Ask the Passengers
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Ask the Passengers

4.6 21
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

Overview


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.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A 2012 Publishers Weekly Best YA Book
A 2012 School Library Journal Best Book
A 2012 Kirkus Reviews Best YA Book
A 2012 Library Journal Best YA for Adults Book
A 2012 BookPage Best Children's Book
A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature Winner
A 2012 Los Angeles Public Library Best Teen Book
A 2012 Lambda Literary Award Finalist
A 2013 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Book
A 2013 Carolyn W. Field Award Winner
A 2013 Rainbow List Top Ten Book
A 2013 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens Book
A 2013 Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices Book
A 2013 James Cook Teen Book Award Winner
A 2014 Tennessee Volunteer Book Award Nominee
A 2014 Texas Tayshas Reading List Top Ten Book
A 2014 Milwaukee County Teen Book Award Honor Book
A Junior Library Guild Selection
A 2014 Illinois Abraham Lincoln HS Book Award Winner
A 2014 Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award Winner
A 2014 Washington Evergreen YA Book Award Winner

* "Quite possibly the best teen novel featuring a girl questioning her sexuality written in years."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking, achievement for King, whose star is ascending as quickly as one of Astrid's planes."—Booklist, starred review

* "At once much more than a coming out novel and one of the best coming-out novels in years.... Funny, provocative, and intelligent, King's story celebrates love in all of its messy, modern complexity."—Publishers Weekly, starred review

* "Will appeal to any mature teen resisting the pressure to conform or rebel [and] anyone who wants to define herself on her own terms."—School Library Journal, starred review

* "For kids struggling with their own truths, it can be hard to believe how much light there is once you come out of the cave. This is a book that knows and understands that, and it's one that readers will believe."—The Bulletin, starred review

* "A furiously smart and funny coming-out-and-of-age novel."—The Horn Book, starred review

"Astrid is a model of strength and compassion.... Good reading for everyone."—VOYA

"King has penned a work of realism that is magical in the telling."—Cooperative Children's Book Center

starred review Booklist
* "Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking, achievement for King, whose star is ascending as quickly as one of Astrid's planes."
Cooperative Children's Book Center
"King has penned a work of realism that is magical in the telling."
The Bulletin
* "For kids struggling with their own truths, it can be hard to believe how much light there is once you come out of the cave. This is a book that knows and understands that, and it's one that readers will believe."
The Horn Book
* "A furiously smart and funny coming-out-and-of-age novel."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316194679
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/10/2013
Pages:
293
Sales rank:
62,868
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
15 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed Reality Boy; Ask the Passengers, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner; Everybody Sees the Ants; and the Edgar Award nominated, Michael L. Printz Honor book Please Ignore Vera Dietz. She is also the author of The Dust of 100 Dogs, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. When asked about her writing, King says, "Some people don't know if my characters are crazy or if they are experiencing something magical. I think that's an accurate description of how I feel every day." She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and children.

Customer Reviews

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Ask the Passengers 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
ImaginaryReads More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an awesome book!!!!mm
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful! A great coming of age novel exploring sexuality and growing into your identity. What makes this book stand out is how realistic it is and Astrid's character is easy to relate to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Brilliant writing. Simply brilliant.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book I reccomend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not worth the read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gorgeous writing, engaging characters, and a sensitive exploration of human sexuality in all its complications. Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its an enjoyable lesbian book. (:
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Phenomenal!!! A.S. King's novel is witty, funny, and philosophical. It covers a lot of social justice issues in society through satire, with a dash of magical realism to spice things up. ATP is an especially great read for those questioning any aspect of their identity (including, but not limited to, their sexuality). Overall it's a superb coming of age novel and important addition to a diverse YA canon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Recommended to me by an editor at a different publishing house (always a sign a book deserves buzz), I've since recommended it to others. Great book.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Whatever I write here for my review will not give this book the justice it deserves. I listened to this book as I made my way down the road and then sometimes I sat just waiting in my car for that “one more chapter” to finish up, as I just couldn’t leave my new adopted family and go about my life until I felt comfortable shutting the door and walking away. I found myself replying and talking to them as if I was a individual in their lives, a person they knew, someone who mattered, and I knew exactly or I thought I knew exactly what was about to be spoken. The energy coming from my speakers filled me with adrenaline, I will miss my new family as I know their journey is far from being over but my CD’s told me otherwise. Astrid was good at keeping secrets, almost too good. When her friend’s secrets finally get revealed, she’s the one who suffers. For Astrid, she was real, she was true, and she was only being honest with herself and with others. Astrid, she a girl who was deciding who she was, deciding who she wanted to be, deciding where she fit in, and deciding whether she was gay or not. Seeing her imaginary friend Frank Socrates, she navigates her way, she fights through with sarcasm and truth where others hide, deny or used others. I enjoyed every character of this book, they where a complete package. So much could be said about this book, so go listen to it. Listen, really listen and hear what she says. Her comments hit hard, they come from the heart, and she’s discovering herself and the world around her. Something we all need to stop and do.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Related titles first book....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“We lie there, and when a plane finally appears in the sky, I picture a cabin full of fliers getting excited about their destinations, and I ask: Isn’t it enough to be in love with Dee’s amazing eyes and the smell of her hair? Isn’t it enough that she thinks I’m funny? That we have fun when we mess around at work? Why does everything come with a strict definition? Who made all these boxes? (King,124).” Ask the Passengers is an extremely intriguing read. A.S. King takes the struggles of daily life, along with some deeper inlaid struggles and expresses the emotions connected, flawlessly. It is a psychological view of the struggle with homosexuality, and the process of discovering oneself. The book is borderline offensive to the conservative reader. It has a tendency to expand on the ugly thoughts inside every sinful human being, exposing struggles that most of us would rather have put under the rug. It takes the normality of human interactions and thoughts and allows them to be fully analyzed. The book’s climax is when Astrid and her friends are caught by the police at a gay bar. This incident forces the small group’s struggles into the open and causes questions and finger-pointing to arise. Most audiences can relate to the feeling of sins being out in the open, and dealing with the natural consequences thereafter. Eventually, Astrid learns to accept her sexuality, and have an open relationship with Dee, her girlfriend. I am a Christian, so I use the word ‘sin’ in response to my inlaid belief that homosexuality is a wrong. Overall, this book was worth the read. It has given me insight to the struggles of others, so I can learn to love every kind of person there is. It’s well-written, descriptive, and enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much. It is def worth the read, I sort of wish there was more. Maybe a book about them in college, that would be nice.
KDH_Reviews More than 1 year ago
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.