Book Reviews

Book Review: Ask The Passengers by A.S. King

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 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.

I kind of loved this novel. I listened to the audiobook over the course of a couple of days and really felt myself loving Astrid Jones.

Astrid didn’t want to be labeled. The thing is you don’t have to be. When she doesn’t want to say she’s gay it’s okay.She never even really considers that she might be straight. This isn’t a I don’t know if I’m straight or gay story.She just doesn’t want to be put into a box. I really enjoyed that. She just knows she likes a girl.It doesn’t matter if she’s gay or not. That label isn’t for everyone. You can reject labels or change yours. Whatever. I also felt that the book showed how that isn’t easy for everyone though as more pressure gets pushed onto Astrid.

I also felt like she was a character that reacted to events logically, which I don’t always see in YA. I loved her obsession with philosophers that grew in the book.I did feel like there were moments where I just wanted her to act more or say what she really wanted when she didn’t. She sometimes filtered herself too much I think.

I loved her idea of sending love to people. Even strangers in the airplanes passing by. The idea of that is so beautiful to me because you don’t know if that stranger might really need to feel some love in that moment.

The passengers were the other thing that made me love this book. There are sections where we switch to the voices of the passengers on planes that Astrid spends her time looking up to. There are mini stories about love, tolerance, forgiveness and more. They aren’t at all what I expected either. They aren’t all stories that have happy endings. Each time we got through one of these I needed to take a moment to take in what happened. I honestly thought they were brilliantly done. They fit so well in the spaces between Astrid’s story.

Astrid’s mother is a really difficult character to deal with, but she’s extremely realistic. I felt all the characters in this book pretty realistic by the end. Any questions I had about a character’s actions or motives was answered in the end for the most part.

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