For the last two weeks, I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump which, in due part, has to do with the beautiful weather and Pretty Little Liars. I’ve been on a hunt for a book to pull me out of this slump. When I received some books from my pal Amy (Penguin Canada), she included David Iserson’s Firecracker, for two reasons:
1. She knows that I occasionally like to read young adult
2. The cover of the book reads “A hilarious tragicomedy from New Girl and SNL writer David Iserson”
I crossed my fingers, turned off my Netflix (damn you PLL! Who the hell is ‘A’ anyway?) and dedicated a couple hours to this book and voila, all I wanted to do was spend the rest of my day reading it! It worked, so thank you to David Iserson for writing a novel that was fun and compelling at the same time.
Meet Astrid Krieger, a spoiled, rich girl who actually lives in a rocket ship. Don’t worry, it’s just a prototype, it doesn’t go off at any time in this book. When she’s pulled one too many pranks at her elite boarding school, Bristol, she’s expelled. Her army of “helpers” have ratted her out and now she’s forced to join public school! Can you believe it, PUBLIC SCHOOL! She goes from gourmet lunch options to cold meatloaf in the span of a day. Her new world can be described as a little fish in a big pond. She’s ostracized for being a princess and for being well off right away.
This wasn’t how I was used to being treated. I was used to being dislike, sure – even hate. I was used to being feared. I was not familiar with what it felt like to be openly mocked.
Forced to adapt to her surrounding, Astrid starts meeting people she’d like to befriend, I use that term lightly, as Astrid’s never really believed in having friends. She’s also advised by Dean Rein (a professor/psychologist from her previous school) that she should work on doing “real good things”. It’s important to note, that never has Astrid done something for other’s, everything she’s done leading up to this point has been to benefit her and her surroundings. Learning to remove herself from the equation and learn how to do good deeds to benefit others is a constant struggle.
This struggle and these life lessons are the basis of Firecracker. Astrid is forced to come to terms with her surroundings, she’s forced to realize past demons, but most of all Astrid begins to realize about who she is and how she wants to be received by others. She’s an actual firecracker, that will have you chuckling with her quip remarks and ball buster attitude. That being said, you’ll start to develop a soft spot for her and realize there’s a lot more to her cold exterior when she starts to break down her barriers.
A fun, summer read that delivers the same kind of humour you’ve come to expect on shows like New Girl and/or SNL, but with a little more context. If you’re looking for something quick and fun, then you’ll really enjoy Firecracker by David Iserson.
Oh and watch this fun video trailer read by some pretty cool celebrities:
*My thanks to Penguin Canada for a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.