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Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
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Ask the Passengers

by A. S. King

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6455022,220 (3.92)1 / 8
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Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Astrid Jones has secrets to keep: those of her two friends, Kristina and Justin, but also a secret of her own. She's discovered she likes girls, and in fact one girl in particular, her co-worker at Maldonado's, a catering business, a part time job for Astrid. Her family's moved from New York City to Unity Valley, because her mom decided to purchase their "Gram's" place, and move to small town America. Astrid, while keeping up with a heavy academic load, and participating in the school's lit magazine, still feels very much the outsider. She's certain her dad feels the same, AND her mom is too distant and controlling to understand her, while her sister's in her own world. Interwoven with her daily school and family life, Astrid's story is broken up by short vignettes - people flying in planes overhead, strangers but passengers to whom Astrid sends her thoughts and love- little "riffs" on love's many forms. She also begins to listen to an imaginary Socrates, who accompanies Astrid more and more, introduced to her and us from her Philosophy class. Her thoughts and his responses emerge as the tensions rise: how can Astrid continue to lie to her "cover" boyfriend? Should she accept the urging of her friends, complying with what Kristina and Justin want, heading to a local gay club for dancing and drinking and secret fun? And what about accepting the sexually-charged encounters with Dee, her co worker who's a star field hockey player at a neighboring school, a gay young woman who has already come out to her family and friends? Events build to a inevitable clashing of worlds: Astrid and her friends are busted at the club one night by police, who take all the underage customers to the station, and give over to their parents' custody. Suddenly the secrets of Astrid and her friends are public; the gossip mill at the high school goes into overdrive, and Astrid must decide what's most important to her. Definitely more mature teen read; very much enjoyed the philosophy discussions and exploration -some teens who prefer more action packed scenes may get lost in the middle. ( )
  BDartnall | Apr 16, 2018 |
This book was fantastic. It's the first book I have read where the main character (Astrid) was gay. I loved the way Astrid struggled with the need to present a certain image to those around her and yet the need to show who she truly is. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
This book was fantastic. It's the first book I have read where the main character (Astrid) was gay. I loved the way Astrid struggled with the need to present a certain image to those around her and yet the need to show who she truly is. ( )
  Moore31 | Feb 25, 2018 |
I read this young adult novel because the concept of someone lying on a picnic table sending random thoughts of love to unknown passengers in planes as they fly by overhead was intriguing. It is a well written novel with very strong character representations. Reading it as a 41 year old I perhaps did not get as much out of it as a teenager would. However, I have not forgotten the angst of those years and can see how this book would be a great read for people in high school, especially if going through similar things. It would be one of those books where you start talking to the characters in your head as if you actually knew them as real people. A good read. ( )
  KatiaMDavis | Dec 19, 2017 |
[review written 2013]

so! ask the passengers was … okay, i guess. my problem with it wasn’t really with the plot, or well, it kind of was. i’ve read a bunch of coming out stories, especially when i was 14 and trying to figure out my own identity. and i think now … they’re all the same?

like. the plot of this book is basically confident gay person meets confused gay person and they’re outed against their will and there’s homophobic slurs tossed around like candy and wow i just think it’s all the same. there wasn’t anything special about ask the passengers but it wasn’t bad.

i liked astrid, i guess - i liked that she remained overwhelmingly positive even though her world was crashing down around her. that’s cool. the plot, as i said, was pretty much the same, and it sort of dragged.

you know what us queer kids need? we need kids in fantasy and action and sci-fi and dystopia and anything that isn’t real-life coming out fiction who just happen to be queer and kick ass with the straight kids. we need like, a girl and her girlfriend and a boy kicking ass, and though the girl and her girlfriend get shit sometimes they have more things to worry about.

i’m tired of coming out stories, this book was no different from all the other ones i’ve read and frankly i want something new ( )
  jwmchen | Nov 4, 2017 |
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Epigraph
"Question everything."
- Euripides

"The only true wisdom is knowing that you know nothing."
-Socrates

"Know thyself."
Ancient Greek Aphorism
Dedication
First words
Every airplane, no matter how far it is up there, I send love to it.
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Book description
Astrid Jones, who realizes that she is a lesbian, deals with the gossip and rejection she faces by sending love up to the people on airplanes as they pass over her.
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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"--… (more)

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