Summary and book reviews of Ask the Passengers by A. King

Ask the Passengers

by A. S. King

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2013, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tamara Smith

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About this Book

Book Summary

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.

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.

PROLOGUE

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.


CHAPTER ONE--YOU'D HATE IT HERE

Motion is impossible. That's what Zeno of Elea said. And though I've ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

It is love that skyrockets this already brilliant and beautiful story high into the atmosphere. Ask The Passengers is an achingly truthful examination and, ultimately, celebration of love. It is well suited for young adults, aged 14 and up, but I urge all adults to read it too.   (Reviewed by Tamara Smith).

Full Review (905 words).

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Media Reviews

School Library Journal

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

The Bulletin

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.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Funny, provocative, and intelligent, King's story celebrates love in all of its messy, modern complexity. Ages 15–up.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Quite possibly the best teen novel featuring a girl questioning her sexuality written in years. Ages 14 & up.

Booklist

Starred Review. Another thoughtful, and often breathtaking, achievement for King, whose star is ascending as quickly as one of Astrid's planes.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

A Look at A. S. King

A.S. King Amy Sarig King was born in Reading, PA in 1970. No, I won't go into lots of detail about her younger years, suffice it to say she is a Pisces and, as she says, she "believes in that stuff." I will say that as a child she spent a good deal of time in her "office" (aka her closet) staying up late and reading books.

King did not go to school for writing but, instead, got a degree in traditional photography from The Art Institute of Philadelphia. After she finished school and did some work as a photographer, she moved to Ireland. She lived in Dublin first and then, Tipperary, where she worked on a farm. (Or as King better describes it: "You could say I worked on my own self-sufficient farm while my husband and I restored it. I owned it. It...

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