Monday, June 10, 2013

Ask The Passengers (review)

“Look, this is a loan. I don't know if love is something I will run out of one day. I don't know if I should be giving it all to you guys or not. Today, I feel like maybe I should have kept some for myself for days when no one else loves me.”

Astrid Jones is gay. Well, maybe. She isn’t completely sure. But she wishes everyone around her (her best friends, her family,  the girl she makes out with in the walk-in fridge at the catering company they work for) would stop nagging her to make up her mind.

She has nowhere to turn. Her mom is pushy and favors Astrid’s younger sister, always taking her out for girls’ nights. And Astrid’s dad smokes pot in the garage is obsessed with figuring out who took the stapler off his desk at work. Her two best friends are each other’s beards, pretending to date while they sneak out to meet their significant others at the local gay nightclub, dragging Astrid along. And the small Pennsylvania town Astrid’s family moved to from NYC seven years ago, Unity Valley, is anything but unified. The only ones Astrid can talk to are the passengers. She lies on the picnic table in her backyard, watching for airplanes and sending her love to the unknown people inside.

The plot sounds simple when you lay it out like that, but this book is rich with emotion and detail. Astrid is one of the most loving, positive characters I’ve encountered in YA lit (maybe anywhere) without being bubbly and annoying. She struggles with her situation but never turns hateful, not even when she is cornered into a discussion of her sexuality by her family.
ASK THE PASSENGERS is all about acceptance and not trying to squash people into neat little boxes. It’s about being proud of who you are. It’s about love, finding it and giving it away, even when the other person may not always deserve it. This is the second of A.S. King's books I've read, and I loved it even more than the first (and my expectations were pretty high after PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ). This book may not be for everyone, but I hope it is.  Everyone deserves a little more love in their life, even if it's from a fictional character.

1 comment:

  1. I have been hearing about this one (all good stuff) for some time now. I guess that means I should probably check it out, right? Thanks for the review and recommendation. :D


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