Crash Into Me
Publication Date: July 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse/Simon and Schuster
Author's Website: http://www.albertborris.com
Description of Book:
“If you’re desperate enough to kill yourself, you should be desperate enough to go on vacation first.”
Four teens embark on a cross-country road trip to visit the gravesites of celebrity suicides. After meeting on-line, the troubled youths bond over their own dark impulses while moving inevitably towards their planned demise in Death Valley.
Meet the “suicide dogs”, a cyber-based suicide club, as they visit Judy Garland, Ernest Hemingway, Kurt Cobain and others.
Full of life’s toughest questions, like “How do you live with pain?” and all the outrageousness of adventure, Crash Into Me is a road trip like none you’ve ever imagined.
About the Author:
Albert Borris is a national award-winning counselor, who has worked with teens for decades.
He’s known for off-beat and non-traditional adventures, including:
Ultra marathon rollerblading (87 mile Athens-to-Atlanta skate);
Hiking remote parts of the world, such as Iceland and India;
Environmental activism like Snow Leopard research;
Promoting Hope and Optimism.
Personal philosophy: Not all things are good, but good can come from all things.
Heroes: Bono, Muhammad Ali, Bruce Springsteen
“The third time I tried to kill myself I used a rope. I picked the clothesline from the basement. I figured the cord didn’t have to be real strong because I wasn’t going to drop off of a bridge or from a tree. I needed it just strong enough to kill me.
I’ve tried to kill myself six times; seven if you count walking down the street near the trucks and thinking of jumping in front of them. I suppose that doesn’t really count. I didn’t do anything except walk and practice falling off the curb into traffic that time. Everyone says, mostly my mom, the psychiatrists, my two counselors, that if I wanted to die I would pick more lethal methods. Rope, I think, is pretty lethal.”
Top Ten Bizarre Ways to Kill Yourself:
10. Walk in front of a subway car
9. Put a hairdryer in the bathtub with you
8. Starve yourself to death in jail
7. Cut yourself, then swim into the ocean with sharks
6. Jump in a volcano
5. Pay someone to beat you to death
4. Lock yourself in a freezer
3. Smash yourself in the head with a frying pan
2. Stick yourself with a thumbtack 10,000 times
1. Fruit loops and Draino
"Crash Into Me puts readers in the driver's seat with four teens teetering on the edge of suicide. But will their cross country odyssey push them all the way over? Only the final page turn will tell, in Albert Borris's finely-crafted tale of friendship forged from a desperate need of connection. An exceptional first novel." --Ellen Hopkins, bestselling author of Crank
“The ultimate heartbreaking, poignant road trip to a place you never thought you'd go.” --Todd Strasser, bestselling author of Give a Boy a Gun
“Albert Borris is a powerful and insightful new voice in young-adult fiction. His characters are compelling, and this heartfelt tale is bound to connect with teen readers.” --Neal Shusterman, author of Unwind
“Borris’ first novel tackles a formerly off-limits subject for YA fiction with sensitivity and a wide-ranging factual subtext about suicide, its causes, and its cures (the author works as a student assistance counselor and seems to know whereof he writes).” --Booklist
"This is no ordinary road trip. After four high-school students—reticent narrator Owen, perpetual liar Audrey, Korean-American lesbian Jin-Ae and socially inept, alcoholic Frank—meet online, they head west on a celebrity-suicide road trip. Their last planned stop is Death Valley, where they will carry out a suicide pact. During their intense two weeks together, the teens bond emotionally and physically, as they make self-discoveries, explore their own reasons for committing suicide and feel validated for the first time. Flashbacks to the students’ online chats show how far they’ve traveled—in miles and in changed perceptions. As they approach their final destination, they must decide if their trip has come to a conclusion—or if their lives are just beginning. This gripping debut novel gives a spot-on portrayal of depressed and suicidal teens with realistic voices. Fans of Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (2007) will find this page-turner a hopeful alternative." --Kirkus
"In this powerful debut, Borris follows a group of teenagers, each of whom has attempted suicide. Jin-Ae (a studious lesbian), Frank (a dejected sports lover), Nirvana-obsessed Audrey and lonely narrator Owen meet in a chat room and make a pact to take a cross-country “Celebrity Suicide Road Trip,” stopping at the graves of Hunter S. Thompson, Kurt Cobain and others (“We're visiting our suicide family—our people,” says Owen). They plan to kill themselves when they reach Death Valley. The well-developed characters have distinct reasons and histories that led to their earlier suicide attempts (a breakup, the death of a sibling). Their conversations over the weeks are tense, candid and often tempered with snarky humor: “Nothing like a four-way suicide pact to get you going in the morning,” says Jin-Ae. Interspersed with chat-room flashbacks and Top 10 lists, Owen's delicate and insightful narrative voice carries the novel: “I suppose it doesn't matter what form love takes; maybe we just need to take it when it comes.” It's a strikingly real account of an improvised family and the ways people change and grow." Ages 14–up. (July) --Publishers Weekly
Check out The Compulsive Reader's Review of Crash Into Me
Photo Credit: Dani Walter