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Ask the Passengers

Average Rating 4.5
( 18 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Astrid is a girl who is discovering her lesbian tendencies in a

Astrid is a girl who is discovering her lesbian tendencies in a small town where everybody gets into everybody else's business and thinks they know how the world works. Although she wants to trust someone with her secret, she's estranged from her family and doesn't even...
Astrid is a girl who is discovering her lesbian tendencies in a small town where everybody gets into everybody else's business and thinks they know how the world works. Although she wants to trust someone with her secret, she's estranged from her family and doesn't even trust her best friend to keep her mouth shut. The only place she can safely send her love is to the passengers in the planes flying overhead. Then a string of events forces her to acknowledge things she wanted to keep hidden away and propel her to make changes in herself and her environment instead of waiting for something to happen.

The driving factor of this story is the emotion, both in the characters themselves and in the way that I reacted to the characters. Astrid is easily one of the most relatable characters I have read about. I've never been in her situation, being a a city girl who grew up fangirling over hot guys in literature (so much hotter than the guys I grew up with), but Astrid's situation is developed so well that it's easy to sympathize with her. Initially, Astrid walks around in a daze, unable to move forward or backward, and she lives through imaginary plane people that she invents to send her love to, thereby changing their lives for the better. Though she's really indecisive, I never felt the need to push her to resolve anything; in fact, I appreciate the difficult decisions that she has to make. I also appreciate the connections that her humanities Philosophy class ties into the story with the idea of motion being impossible, Socrates paradoxes, and Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." It really worked well with the story.

The supporting characters are equally compelling. Astrid's best friend Kristina seems like the perfect girl on the outside; she's a princess of the Homecoming Court, has a lot of friends, and has the perfect family. She has a secret, however; she's gay, and so is her equally 'perfect' boyfriend. She is concerned about how others view her unlike Astrid's secret girlfrirend, who has already come out and is assured of her identity. Both girls, I loved and hated at times. Then there is Astrid's family. I loathed Astrid's mother and felt disappointed in Astrid's sister and father. I'm still not quite reconciled with them to be honest, but there's potential for them to grow.

The story follows Astrid as she questions her sexual tendencies and her self identity, fixes her broken relationships with those close to her, and opens herself to love. Some things cannot be changed, like the minds of very biased people. What Astrid learns is how to express herself freely and without concern for those who will not allow themselves to learn how to accept others for who they are. As Astrid realizes, perfection may or may not be impossible; it depends on the eye of the beholder.

posted by ImaginaryReads on November 20, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Ask the Passengers is a typical coming of age novel. Astrid¿s a

Ask the Passengers is a typical coming of age novel. Astrid’s a teenage girl with a mom that’s too busy to pay attention to a daughter she can’t mold her own way, a dad that’s there but still pretty absent, a sister that only seems to care about herself, and friends th...
Ask the Passengers is a typical coming of age novel. Astrid’s a teenage girl with a mom that’s too busy to pay attention to a daughter she can’t mold her own way, a dad that’s there but still pretty absent, a sister that only seems to care about herself, and friends that pressure her to do things she doesn’t want to do. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring a whole lot to the table that others books don’t.

I did like King’s writing. The story was fast-paced and flowed nicely. I did like that Astrid sent her love to the passengers of planes because she felt like she didn’t need it where she was and it needed to go somewhere. It was a unique idea and felt pretty special to Astrid as a character.

It didn’t make much sense to me that Astrid was questioning her sexuality. See, I feel like if Astrid wasn’t sure whether or not she was gay, she would have done a little bit more experimenting or something. I don’t feel like Astrid was questioning at all. I believe she knew the entire time that she was gay, but she didn’t want to admit it. That’s completely understandable, but I don’t think King should have tried to pass it off as her questioning herself. It felt fake. Another thing I didn’t enjoy was the little parts at the end of some chapters where you get the insight of a person on one of the planes that Astrid was sending her love to. I don’t think it added anything to the story and the first one confused me and I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Since it really didn’t add anything to the story, I think it should have been left out all together.

Overall, Ask the Passengers was a quick and mostly enjoyable read. I wouldn’t recommend it one way or the other, though.

You can see this and other reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.

posted by KDH_Reviews on March 6, 2013

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  • Posted March 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ask the Passengers is a typical coming of age novel. Astrid¿s a

    Ask the Passengers is a typical coming of age novel. Astrid’s a teenage girl with a mom that’s too busy to pay attention to a daughter she can’t mold her own way, a dad that’s there but still pretty absent, a sister that only seems to care about herself, and friends that pressure her to do things she doesn’t want to do. Unfortunately, it didn’t bring a whole lot to the table that others books don’t.

    I did like King’s writing. The story was fast-paced and flowed nicely. I did like that Astrid sent her love to the passengers of planes because she felt like she didn’t need it where she was and it needed to go somewhere. It was a unique idea and felt pretty special to Astrid as a character.

    It didn’t make much sense to me that Astrid was questioning her sexuality. See, I feel like if Astrid wasn’t sure whether or not she was gay, she would have done a little bit more experimenting or something. I don’t feel like Astrid was questioning at all. I believe she knew the entire time that she was gay, but she didn’t want to admit it. That’s completely understandable, but I don’t think King should have tried to pass it off as her questioning herself. It felt fake. Another thing I didn’t enjoy was the little parts at the end of some chapters where you get the insight of a person on one of the planes that Astrid was sending her love to. I don’t think it added anything to the story and the first one confused me and I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Since it really didn’t add anything to the story, I think it should have been left out all together.

    Overall, Ask the Passengers was a quick and mostly enjoyable read. I wouldn’t recommend it one way or the other, though.

    You can see this and other reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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