"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!"
My Review: WOW. That's all I can say. Wow. I didn't realize how bored I was with average, goody-two-shoes nice-girl characters until I read this book! Astrid is sassy, mean, rude, devious, scheming, elitist, snobby and basically...a huge asshole. But she is a nice person, way, way, WAY deep down. Like, really way deep down.
A lot of people were put off by how mean and sarcastic she was, but I feel like they totally missed the point. Because guess what? People like Astrid exist in the world. People who are good people but who have prickly exteriors. I happen to be one of them. I wouldn't go as far as to say I'm as mean as Astrid (nor do I have as much money or as many resources), but I can be very cynical, sarcastic, sharp---and I like it. I'm not a mean person, I won't make fun of people who don't deserve it, but I'd be lying if I said I was some nice little My Little Pony. So not only do I see parts of myself in Astrid, but I grew up loving characters like her---devious, scheming, power-hungry characters with good hearts, like Massie Block from the Clique series or Blair Waldorf from the TV show Gossip Girl or Captain Jack Sparrow. I love those types of characters.
So there's that. Astrid amused me a LOT. I liked how at the end, even though she had changed for the better and had become a more considerate person, she was still the same girl she had always been and would probably always be very sarcastic and power-hungry. That's fine. There are all types of people in the world, and there's room for the Astrid Krieger's of the world too. It was so refreshing to have a female character who was actually sort in love with herself, because I don't know about some people, but even I go through those moments of Ha, I love myself; I am so awesome; bow down, peasants! and it was great reading about a girl who didn't actually hate her looks, body, personality, or life. More people need to love themselves, even some of their flaws (provided their flaws aren't an inherent desire to kill beings, obviously).
The plot itself was a little weaker, because so many random things happened in the book and I sort of wished David Iserson would have focused more on Astrid trying to figure out who got her expelled...but either way, it was a funny book. I even dismissed the scattered plot because this didn't really seem like the type of book that needed a definite plot. It was a coming-of-age novel, but definitely one of the funnier and more unique ones I have ever read. True, Astrid did have the typical A death in my past messed me up and made me who I am today story line that is so typical in coming-of-age novels---but honestly, it was nice to have a good reason for why Astrid was so sharp. If she had just been mean for no reason, then I WOULD be a little concerned that she was a sociopath. Good thing she wasn't! (I think.) Her family was amusing as well. Some people, like her father and mother, seemed irrelevant but I was interested in reading about Lisbet and especially her grandfather. Very interesting characters. Her grandfather especially gave a little insight to the business sharks and CEO's of the world that everyone loves to hate. Maybe they're like this, maybe they're not, but it was definitely a new and fascinating perspective to read about.
So yes, it goes to say that I liked this book. I laughed a few times but it wasn't really laugh-out-loud Psych type of humor. It was more like wry, sarcastic New Girl humor. And that would make sense, since the author wrote for the show New Girl!
Cover: It's definitely unique. I like it. Astrid's socks make me very happy. She is, indeed, a fire cracker.
Overall Grade: A-