Excerpt from Ask the Passengers by A. S. King, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Ask the Passengers

by A. S. King

Ask the Passengers
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 304 pages
    Sep 2013, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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Print Excerpt


Every airplane, no matter how far it is up there, I send love to it. I picture the people in their seats with their plastic cups of soda or orange juice or Scotch, and I love them. I really love them. I send a steady, visible stream of it—love—from me to them. From my chest to their chests. From my brain to their brains. It's a game I play.

It's a good game because I can't lose.

I do it everywhere now. When I buy Rolaids at the drugstore, I love the lady who runs the place. I love the old man who's stocking shelves. I even love the cashier with the insanely large hands who treats me like shit every other day. I don't care if they don't love me back.

This isn't reciprocal.
It's an outpouring.
Because if I give it all away, then no one can control it.
Because if I give it all away, I'll be free.


Motion is impossible. That's what Zeno of Elea said. And though I've disagreed with the idea every day this week in humanities class, sometimes I think I know what he meant.

It's Wednesday, which is lit mag day. Justin and Kristina are ten minutes late. They are always ten minutes late. This doesn't bug me. I've learned to expect it. And if I run out of submissions, I can always work on layout or advertising or just sit here and read a book. Justin and Kristina have all kinds of stuff to do after school. I just have lit mag.

When the two of them finally arrive, they walk through the door holding hands and giggling. Justin has his SLR digital camera around his neck like always, and Kristina is in a pair of yoga pants and an oversize Yale sweatshirt. Her hair is pulled back into a ponytail.

"Sorry we're late," she says.

Justin apologizes, too. "I had to take some candid shots of the usual suspects: Football practice. Cheerleading. Hockey team running their laps. Yearbook crap."

"I went with him to help," Kristina says. "Could Aimee Hall be any more obvious?"

Justin laughs. "She actually posed for me hugging her tennis racquet."

"It was gross," Kristina says, adjusting her ponytail by grabbing two sides and yanking on them to center it on her perfect head.

When the townies talk about her, they say: You know that's her natural color?

They say: I bet her and that Justin Lampley will have some damn pretty kids.

They say: I can't figure out why she hangs out with that weird neighbor girl.

That's me.

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Excerpted from Ask the Passengers by Stephen King. Copyright © 2012 by Stephen King. Excerpted by permission of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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