Firecracker By David Iserson
Published May 16th 2013 by Razorbill
Summary: Being Astrid Krieger is absolutely all it’s cracked up to be.
She lives in a rocket ship in the backyard of her parents’ estate.
She was kicked out of the elite Bristol Academy and she’s intent on her own special kind of revenge to whomever betrayed her.
She only loves her grandfather, an incredibly rich politician who makes his money building nuclear warheads.
It’s all good until…
“We think you should go to the public school,” Dad said.
This was just a horrible, mean thing to say. Just hearing the words “public school” out loud made my mouth taste like urine (which, not coincidentally, is exactly how the public school smells).
Will Astrid finally meet her match in the form of public school? Will she find out who betrayed her and got her expelled from Bristol? Is Noah, the sweet and awkward boy she just met, hiding something?
Find out in this hilarious tragicomedy from New Girl and SNL writer David Iserson!
Review: Let’s be honest – the moment I read “New Girl and SNL writer”, I didn’t even bother reading the blurb and picked it up. I did later read the blurb and found it hilarious so I’m twice as excited.
Astrid Krieger is a firecracker (which is just a nice way to call someone an asshole, as Astrid points out). Astrid is not a like-able person: she’s mean, doesn’t make friends and does a lot of bad things – but Astrid is not a terrible person. She bullies those who bullies others, or rather, those she believes needs to be taken down a notch.
I loved Astrid – she’s such an eccentric character, doing all these crazy things just because she could. I really loved how she developed throughout the book – she tries, despite herself and it shows. Astrid went from someone who doesn’t care about anything to someone who cares and even loves. The relationship between Astrid and her grandfather touched me greatly, as did her friendship with Noah and Lucy.
Astrid isn’t perfect, but it is her flaws that makes her such a lovable character. Her development came not because she found a ’cause’, but simply over time. I appreciated this aspect of the book, where her change was natural and not imposed. It’s very human and realistic which makes me able to relate to her.
The plot itself was okay, it wasn’t particularly exciting or as funny as I expected it to be. Firecracker is more character driven rather than plot driven. In some aspects perhaps it wouldn’t work, but in this case it does simply because she depends on these friendships and relationships to find out who betrayed her.
Much like an episode of New Girl, Firecracker can either be a hit or miss but for me, it’s a hit. A little slow at the beginning, but picks up quickly once Astrid finds her place. Easy, fun read; recommended for anyone who enjoys David Iserson’s writing or simply wants a humourous book to fill your time.