Release Date: October 23, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: NetGalley
Astrid Jones copes with her small town’s gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she’s sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they’ll know what to do with it. Maybe it’ll make them happy. Maybe they’ll need it. Her mother doesn’t want it, her father’s always stoned, her perfect sister’s too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There’s no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she’s trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love–and asking the right questions–will affect the passengers’ lives, and her own, for the better.
In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything–and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.
A.S. King is a auto-read, auto-buy, top 5 favorite author for me. So obviously, I was looking forward to Ask the Passengers. I was super intrigued by the premise and I knew it would have King’s quirky spin on it.
I can always count on A.S. King to write a truly original story. That’s certainly what Ask the Passengers is. Astrid Jones has a lot of problems. Her mother is pretty evil and controlling, her father is absent even when he’s there, and she might be in love with a girl. She copes with all of this by watching the planes in the sky and sending the passengers her love. The story is interspersed with short chapters from the Passengers receiving Astrid’s love. That was such a extraordinary bonus to the story. They were just little snippets, but it added some much for me. I loved it.
Astrid was a really great protagonist. She has so much weighing her down and I couldn’t help but feel for her. She had a lot of things to learn about herself and the people in her life. I never got impatient while she figured things out. I loved watching her come to these realizations and the process to get there was very realistic. All the characters were really fleshed out and diverse. I wanted to do physical harm to Astrid’s mother on more than one occasion. I admired that Dee and Astrid’s other friends were nowhere near perfect. They all made mistakes and hurt each other. All the relationships were really believable.
It’s is also an emotional read. I felt angry, sad, and hopeful in all the right places. A.S. King is an amazing author. If you haven’t picked up any of her books yet you’re missing out. Ask the Passengers is a remarkably uplifting read. I can’t recommend it enough.