Tired of being "the preacher's kid," Sam Hopkins falls in with the wrong crowd---and meets Jennifer, an eccentric loner who everybody thinks has schizophrenia. When one of Sam's new friends is murdered, Jennifer tells him, "I'm looking for the devil." What does she mean? Could there actually be something prophetic in her words? 352 pages, hardcover from Nelson.
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Customer Reviews for Crazy Dangerous
Review 1 for Crazy Dangerous
Crazy Dangerous Review
Date:September 14, 2012
This was book is written in first person point of view, so you really get drawn into the story. I found myself not wanting to put the book down, reading it every chance I had.
Sam Hopkins is a teenage boy in a town that is probably very familiar with most of us. Sam is a preacher’s kid (PK), who is looked at differently by others in his school. They act as if they have to be somewhat fake around him, due to his father being a preacher. This leads Sam to want to change the way he is view, so Sam gets into league with local thief’s.
Sam’s journey takes him on a path too running from the thief’s, playing chicken with a train, getting beat up, learning to break into cars and locks of all kinds. After a encounter with a statue in his father’s office Sam realizes that he must stop hanging out with these guys, this choice changes the flow of the book.
Sam and Jennifer attend the same school, but Jennifer is a girl with a mind that causes a world of trouble for Sam. Jennifer has visions of demons and events of horrible ends. Sam saves Jennifer from being abused by the very thief’s he has been hanging with, which ends in Sam getting beaten really badly.
Sam though, believes the visions that Jennifer has, as she explains they in a cryptic way. When one vision comes true, Sam must find out what else she knows, when one evening Jennifer shows up in the lawn of his house. This event leads Sam to breaking into a mental hospital, kidnapping Jennifer, running from the police and ultimately saving the lives of hundreds of people.
This story is a whirl wind ride and through faith in God, people, and one’s self. Torn between reality and visions Sam and Jennifer race to stop the evil that people are capable of planning and attempting to care out.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.
I LOVED this book! Klavan’s writing is phenomenal! (You would think I would no longer be suprised by that…) His characters are extremely realistic. Sam talks directly to the reader, telling us his story, which I usually find annoying and contrived, but Sam is so real that his asides to his audience are my favorite part of the story. Jennifer is also very well-done.
Chilling mystery, and adventure collide in Andrew Klavan's thrilling, yet thought provoking book.
While reading it, I wasn't ever quite sure where this book would go, it was so unpredictable, and I loved that! I loved how it was told in a more unique second person point of view, like I was hearing the tale right from Sam Hopkins' mouth.
There were elements that some might question at first, but I think by the end they will realize what was going on and totally enjoy the book. Because for me I had that sense in the beginning that I wasn't sure if I liked where it was going, but by the time I had turned the last page down, I was beyond psyched about it. I loved the fast paced action and the slight chill about it, made it almost like watching an action/adventure/thriller movie, but better!
Probably my favorite thing about this book was the theme : Do Right. Fear Nothing. Basically to sum it up this book really showed how doing the right thing is never the wrong thing to do. No matter the temporary consequences, doing the right thing has a reward beyond description.
Overall, this is a book that I would highly recommend, and will definitely try to get my brother to read it. This is totally the kind of book that is super-hard to put down! I would definitely recommend very highly :D
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
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Review 4 for Crazy Dangerous
Very good book! Definitely Recommend.
Date:July 11, 2012
Sam Hopkins, the 16-year-old narrator, was beaten up for defending weird classmate Jennifer, who speaks in rhyme and has hallucinations. Sam's first-person narrative addresses the reader directly, and is interspersed with more distant third-person chapters from Jennifer's view point. Jennifer's passages gradually become less and less coherent, as though she is losing grip on reality. Jennifer has recurring nightmares featuring creatures that want to kill her, and after Sam saves her, she becomes convinced that his name is a magic charm that will ward off the evil. (It isn't.) But one of her visions seems to come true, and now she is convinced that something evil is going to happen on Sunday. Meanwhile, Sam has been challenged to 'Do right. Fear nothing after finding a statue in his father's study, and Sam is starting to wonder where this will lead... Overall, the beginning and ending of Crazy Dangerous more than made up for a shaky middle, providing an exciting Young Adult suspense with solid Christian themes. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze for providing a free ebook for review.
Crazy Dangerous first caught my attention as a review title because of the name – the juxtaposition of words reminded me of Hideous Kinky, the movie starring Kate Winslet, where the two girls combined words to come up with strange combinations. Crazy Dangerous fit the bill. The opening line also caught my eye: “You see that dead guy by the side of the road? ... That’s me”. So many books seem to have similar plots that I’m always looking for something original. A novel narrated by a dead guy? Yes, that’s a new one.
Well, it soon turns out that Sam Hopkins, the 16-year-old narrator, is not actually dead, although he was beaten up for defending weird classmate Jennifer, who speaks in rhyme and has hallucinations. Sam’s first-person narrative addresses the reader directly, and is interspersed with more distant third-person chapters from Jennifer’s view point. Jennifer’s passages gradually become less and less coherent, as though she is losing grip on reality.
Jennifer has recurring nightmares featuring creatures that want to kill her, and after Sam saves her, she becomes convinced that his name is a magic charm that will ward off the evil. (It isn’t.) But one of her visions seems to come true, and now she is convinced that something evil is going to happen on Sunday. Meanwhile, Sam has been challenged to ‘Do right. Fear nothing’ after finding a statue in his father’s study, and Sam is starting to wonder where this will lead...
Despite the gripping opening, the writing at the beginning of the book the style was lacking. Exclamation marks are overused, there is a lot of repetition (e.g. sentences beginning with the same word) and there are examples of odd word usage (at one point, "the car pulled a great big Huey, turning full around". A Huey is a helicopter, so I can only assume the author was trying to say ‘pulled a u-turn’).
However, the writing improves as the story progresses, and the second half of the novel moves very quickly as Sam tries to work out what Jennifer’s visions mean. Overall, the beginning and ending of Crazy Dangerous more than made up for a shaky middle, providing an exciting Young Adult suspense with solid Christian themes.
Thanks to Thomas Nelson and Booksneeze® for providing a free ebook for review.
When the pastor's son, Sam Hopkins, falls in with the wrong crowd, it's only a matter of time before he gets into serious trouble. His new friends harass an odd girl name Jennifer, and Sam sticks up for her. Then Jennifer tells Sam that she has dreams of demons and death, which freaks out Sam even more when her prediction comes true. When Jennifer tells him about another prediction, Sam is the only one who takes her seriously, which means he's the only one who can stop it from coming true.
This book was a lot of fun. Sam had a great personality that sucked me in and kept me laughing out loud. I liked the way the story was told, taking us from the bizarre changes in Sam’s life straight into a mystery. The only thing that bothered me was Sam’s father’s insistence that Jennifer’s dreams couldn’t possibly be prophecies. I was shocked to see a pastor so certain that God wouldn’t use prophecy in the world today. Maybe that’s a denominational thing—I don’t know. But most pastors I know keep an open mind in regards to what the God of the universe is capable of. So other than my little pet peeve with the pastor’s treatment toward his son, this book was awesome. And entertaining thrill ride. Recommended.
Sam Hopkins is a preacher's kid. When he's out running three boys attack him, because they don't want him running there. When he shows that he's a brave kid the boys ask him to join their friends group. Sam knows these boys from school and he knows they're not up to much good. As a preacher's kid Sam has always lived a safe life. He wants a little bit of change and decides to join the group. Soon he learns that was a BIG mistake and he wants out.
Jennifer is a girl on Sam's school. She's talking funny and she's seeing things. When she gets into trouble Sam is there to save her. Now Sam is her magical friend and she's telling him about her visions. Sam finds it all very creepy, but somehow he believes Jennifer is telling the truth. When Sam is trying to help her it gets him into a lot of trouble.
After reading and enjoying The Homelanders series I knew I had to read Crazy Dangerous. Some scenes were a bit creepy, so if you are having trouble sleeping at night after reading creepy things, you better don't read this before going to sleep. Andrew Klavan is an original and clever writer. The story might be written for young adults, but as an adult I really enjoyed this book, too.
*Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my review copy.*
Crazy Dangerous is a well-written thriller. Sam is a regular boy who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances. He just wants to be a normal kid, but not pushed around anymore. Jennifer is a school mate with some type of mental illness. She talks crazy and hallucinates. This shouldn't impact Sam but it does because the thugs that are trying to mess up Sam's life are messing with Jennifer, too. Sam has a strong desire to protect Jennifer and stop whatever she's facing.
This was the first Andrew Klavan book I read. I enjoyed it so much, that I've now raced through the Homelanders series. The author's books are great because they are action-packed. They are impossible to put-down. And are perfect for kids who like to read stories about heroic struggles.
My 8.5 year old son likes his books because they are action-packed and heroic. The kid is in trouble the whole way through the book. My husband enjoyed the series because it captured all the angst of the teen years but equipped the main character for the struggles he would face.
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Review 9 for Crazy Dangerous
Even better than I expected!
Date:May 28, 2012
A real page-turner - Do not pick up this book if you have anything else you need to do. Part of the fascination for me was wondering how Klavan would wind up the story in a way which would be truly satisfying to Christian readers, without being sappy. And, he did it! It was excellent.
I also have a new appreciation for the plight of those with schizophrenia. Mixed in with the illness and the spiritual attacks are seeds of reality, which are not to be mocked.
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 feels invisible. He is the preacher's son and feels that everyone avoids him because of it. Including the girl he likes. So Sam does something stupid. He gets in with the wrong crowd. The group of boys he is hanging out with aren't just bad, they are really bad. And the further in he gets, the more he realizes he can't continue. One night he goes to tell his dad about the bad stuff he's been doing and he sees an Angel figurine on his dad's dresser. The inscription on the angel says Do Right, Fear Nothing. After reading that his life is never the same. Sam makes a subconscious decision to do right by protecting a girl named Jennifer from these same boys he has been doing wrong with. By standing up for her, he becomes a town hero and a enemy to some scary people all at once. Jennifer, has always been known as a crazy girl. Hearing voices and talking to herself. But now Jennifer latches on to Sam, her protector. And when the world wants to lock her up, Sam is starting to believe that there is more to her voices than just crazy. With the whole town against them, Sam and Jennifer, start to discover a plot of murder, Satanism and destruction. Will Sam be able to convince anyone that Jennifer is not crazy before it's too late?
This book started out to be very scary. Voices of death and horrifying images in this little girls head, about put me off. But once I got through the beginning, the story line was easy to read and intriguing. I like the character Sam and thought that his choices to chose right from wrong were very realistic. The spiritual battles in this book were very present and can be very scary for someone who is not aware. I would definitely recommend this book to those who like scary books. Otherwise, it might be too much for the average reader. Some hard decisions are made in this book and I loved how it ended.
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!
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Review 14 for Crazy Dangerous
Excellent teen book!
Date:May 8, 2012
Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
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'.
Sam Hopkins is the son of small-town preacher. When we first meet him, he his lying beaten and bloody on the side of the road. How did he get there. According to him, it was because of the stupidest thing he ever did. Not playing chicken with a freight train, or hanging out with the local thugs. No, that wasn’t the stupidest thing he ever did. Things get crazier when Jennifer Sales gets involved. She’s been having hallucinations of demons and coffins. But are they real? Are they visions of something coming? Sam has no choice but to find out.
I really liked this one. I have to admit that I had a little trouble reading this one before sleeping. Let me just warn you now… if you like to read in bed just before going to sleep… read the first chapter up with the lights on, not in your bed. You’ll thank me later. It’s really not overly scary, but I got creeped out. Demons and stuff, you know? I enjoyed reading Crazy Dangerous. It’s a light, quick read that will keep the pages turning and keep you entertained. Not really predictable, but not confusing with a bunch of weird twists and turns. The characters are realistic, especially Sam. I see a movie here, really. It would be pretty cool.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes from BookSneeze.
Andrew Klavan is crazy good. I mean, the author is very adept at writing stories where characters have mental problems.
His 1993 novel The Animal Hour follows a narrator through chilling dangers as the reader gradually understands the depths of her madness. The story is quite shocking and violent, so I wouldn't recommend it generally. But with his new book Crazy Dangerous, Klavan offers a nail-biter that would be appropriate to most readers. In fact, the novel is his first stand-along work of Christian fiction for young adults.
In Crazy Dangerous, preacher's kid Sam Hopkins gets tangled up is an eccentric school girl's hallucinations about death, demons and evil. But are the just hallucinations? Sam is conflicted as her terrifying visions seem to come to life.
I found the story to be thoroughly engrossing and Sam to be a tremendous example for young people. He's just an average kid, but accomplishes extraordinary things when he's willing to take a stand, even though he will suffer for his decision.
Should you read this book? You'd be crazy not to.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.
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Review 18 for Crazy Dangerous
A great book, very enjoyable!
Date:April 13, 2012
I just finished the book CRAZY DANGEROUS by Andrew Klavan, and I must say, I loved it! This was one book I literally could not put down. I received the book in the late afternoon, and finished it the same night.
There are several factors as to why I enjoyed the book so much. For starts, the style of writing was smooth reading, as the story is told from the view point of the main character, sixteen year old Sam Hopkins. The reader quickly develops a bond with the young man. I thoroughly enjoyed the snippets of humor Sam exhibits. But what good is a great character without a decent plot? Crazy Dangerous has a great plot! I have always enjoyed books where we, the reader, can see the hand of God, even when the characters themselves do not. The story moves along quickly. We are immediately drawn in, and not let go until the end. The author, Andrew Klavan, does a great job showing us God working, without being preachy at all. If there is any downside to the book, it is the lack of preaching. The subtleties used may be lost on a non-Christian audience. Lastly, I was pleased to see that his mention of demons did not create scenes that were graphic or frightening, as it would be deemed unnecessary in this storyline.
In short, if you are looking for a clean fiction book, one with a charming main character and fast paced plot, then this is the one for you.
"Crazy Dangerous" is a great story from beginning to end. Written primarily for teenage guys, it has a little bit of everything they’re known to love: action, adventure, mystery, suspense, supernatural elements. There’s even an unattainable girl, admired from afar.
The book has some deeper, more disturbing themes, though—mental illness, high school bullying and violence, and dabbling in the occult. Author Andrew Klavan researched and presented the mental illness issue especially well.
The overall theme of the book, printed on the cover, is “Do right. Fear nothing.” This is a great message for teenage guys. Yet, in order to do right, the main character often disobeys his parents and breaks laws, the message becoming, “The end justifies the means.” But lives are at stake, time is short, and, in the cases when he does try to communicate with adults, they don’t listen to him. So it’s all kind of sticky. This concerned me at first, but a) the father often talks with the son about better ways he could have handled things and b) the discussion guide at the end of the book brings these points to readers’ attention, helping them to think them through. These would be discussions worth having with a teenage son, if both parent and son read the book and if they enjoy talking about the books they read.
Thomas Nelson Publishers sent a complimentary eCopy of this book for my honest review. I was thankful for the opportunity to read it. The story was intense!
A marvelous new book has come out by Andrew Klavan called Crazy Dangerous. Published by Thomas Nelson, it is slated as a teen novel but I think anyone would enjoy it. The story was so intense that I did not want to put the book down. Sam is an ordinary preacher’s kid who doesn’t seem to fit in at school. After a run-in with Jeff, the local bad boy, Sam joins in their inappropriate behavior hoping to finally fit in. Even though he knows it’s wrong, he can’t seem to get out of the bad situation until the day, Jeff and the gang harasses Jennifer, a very odd girl from school. Sam steps in and saves Jennifer and suffers a severe beating. His new friend begins to share her “secrets” with him. Sam is not sure whether Jennifer is schizophrenic or whether her hallucinations are real when she begins to share about seeing demons and death. Until the day that Jennifer’s “hallucinations” become all too real and Sam is arrested for murder. The evil seems more insidious than Sam ever thought possible. Is she a prophet or is she mentally ill? Sam must decide for Jennifer’s next vision is a matter of life or death for a multitude of people. What will Sam do when no one, including the police, will believe Jennifer’s stories? This story truly keeps you on the edge of your seat. It is called a Christian novel so I was looking to see how God was going to help Sam in his dilemma. This never happens, although at one point, he encourages a friend about God. If you are looking for a thriller with a interesting twist at the end, this is the book for you! I received this book through the Booksneeze program and am under no obligation to give a positive review.