May 16, 2013

Book Review: Firecracker - David Iserson

Title: Firecracker
Author: David Iserson
Release Date: May 16th 2013
Publisher: Razorbill
Source: NetGalley
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!
When I think of how to start this review, the only thing that comes to mind is 'Did I really think of skipping this book?', because yes, I did. The blurb/description/whatever-it's-called doesn't hint at even one percent of this book's awesomeness. It's only May, but I think I've read one of my top five faves this year.

Let me just say this now: the best thing about Firecracker was Astrid Krieger herself. She was obviously a spoiled, rich kid and an all-around professional asshole—there's just no better word to describe her—but instead of irritating me, I actually loved her for it. She liked exacting revenge and pranking with her group of misfits slash minions; if you've read Looking for Alaska by John Green, you'd know what I'm talking about. And I was about to say her sarcasm was hilarious, and I've just realized how wrong that is because she was rarely sarcastic but always outrageous, instead.  
"How long was I out?" I asked.
"You weren't really out. You were sort of muttering."
"What did I say?"
"Ms. Sharp asked if she should call an ambulance and you said, 'Not sure, I left my medical degree in my other purse. Why don't you figure it out yourself?'"
"Sounds like me."   
Astrid also thought she was great, and that everything she did was, too.
There was a boy named Jacques Durang whose father was an international assassin. Jacques Durang was pretty much evil. When I was thirteen, I kicked him so hard he had to get testicle retrieval surgery.
Yep, there was that. So watching her grow into the kind of person she'd never wanted or even thought she could be was really heartening.

The writing was smart. I found it reminiscent of The Catcher in the Rye, which I also loved not for the plot but for the character-building and the main character's insights. Firecracker had something more of a plot than Catcher, though, and that's due to how other characters were more involved. That said, I also thought Astrid was very similar to Holden Caulfield. 

Although the romance wasn't a very big part of the story, I still found it nice because it stayed true to the kind of person that Astrid was: wise and cautious. It didn't overpower the other parts of the plot, but instead, it fit in nicely with them to challenge Astrid's character.

Firecracker was supposed to be a quick read—seeing as how I finished the last quarter in an hour, then it's safe to assume that I could've read the entire book in four hours—but it took me three days because of mundane life. But already I'm looking forward to reading it again in one go, because Firecracker is one of those books that I would never get tired of.

MY FAVORITE PART were the last lines:
"Take care of yourself, Astrid," he would say.
And then I would say, "I always do."

1 comment:

  1. I have to admit that I didn't pay Firecracker much attention when I saw it on netgalley. I'm soo pissed at myself because of that. Astrid sounds like a character that I would instantly love, and i'm intrigued because you compared it to The Catcher In The Rye because i'm a huge fan of Holden's voice. Great insight, Kazhy!

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories


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