Mark my words - if you pick up this book, you'd better plan on ignoring the world around you until it releases its grip on you. Crazy Dangerous is an astonishingly good read, simply impossible to put down. Never mind the fact that it's written primarily for a juvenile audience - and I'm not technically juvenile (well, my wife may argue that point at certain times). I just loved it! The action is intense and non-stop, and the descriptions completely immerse you in Sam's world until you feel the excitement, the danger, the craziness right along with him. I really enjoyed the first-person narrative style that the book is written in, an almost conversational manner that perfectly complemented the adrenaline-laced scenes. I thought the author also wove together the spiritual elements of the book in a brilliant manner, leaving the reader questioning what was supernatural in nature and what was due to chance, but ultimately fostering a sense of wonder at the complexity and mystery of God. Crazy Dangerous is a good, solid story, and one that will entertain teens - and maybe their parents - while not introducing them to questionable morals at the same time.
I highly recommend Crazy Dangerous, and look forward to what the author can come up with next! 5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher & Litfuse for the purposes of this unbiased review.
Sam is a preacher's kid, a sixteen year old who doesn't fit into the "in" crowd at school. When he has the opportunity to be a part of a bad guy gang, the temptation is too great and he agrees. Then his troubles begin.
Sam befriends Jennifer, a girl who has visions of terrible things that she believes are going to happen soon. Sam is the only person who thinks there might be something to her "demon" visions. As he figures out what Jennifer's visions might represent, he begins to wonder if can fight the battle he knows is before him. While Sam is in his father's office, he sees a statue with the inscription, Recte age nil time. He is especially drawn to the statue and Googles the Latin: "Do right; fear nothing." It is this saying he repeats to himself as he battles the evil that would destroy and kill.
This is an exciting novel. It is well written with continuous action. It really portrays how quickly evil can come into a situation. It also shows how we are often oblivious to that evil as it grows in influence. Sam often fights the inaction of adults as he battles those under demonic influence.
The novel is obviously aimed at teens. A teen is the hero and it is teens to whom the demons turn to destroy and kill. It is written from the viewpoint of Sam so I think teens would really like the book.
There is lots demonic influence that is described, although nothing I found offensive. Because of the demonic aspect, I would think the book may not be appropriate for all teens, especially young ones. The plot include the possibility of a mass murder at a high school and that might be a difficult topic for some young teen readers.
Also, schizophrenia is introduced as Jennifer is diagnosed with it. I would suggest that parents be available to discuss that topic with their teen readers as I am sure there will be some questions in that area.
The Christianity of Sam and others is well represented. While Sam believes Jennifer is having visions from God his father (a preacher) tries to convince him there is a rational explanation for what is happening. I am glad Sam persevered in his belief that there really was something spiritual and truthful about Jennifer's visions.
I think there will be a reading guide (there was not one in the egalley I read) which would make this a good choice for Christian teen reading groups. There is much to discuss.
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Sam Hopkins is the 16 year old son of a preacher. He and his family live in small town Sawnee, New York. Sam is actually a pretty good kid. He definitely has a positive outlook and sense of humor. Living in a small town every one knows every bodies business, especially if your the son of a preacher. There are expectations to be met, and a reputation to maintain. While out running he has an encounter with 3 boys of dubious reputation. Sam is strongly coerced by them to engage in criminal behavior. Sam's conscience bothers him, yet he is fearful. Meanwhile, Sam has a classmate named Jennifer. Jennifer is eccentric. Odd. Seemingly demented. She sees monsters------creepy crawly things that bug out everywhere, literally. She hears demonic voices telling her grievous fearful plans of what they are going to do. Sam wonders if Jennifer's statement of these demonic plans are her imagination albeit hallucination, or if maybe they are prophetic.
I loved this story! What a wild ride it took me on!
Sam is such a likable kid, I was drawn in to his predicament because I cared what happened to him. He also has a knack for being able to get out of tight jams.
Jennifer was unlike any book character I've encountered. At first meeting, I felt she was a poor distorted young girl. Yet, as the book progressed I was given these enticing tid-bits of her quirky personality that were so mesmerizing.
Not much information is given about Sam's family other than his dad. His dad seems to be this placid fellow, yet he too had a engaging transformation. I wish he'd had more scenes in the story.
The book is a definite page turner. I read the book in a little more than a day.
I would like to read more about Sam Hopkins escapades, maybe there will be a book 2?
Thank you to Litfuse Publicity Group and Thomas Nelson for my free review copy in exchange for an honest review!
Crazy Dangerous is a juvenile fiction novel for those interested in intrigue and suspense. Sam Hopkins is just your everyday, boring preacher's kid. Then he gets caught up in a gang that steals cars, gets out just before someone gets murdered, and then is accused of committing the murder. There's also the girl at school that everyone knows is crazy, but somehow, she knew about the murder before it happened. Now Sam is the only one that believes Jennifer and is rushing to save many, many lives, but he has to evade the police in order to do it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that likes suspense. It keeps you on the edge of your seat as you flip page after page. The twist at the end is easier to figure out the closer to the end of the book you get, but still set up very well. I particularly liked the father's character as he interacted with Sam in a way that was supportive, but still held Sam responsible for his actions.
This novel was compulsively readable and I found myself lost in the story... and sometimes scared silly. So maybe it's not a good idea to read some of these scenes at night. Just sayin'. Anyway, I loved the mystery/suspense themes within the story and the insight into a PK's mind. I also loved how Sam was a bit nuts and how he did so many brave things as a result. At his core, he was a good guy who cared about others. You have to admire a hero like that, even if what he did sometimes seemed pretty DRAGNET (you have to read the book to get that insider joke.)
I read this story in two sittings. I had to know what was going to happen next and if I hadn't needed to sleep I would have read it straight through. It was pretty freaky being in Jennifer's head at times. When she hailed "Sam Hopkins" as her magic friend and when she got spooked, I got spooked, too. There was a scene where she was almost lucid and asked why God allowed her brain to have a mental disease that was quite touching. She really did have a true friend in Sam Hopkins. Everyone needs a "Sam" in their lives.
One of the things that I found most compelling about the story itself was the message that people aren't always what they seem. And to assume someone is a good person just because of the role they have in society and the way they act in public is not a good thing, because we all have our private lives and sometimes people who look "good" on the outside have ugliness inside of them that's hidden. It seemed to me that part of what Jennifer suffered from was exposure to demonic activity.
At any rate, this was an intense read, but I enjoyed it and I'm not one to love scary books. Being inside the mind of a sixteen-year-old boy was kind of fun too. This is making my favorites list simply because I couldn't put it down and I loved the message in the book. Klaven has a new fan in me, though I'm still easily scared. Just sayin'.