May 30, 2013

My Thoughts: Firecracker by David Iserson

4 chocolate chocolate chip cookies.

Cover Love:
Meh.  I don't really love it.  She looks more like a barbie doll than a girl.

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I am always looking out for good contemporary YA books and the author's cred didn't hurt at all (he is a writer for a few TV shows I like).  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
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?
Romance?:  Not really?  I give it a question mark because although Astrid develops feelings for Noah, she allows him to be her friend--which for her is more important than romance.

My Thoughts:
Astrid doesn't need anyone.  It's not that she can't make friends (although truly making friends would require a bit of a  social overhaul) she just views friends as beneath her.  She only wants people around her who can be useful to her.  It's not that she doesn't have feelings, she just doesn't want them.  Of course we readers can probably trace this back to what happened to her brother.  And although that clearly wasn't her fault, she totally blames herself.  I am sure she was pretty cut off from an sort of emotions from her parents after that happened.  Her grandfather truly was the only person she could count on for years and that screwed her up as well.  To have a shrink truly get into her head would be amazing!

I love that when she got to public school she gathered up misfits rather than trying to break into the popular crowd.  She does it at first as her assignment for her shrink, but by the end recognizes that having friends is actually pretty great.  And that these misfits are pretty great as friends.

She grows so much during the book!  I cannot imagine growing up like her, very wealthy, in the spotlight.  It's no wonder she is pretty screwed up in the beginning, although she wouldn't ever admit to being screwed up.

I adore Noah, just love him.  He is so good for her!  And he is so sweet and kind-hearted.  Just wonderful!  I wish I had a Noah in my life in high school.

I was glad the book focused mostly on Astrid with her family being peripheral characters (aside from her grandfather).  With the eccentricities of her family it could have easily added more about them, but I was way more interested in Astrid.

Yes there is trauma, and yes she can be a bitch, but Astrid is a fully developed strong character who I am rooting for.  She grows and changes and acknowledges her need for those changes by the end.

To Sum Up:  A great coming of age book!  Probably a little mature for my middle school library but I will be recommending it for the high schools in my district to add to their collections.

eBook requested and received from Razorbill via Edelweiss.

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