile because Bookworm1858's review cooled my enthusiasm for it. I gotta say, I think she hit a lot of the nails on the head.

CRASH AND BURN is an excellent book. Michael Hassan is a powerful, talented writer. CRASH AND BURN is his first novel and I'm quite excited to pick up his next book. It tells the story of two boys whose lives are entwined. Burn held his school hostage at gunpoint, planning to blow it up. Crash stopped him. The story moves back and forth
May 14, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
3 or 4 stars? not sure which to go with. I suppose I could go 3.5. How do I explain my feelings about this book? I ordered the book with reservations. I had read the reviews, and the mixed emotions expressed by so many people had me a little worried. Especially since I was ordering the book for the school library. But I took my chances and ordered it. And as soon as it was put out on the shelf a student took it out. This particular student is an avid reader, but a student who enjoys reading book ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Patty rated it liked it
Crash And Burn
Michael Hassan

Essentially this is what this book is about...a boy who saves his high school from another boy who is armed and dangerous.

Simply put...this was not a good choice for me. I thought I would love it and I did not. This has nothing to do with the author...whom I think is very clever. I did not love the situations I read about. I think I might have appreciated them more if I wasn't an adult and a teacher. There are certain books that don't appeal to me when told through
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Realistic 2 23 Oct 01, 2014 07:47AM  
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  • Dr. Bird's Advice for Sad Poets
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  • Blaze (or Love in the Time of Supervillains)
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Michael Hassan lives in the Northeast. Crash and Burn is his first novel.
More about Michael Hassan...

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“No. I do not fucking play soccer. Do you think I'd be this fat if I played fucking soccer?” 16 likes
“the point is that each of us has the ability to choose what he wants to learn, and in the end it all works out.” 1 likes
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