Crazy Dangerous

Posted on July 24, 2013. Filed under: 10+, Action, Books set at School, Boys' Books, Girls' Books, Includes Explosions |

Sam Hopkins is a good kid. He’s a Preacher’s Kid in a small town. Which means that he’s completely shocked when a bunch of thugs starts teaching him how to steal cars. He knows he should stop hanging out with them, but can’t bring himself to stop until he sees them beating up a schoolmate, Jennifer. Smaller-than-average Sam knows that if he intervenes, he’s dead meat. But he can’t get a quote out of his head: Do Right, Fear Nothing. So, finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires both an eccentric new one and  collection of bruises.

Most people would call Jennifer genuinely crazy. She says things just because they rhyme, for goodness’ sake! But then Jennifer’s terrifying hallucinations involving demons, death, and the devil start coming true. And the crazy part: Sam is starting to suspect that these visions may really be prophecies– prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it. With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is all alone in a race against time.

Starting with Sam playing chicken with a freight train, ending with an explosion, Crazy Dangerous is just about the best book I’ve ever read (Swiss Family Robinson has nothing on this). Sam is a kid that Just. Doesn’t. Like. Getting. Pushed. Around. This book includes a reading group guide, but I don’t recommend it for every teen/young adult book group. This may also not be a good book for schools. (It involves mocking the school system repeatedly. The danger of first-person books!) It reinforces the idea that there is Right and Wrong, no matter how you look at it (hooray!). Also, the main character does not usually “tell an adult right away.” (He’s sixteen, a little old for that.) This is an AWESOME book, no matter how you slice it.

Crazy Dangerous, by Andrew Klavan. 326 pages (not including reading group guide). $14.99 (hardcover).

One Response to “Crazy Dangerous”

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I managed to get my own copy (hardcover, too!) on amazon for $6, (approximately). It was on sale, but that’s over now, sadly.


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