Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Book Review: Ask the Passengers, by A.S. King @AS_King

Ask the Passengers A.S. King
I've enjoyed all of A. S. King's books, and Ask the Passengers is no exception. In fact, it's my favorite -- I think it's brilliant. King's books are quirky and unique, but they make sense.

Like I said, this book does make sense, but when I describe it, I think it sounds kind of silly. Astrid is having a hard time. She's struggling with her teen identity and feeling like no one cares about her. So, she decides she will send all her love to airplane passengers. She also asks for their opinions and their help. She lays on the picnic table in her back yard and sends her thoughts into the skies.

Astrid is dealing with best friends who are secretly gay. She is helping to keep this secret. But she has s secret of her own -- she thinks she's in love with a girl she works with. But, does that mean she's gay? Her life is complicated by strange parents. Her mother works at home but acts like she's working in New York City. She only pays attention to Astrid's sister. Her father spends most of his time in the garage getting stoned.

Everything blows up in Astrid's face. She grows a lot, but it's a difficult struggle. She's betrayed and misunderstood, but she's also done some betraying herself.

My favorite passages are the parts narrated by the passengers on the airplanes. Ms. King, "What the...??" I kept thinking, "Why would an author decide to do this? How would you EVER think of something like this?" It's just so far from what I've experienced, but I loved it and it worked SO WELL in Ask the Passengers. Brilliant.

All I can say is if you haven't experienced A. S. King, Ask the Passengers is a great place to start, but really, you can pick any of her books: Please Ignore Vera Dietz, and Everybody Sees the Ants. I can't wait to start pushing Ask the Passengers into my kids' hands. Thank you A. S. King. Keep them coming....

Published by Little, Brown BFYR, October 23, 2012
Copy obtained from the library
293  pages

Rating: 5/5

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  1. I really enjoyed "Please Ignore Vera Dietz" and will definitely read more by Ms. King. What I find interesting with this book is the wide spectrum of response. A lot of people loved the philosophical aspect of this one while others that it was the same old same old in the GLBT lit world. I do plan on reading this one soon to see what the fuss is all about.

    1. I haven't read widely in the GLBT area, but this book is so much more than that. I found Rainbow Boys, for example, to be extremely cliche, and a book about nothing except being gay. I've read a few others, and in my opinion, Ask the Passengers is a stand out.

  2. I am so glad you liked this one. Everybody sees the Ants is definitely odd, but I look forward to reading this one.

  3. SO happy to hear you loved this one! I am consistently blown away by A.S. King's writing, and this was no exception. She makes some bold narrative choices in this one, but they work out incredibly well in the story. I hope your kids pick this up, I would love to hear more teenagers reading this book. I think there are so many thought-provoking, relatable scenarios that could make all the difference to some teens.


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