Title: Ask the Passengers
Author: A.S. King
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Publication Date: 10-23-12
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.
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.