Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Troubled Teen Takes School Hostage at Gunpoint in Michael Hassan's "Crash and Burn"

Crash and Burn is a powerful, emotional knockout by author Michael Hassan about the complicated relationship between a profoundly-troubled teenager who takes his school hostage at gunpoint and the profoundly untroubled student who stops him in a novel that Daniel Kraus of Booklist has called "Sprawling, messy, vulgar, sexy, irreverent, violent, bighearted, harrowing" and "quite simply, a great American novel."

On April 21, 2008, Steven "Crash" Crashinsky saved over 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, ADD-diagnosed glory. According to Liz Kossnar of Bookreporter.com, "Dealing with the expectations of heroism, ADD, broken families and just getting by during adolescence, this story is not only timely but a necessary read."

And in her review, Karen Coats called Crash and Burn "a must-read for teens and adults alike who want to understand the lack of empathy that permeates contemporary culture." A powerful summer read for teens and adults alike. Find out why teenagers across the country are hiding it from their parents.

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