Not your everyday poor-little-rich-girl story.
Astrid Krieger is incredibly rich. She has no friends and has just been expelled from her private school. She is being forced to attend (horrors!) public school and to see a therapist, the same guy who expelled her for cheating. But don’t feel sorry for Astrid: She has never been at a loss in her life and will undoubtedly not only survive, but make miserable anyone who has ever offended her. As Astrid recounts her story, her astringent wit and distinctive outlook is reflected in a wry, consistently diverting voice that occasionally indulges in a surfeit of swearing. The arc of the plot is never in doubt, as from the first page readers know this self-centered egoist will eventually find friends and learn that doing good can be great. Astrid’s version of doing good gradually gains some depth, but she never loses her sense that she belongs at the center of the world or, er, galaxy. A ditzy older sister and the curmudgeonly grandfather who built the family fortune are some of the more entertaining characters, while the fellow students who populate both private and public schools are considerably less vivid, but that is as it should be. Astrid seldom notices in any depth the lesser beings in her universe, with a choice few exceptions.
Being called a firecracker is a derogatory term as far as Astrid is concerned, but for readers, it simply means entertaining. (Fiction. 12-16)