Book Review: ‘Firecracker’ by David Iserson

Firecracker cover

I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh this much. So much that I couldn’t tone it down to a little giggle, but just plain full out laughter… in public where everyone could see me and assume that I’m mad. (I live in a city, where people think you’re crazy if you smile for longer than 5 consecutive seconds.) Well, that’s because I am kind of crazy. I’m mad for Astrid Krieger’s biting wittiness.

Astrid is quite the firecracker, which you can now assume that she is the lead character of this book. Astrid comes from a very rich and powerful family, and having that much money and power doesn’t mean they’re “the good guys.” Astrid knows her family is sort of shady, but she embraces it. She doesn’t really aspire to be good. Like her grandfather, she wants to be powerful. And Astrid was; she induced terror in her classmates at her boarding school, Bristol. That is until she was expelled for cheating, among several other funny but damning actions, and has to finish her senior year at public school. Astrid is appalled but soon realizes that she has no choice but to attend “urine smelling” public high school.

Written by David Iserson, a writer for the FOX comedy New Girl, Astrid is the complete opposite from the adorable Jessica Day, played by Zooey Deschanel. Astrid has a tiny bit of Jess’ quirkiness and a whole lot of Schimdt’s conceit, but that’s where the similarities end.

Firecracker is pretty much a character study of this rich, mean, but smart girl trying to be a better person. Astrid is mean and brutally funny; some of her quips and jokes are just wrong, but for me, the bluntness of them made it hilarious. Experiencing her making those strides toward goodness is an entertaining journey, as well as satisfying.

There is a John Hughes-esque vibe that the story partly gives off, especially when Astrid talks about her family. Each family member is different, and Astrid describes them in a funny and decisive way. Along with that, Astrid becomes acquaintances with an odd assortment of people. In a lot ways, it’s unclear if these are just normal people that Astrid has an odd way of perceiving or if they’re just all odd to begin with. Either way, all the supporting characters come together nicely in the book, and even though you wish you knew more about some of them, we can’t forget this is Astrid’s story. (Actually, Astrid won’t let you forget that.)

Firecracker has a ton of personality. This book is Astrid Krieger. Astrid Krieger is this book. If you want to meet a unique, clever, blunt and hilarious girl, read Firecracker.

Rating: 8.5/10


Watch the book trailer for Firecracker, which features stars Max Greenfield, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Melissa Rauch, Nick Wechsler, Kay Cannon, Jack McBrayer, Luka Jones, Bitsie Tulloch, Jake Johnson, Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris and Gabriel Mann reading lines from the book!

Firecracker by David Iserson will be available wherever books are sold on Tuesday, May 16th. Support The Young Folks and purchase it at our TYF Store, powered by Amazon.

Book Info:


Publisher:  Razorbill (May 16, 2013)
Length: 336 pages (Hardcover)
Series: N/A
Source: Netgalley (Provided by publisher)
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age, Family, Friendship
Completed: April 2013


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