Astrid Krieger describes her and her family as “the bad guys”. She’s a feisty, sarcastic, tough gal and has been expelled from her boarding school because she had been caught cheating. Relegated to attend public school she is determined to exploit everyone for purposes that will suit her needs. Her mission: to find out who sold her out and exact revenge. What she doesn’t expect is to befriend a couple of bizarre public school outcasts who teach her a bit about humility and selflessness.
I actually hadn’t heard of this book until it came into my radar from the promo video that had the cast of New Girl reading from it. Iserson is a writer on the hit Fox show and being a huge fan of the show and hilarious cast, I was immediately interested in reading this YA novel. There are certainly elements to Astrid and the other characters that you can picture various New Girl cast members saying themselves. The sarcasm, the jerky behaviour and witty banter are synonymous with the show.
There were a few moments that seemed to have come out of nowhere, with no real hint of it coming along and so it felt a bit disjointed when the reveal was made. I had to flip back a couple times to see if I actually had missed something to lead up to that point. And perhaps it was the intent, but as with people who are constantly sarcastic, it sometimes starts to get old. Astrid was so often making wisecracks that a lot of times I was like Oh…kay… we get it. You’re snarky…
The dynamics between Astrid and her peers and Astrid with her family were really interesting. I enjoyed that she’s a self-proclaimed bad guy. Unlike many YA novels where the protagonist is on the side of good and virtuous, Astrid makes no qualms about the fact that she’s a troublemaker. Her relationship with her tough-as-nails grandfather reminded me a lot of that same dynamic in the movie Little Miss Sunshine. Firecracker is definitely descriptive of Astrid, but the overall tone of the novel as well. It’s a quick-witted banter of a story that is sure to have you chuckling and shaking your head at the same time.