Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers

A Novel

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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"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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown & Co., 2012.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780316194686
0316194689
Characteristics: 293 p. ; 22 cm.

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From Library Staff

Astrid knows there are plenty of secrets in Unity Valley, her supposedly perfect suburban town, starting with the one she can barely admit to herself.


From the critics


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d
darladoodles
Aug 26, 2017

My favorite parts of this book were about people who weren't even major characters in the book -- the random passengers and their stories. Those passages were comparable to Lucky's dreams and the left behind physical evidence in "Everybody Sees the Ants".

Astrid and her family are a hot mess and it is no wonder she is so confused. Any teen in that type of home situation is going to need to find love elsewhere and be conflicted about what form that love should take.

I has this on my To Read list after seeing it listed as a readalike for "The Fault In Our Stars", but it did not even come close. Disappointing.

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emilyc2017
Aug 11, 2017

I know how Astrid Jones feels. In fact I'm pretty sure a lot of people know how Astrid Jones feels. This is a testament to the expert writing skills of the author A.S. King because she is able to articulate the feelings a person has as they are coming to grips with understanding a crucial turning point in their lives. I really enjoyed how A.S. King made Astrid relatable and most importantly human.

SCL_Justin Jul 25, 2017

In a conversation with a friend I referred to A.S. King’s Ask the Passengers as “a YA novel about a girl who isn’t sure if she’s a lesbian.” And while on some levels that’s a fair description it doesn’t really tell you why you’d want to read it.

Astrid and her family moved to small-town Pennsylvania from New York. In small worlds gossip dominates and reputations are important and fragile, so Astrid and the secrets she keeps (on her own and on behalf of others) make a difference.

Because it’s A.S. King there are also these interludes. Astrid sends love to people flying overhead in planes and we get to read tiny fragments from some of those lives. They aren’t as integral to the story as all the escape attempts in Everybody Sees the Ants, but they were well-done. Astrid is also in a philosophy class (which reminds me of the best class I took in high school) and the idea of Plato’s cave and how it relates to small-world rumours comes up throughout the book.

I’ll warn you. In the end the world does not all come together and sing kumbayah, but King does a great job working within small resolutions and the fact that things can change, incrementally but really, is a big part of what makes her books so good. Quite frankly, if you have any interest in contemporary YA literature, you should read this story of Astrid and philosophy and love.

b
BipolarPyro
May 18, 2017

As a queer teen, when I first started reading this I was really excited. But truth be told, in my opinion the best part of this book is how she sends her love to people she doesn't know. I cannot stand the relationship she has with the girl she likes as it feels very forced to me, I see it as a "you're gay, and I'm gay but other than that we have zero chemistry" and that is not what I want as someone who wants more lesbian stories.

p
pianogurl87
Feb 17, 2016

I really liked this book. It shows how some people react to unfamiliar situations. And just because the book takes place in Small Town, USA doesn't mean that it's not taking place in bigger cities. I liked how the main character in this book doesn't want to be "cut with a cookie cutter". She wants to live in a world where people can be themselves. All I have to say is keep on loving yourself and rock on.

g
GhostWriter221b
Nov 12, 2015

SO AMAZING AND REALISTIC... it made me happy on SO MANY different levels. I felt like I knew the character and understood her as well as the people around her :)

c
chloe_chen
Aug 20, 2015

This book was great! It was so engrossing, and I swept through it in less than a day. A.S. King managed to create a world we understand, characters with personalities and problems so like the people and complications we know and have in real life, but still amazing and marvelous in its own unique way. These types of books are the best - the ones that make you question our world, feel for the characters on the page, understand problems and pains you've never before felt. "Nobody's perfect," and does it really make you any better if you love a woman or a man, dream about different things, act and speak a different way? I loved this book so much, and would definitely recommend it to anybody wanting an emotional, surprising, and wonderful read.

z
zenandnow
Aug 18, 2015

Well written. A compelling story that isn't overly dramatic. I found it easy to relate to Astrid and will be recommending this book to anyone I can!

i
IMEN MIZI
Aug 03, 2015

The problems that the main character, Astrid Jones, are repeatable and I enjoyed reading it.

p
petrichorcafe
Jul 31, 2015

I would recommend this book to absolutely everyone. Compelling, intriguing, relatable.

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nab1991
Dec 16, 2014

A coming of age book about a girl struggling with her sexuality and her place in the close knit but conservative town she lives in. She's at odds with her parents, distant from her sister, and even her best friend is acting strange. The only solace she finds is in sending her extra love out to the passengers of flying airplanes and thinking of their lives.

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