Ask the Passengers by A.S. King {Book Review}

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Title: Ask the Passengers

Author: A.S. King

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR

Publication Date: 10-23-12

Pages: 304

Genre: YA, Contemporary, LGBT

Source: Gift from friend


Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother’s pushiness and her father’s lack of interest tell her they’re the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn’t know the passengers inside, but they’re the only people who won’t judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she’s falling in love with a girl.

My Review

Wow, this book was so good. Ask the Passengers is my first A.S. King read, one that I’ve been wildly anticipating for months now. A friend of mine gave me this book for my birthday, as it was on my wishlist and had become a favorite of hers, and I couldn’t wait to start reading it. Even though I don’t consider myself a YA contemporary fan in general, there are some authors that just write so well that I can’t help but fall in love with their books anyway. And A.S. King is definitely one of those authors for me.

Ask the Passengers is a story about a 17-year-old girl who lives in a small town with her messed-up family and is questioning her sexuality. But, at it’s heart, it’s a book that so many people, not just LGBT youths, can enjoy. It’s not merely about coming out of the closet or figuring out if you’re gay or straight, it’s also so much about growing up in general, dealing with friends who sometimes aren’t the best friends, and having to live under the same roof as parents who are possibly even more screwed up than you are. So many people would be able to find something that they can relate to in this story.

And Astrid is such a lovable character that I was immediately able to connect with. She’s definitely not perfect, but her thoughts and actions are understandable and her realness made me love her even more. I also thought that the author’s idea to have her be kind of obsessed with planes and “sending love” to the passengers — hence the title — was quirky and original. I enjoyed the tidbits we get to see from some of those passengers themselves.Ask the Passengers sends a really great message in a completely unique and oddly identifiable way.

Ultimately, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to anybody who reads YA or has struggled with issues of sexuality. Astrid is so relatable, and this story will immediately start to feel like your own. A.S. King has stolen my heart, and I’m more than excited to read her other books after this first and very successful foray into her world.

My Rating 5 Anchors

8 responses to “Ask the Passengers by A.S. King {Book Review}

    • Thanks for the recommendation! I own it, I just haven’t gotten to it yet! Hopefully I’ll be able to read it soon…I’ve heard really good things about that one from a lot of people.

  1. I’ve been trying to find some books that address more LGBT themes, without being blatantly about that topic. If that makes sense. I want to know the character, not just their sexuality. It sounds like this one meets that need! I’m definitely adding it to my wish list 🙂

    And I love the name Astrid, by the way. That’s probably another reason I want to read it!

    • Well, I have to be honest…this book is like 90% about Astrid dealing with the issue of her sexuality and “coming out,” so I’m not sure if it totally fits what you’re looking for (I agree with you, though — there need to be more books like that!). BUT it’s still an AWESOME book, and I think you’d really like it 🙂

  2. I’m reading this book now!! I really like the passengers thing… I think I like that part of it better than the sexuality part. I really loved Please Ignore Vera Dietz…. and I’m just not loving this one as much. I still think A.S. King is an AMAZING writer…. and the writing in this book is great. I just don’t think I’m into Astrid (cool name though) as much as I wanted to be.

  3. I’ve had this book on my Goodreads list to read for a little while. Since your review was so good, I went to check prices for Kindle & Nook (I read on both) – for anyone that has a Nook, it’s only 2.99 right now!

  4. So, so glad that you enjoyed this one. I’m going to be reading it in April for LGBT Month, and I’m happy to hear that Ask the Passengers writes Astrid’s characters and her problems so well. Oh, and this: “It’s not merely about coming out of the closet or figuring out if you’re gay or straight, it’s also so much about growing up in general.” <– Love.

    I also think that Astrid's sending love to the passengers is a fun and interesting quirk. And while I haven't read the book yet, I can understand why she finds comfort in the air planes. While the passengers can't hear her when she asks them questions, they won't judge her either. It's kind of like when I imagine what a book character I admire would say to something I want to ask, haha 😛

    Great review, Miranda– and thanks for making me even more excited for reading Ask the Passengers for LGBT month 😀

    • Yay! Glad you liked my review 🙂 I loved what you said about the airplane passengers. I feel like a lot of people won’t really “get” that part of the book, but it seems like you already do and you haven’t even read it yet! I love how you compare it to book characters…that’s so true.

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