Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan

Today I am going to be sharing my review for Crash and Burn by Michael Hassan. This was a new release YA book that came out in February. When I first heard about it I knew that it was definitely a book that I wanted to read. It sounded really interesting and intense due to the topics of this book. I'm going to post the summary below and then get started on my review!

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

This book is told from the main character Steven's (Crash) POV who has just finished his senior year of high school, but he also stopped one of his classmates David (Burn) from blowing up the entire school. Everyone considers Crash a hero, but Crash has a story of his own to tell. Him and Burn have been "frienemies" since elementary school, and while Crash is certain Burn has always been out to get him, some how they always end up in each others paths and are connected some way or another. There is also the big mystery of what Burn whispers to Crash right before Crash convinces him to stop what he is doing. So suspenseful!

This book really grabbed my attention in the beginning, and it switches back and forth from present time (after Crash stopped Burn from blowing up the school), and past time from when he first met Burn and how their lives where leading up to what happened. The story is kind of slow but I didn't really find it to be boring because I was so interested in what was going to happen later so the story held my attention. This book is very, very detailed for a YA novel, almost too detailed. However, as the story being told from Crash's POV and he has ADHD, it is very well written for it being told in his voice. I also really enjoyed reading from Crash's POV. A lot of the time I have a hard time getting into a book if it's told from a male's POV but I really enjoyed this one.

So this book deals with a lot of serious and intense topics; there is a lot of mental illnesses, drugs, sex, suicide etc. If you can't handle reading about these things, then this book is definitely not for you. In a nut shell, Crash has had ADHD his whole life. Burn suffers from a lot of anxiety, depression, and bi-polar disease but that is not even the half of his problems. Crash and Burn have a really interesting relationship. They aren't exactly friends, but they've always been in each others lives. They understand each other, but at the same time they don't. Crash is somewhat afraid of Burn, and for good reasons. Crash has always been there for Burn though all his hard times though. I really enjoyed a lot of the characters in this book. Crash probably has become one of my favorite male lead characters. I really love a lot of the relationships that he has built. You know he cares about his family and friends, and even Burn. I could not stand Crash's father, though. He has definitely topped my most hated parent character. He is such a jerk and treats Crash like crap for no reason. I wanted to slap him.

Burn was a character that was a lot different from any character that I've read from. Like I said before, he has a lot of issues. And by a lot, I mean a lot. Not only is he dealing with all of those issues above, (spoiler alert!!!) his father was killed during 9/11 and that made a huge impact on him. Also he loses his mother to breast cancer later on in the book, which he does not handle well at all. Some of the time during the book, Burn does seem pretty normal (almost) but he has a lot of ups and downs from his depression and the medication he is on. Crash describes this as "When he's up, he's really up. And when he's down, he's really down." And when Burn is down it is quite scary during a lot of the book.

I really liked Roxanne in this book as well. She is Burn's older sister and they are both protective over one another. I really enjoyed Crash's relationship with her. He sees her for who she is, and not who she tries to be or who everyone else thinks she is. I liked Crash's younger sister Jamie, and also a lot of Crash's friends in the book. There isn't too much to say on the characters who didn't play a big part in the book, though.

In the last 60 or so pages in this book (when Burn goes ape shit) , Crash warns you that you will not want to stop reading so don't even try. Which is so true. The ending of this book was so intense and gripping,  I couldn't even handle it. Well, I could but you get the picture. Even though Crash saved everyone and it was a 'happy ending', this book made me feel sad. Even though Burn is completely crazy and tries to kill everyone including himself, It's really hard not to feel pity for him. This is the type of book that will stir a lot of emotions in you while you read it.  When I finished it, my first thoughts were "omg this is such a great book", but the more I thought about it the less I thought so. Don't get me wrong it WAS a great book, but this is the type of book that leave you feeling really unsettled. This story seemed so real that it was almost heart breaking. Also when you find out what the big secret is of what Burn whispered to Crash at the end, I was so sad. I was completely heart broken at what was revealed. This is one book that I will definitely never forgot, and I'll never forget these character either. I'm not exactly sure if it is a good thing because this story just felt so heavy on my heart after I read it.  None the less, I am glad to have read it because I do enjoy books that have an impact on me.

This concludes my review, I hope you all enjoyed and thank you for reading!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Upcoming Spring 2013 Young Adult Book Releases!

Hey Everyone! Today I am going to share some upcoming YA new release books for this spring and summer! I found some books coming out within the next few months that sounds really great and I can't wait to read them!

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch coming out on March 26th. This book seemed really interesting to me. It's about a 15 year old girl who lives hidden in a broken down camper in the woods with her younger sister and mental ill mother. This will be one that I am definitely going to pick up!

My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi coming out on April 2nd. This books stars Lucy, who's life is turned up side down after a horrible week during her junior year in high school. She wants to get away from her life and then she does something that will changer her life forever.

Moonset by Scott Tracey coming out on April 8th. This is the first book in a Legacy of Moonset series. This series is about (from description) "Witches and their troubling family legacy." I absolutely love books about witchcraft and I am always wanting to read more. Also, I really love this cover for this book!

Dead Silence by Kimberly Derting (4th book in the Body Finder Series) coming out on April 16th. This is series that I absolutely love. The Body Finder series is such so amazing and gripping. It's suspenseful, and keeps you on edge the whole time while reading. I can't wait to read this one!

Chosen at Nightfall (Shadow Falls series #5) By C.C Hunter coming out on April 23rd. I am so excited about this book. This is another series that I really love and have been waiting for this book to come out. I am sad that this is the final book in the series but I really think it will be a great one. There is also a short novella to this series coming out in April as well called Saved at Sunrise.

The Program by Suzanne Young coming out on April 30th. This book was one that I thought sounded really good and interesting as well. This is a dystopian book where teenagers get 'infected' with depression and teen suicide is epidemic. The solution to this is called The Program, where they send teenager to cure them. Their depression is gone but they also take away their memories. So the main character tries hard to hide her true feelings to avoid getting sent to the program but as her depression gets worse, it gets harder. I thought this book sounded really good when I first herd about it, however the subject of this book is really touchy to me as of late so I am not sure if I will be picking it up right away. 

Invisibility by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan coming out on May 7th. I am super excited about this one! These are two really great writers who teamed up to write this book that sounds so amazing. It's about a boy named Stephen who is cursed with being invisible, but then he meets a girl named Elizabeth who can see him. But as they becoming closer to each other an invisible world gets in their way and threatens everything.

Star Cursed (2nd book in the Cahill Witch Chronicles) by Jessica Spotswood coming out on June 18th. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, Born Wicked, and I can't wait for this next book in the series. Like I said before, I really enjoy books about witchcraft, and this one is a really good one!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Another Book Tag

Hello Everyone! Today I am going to do another book tag which I found while watching some Youtube videos. I am in sort of a reading slump this month so that is why I have not posted any book reviews lately. It's already almost halfway through March and I've only read one book so far :(. I have hopes that this months reading for me will get better because The Clockwork Princess is coming out in a week! Woo hoo!  I still wanted to keep my blog updated though so I thought I'd do a book tag!

1. What Book are you reading now? An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

2.  What are you favorite books? I have way too many favorites to name. Definitely Harry Potter is my all time favorite books/series ever. Looking for Alaska by John Green. Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare etc. Night Road by Kristina Hannah. The Pact by Jodi Picoult.

3. How did you learn to read? How didn't I? o.O

4. What Foreign languages do you read in? None.

5. Whats the funniest book you've ever read? No book for this question is really is standing out to me. I'm not too sure I've exactly read a funny or humor book but I do find my self randomly laughing at books while reading. While reading John Green books I always find there is a character in all of this books that is humorous.

6. What books have changed the way you look at the world or the way you live your life? I'm not exactly sure how to answer this because every book that I read changes the way I think in some way or another.

7. What books have affirmed what you believe about life or the way you look at things? Same answer as above.

8. What are some of the scariest books you've ever read? I have not read a true horror books before, but I have read a few YA ghost books. Bad Girls don't die by Katie Alender and The MacKinnion Curse series by J.A Templeton were really creepy.

9. About how many books do you think you've read in your life? Well, I have over 200 books on my book shelf just from the past 2-3 years. So I'm going to guess 400-500?

10. About how many books do you own? 200-300 probably.

11. How many books per month do you usually borrow from the library? None, I buy all of my books because I like to own them.

12. How much would you say you've paid in library fines in your life? None. I don't even remember the last time I got a book from the library, and when I was younger my mom always made sure they were back on time.

13. Do you read in bed? Sometimes. I normally do all of my reading while I am at work. Before I spent all of my time at work, I would read at home in bed. If I am about to finish a book I sometimes will finish it before I go to sleep.

14. Do you ever read while walking or driving? That sounds dangerous.

15. Where is the strangest place you've ever read a book? I'm not sure if I've ever read in a strange place. Maybe in my car while it was parked outside? I'm pretty sure I was about to finish a book one time and I sat in my car after I got out of work and finished it before I drove home.

16. Do you listen to audio books? No I do not. If I was driving by myself for along period of time I probably would though. I would like to listen to an audio book but I have not yet.

17. Has any one ever read aloud to you or you to them? Yes, many times when I was in school.

18. What was the most difficult books for you to read? I have a hard time reading classic books. I tried to read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin and Lord of the Rings many times but they were hard for me to pay attention to what was going on.

19. What books do you intend to read by keep putting off? The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the Hobbit.

20. Do you buy new or used books? Paperbacks or Hardcovers? Normally I buy new books but I have bought used ones before and I'm not apposed to them. I buy both paperback and hardcovers.

21. How do you feel about writing in books? I never use to write in any of my books. I always fold the corners of pages in books when I find something that I like, but lately I have been wanting to highlight or underline things in my books that I like that are sentimental to me.

22. Do you lend out your books? All of the time. I always lend my books out to my close friends. I love sharing them.

23. What were your favorite books as a child? I loved Number the Stars when I was younger. That was my all time favorite book. And since Harry Potter came out when I was 9 or 10 I can count those too.

24. Which children's books do you enjoy? I have not read a children's book in a long time. Some people consider Harry Potter a children's series (I do not) and also I enjoyed the Percy Jackson series which is found in the children's section I believe.

25. Do you ever read the ending of the book first? No I do not. However sometimes when I'm checking to see how many pages are in the book my eyes wander sometimes haha.

This is all for the book tag survey, I hope you all enjoyed and Happy Reading. :)