Firecracker – David Iserson

Synopsis

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

Well then. This is probably the most accurately titled book I’ve ever read. Astrid Krieger is definitely a firecracker. Her voice is hilarious (obviously, since Iserson is an SNL writer). It’s super quirky (what else can you expect from the writer of New Girl)? Zooey Deschanel is the definition of quirky. But Astrid isn’t like that. She’s oozing of egoism and confidence. She is awesome and she KNOWS IT.

She lives in a rocket ship! She has a special way of drinking juice boxes (honestly one of my favourite quirks)! Her grandfather is a bad guy and he knows it! Her dad is a child! Her sister is a ditz! Every character is loveable. Each character has these crazy quirks (hair chewing, anyone?), and I love them for it.

There were great one-liners. There were great jokes that carried through the book. Oh Pierre (or Lukas, I think?). Your life is defined by Astrid, which is pretty sad, really. And same with the girl who blends in with the trees. I literally finished this book five minutes ago, and I already forgot her name. She was that irrelevant in comparison to Astrid.

It was nice to see Astrid’s vulnerability. It was good to know she wasn’t invincible. Fritz. Her grandfather. Noah. It all cast the faintest shadow of depth to her otherwise shallow character. Normally I’d criticize her pettiness, but that’s part of what made her fantastic. Astrid’s charisma lights up the page.

This book is basically a sitcom-turned-YA novel. I’d love to read (or quite frankly, watch) more of Astrid’s zany adventures, because this seems like only one slice of Astrid’s awesome life. Hey, come join us for Astrid’s foray into… PUBLIC SCHOOL (there actually wasn’t that much on this aspect, except that she didn’t really get along with others and didn’t need to). What’s next for Astrid??? Stay tuned next week (PLEASE, CAN’T THERE BE MORE OF THIS?)!

Related Reading

  • Imagine the best sitcom characters. A little bit of Phoebe from Friends, a little bit of Barney in How I Met Your Mother, and so forth.
  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart (YES YES YES)
  • The Keatyn Chronicles – Jillian Dodd (privilege and boarding school, except way more serious)
  • Winger – Andrew Smith
  • Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

Rating: 4/5

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