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review 2016-11-18 00:00
Ask the Passengers
Ask the Passengers - A.S. King 3.5 stars

This is a story about a girl who is questioning and leaning toward being gay. She has a girlfriend, but she is figuring everything out, including her life in a new town and troubles with her parents. I feel like family relationships are just as big of a focus as anything else in this book. There's also a lot about high school, popularity, friendship and other teen issues. Astrid's narrative is broken occasionally by little bits from other's lives. It shows how everyone is struggling with something in their lives, not just teens. I liked this book and felt like it did have a message for me, but I also think a teen would get more from it than I did.
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text 2015-06-11 20:10
Ask the Passengers - A.S. King

". . . equality isn't really obvious to most people.

 

And I don't mean to say the world is filled with racists or sexists or homophobes.   I mean to say:  Everybody's always looking for the person they're better than."

 

page 231

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review 2015-05-07 00:40
Ask the Passengers
Ask the Passengers - A.S. King

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.

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review 2014-08-20 21:53
Ask the Passengers - A.S. King

I did enjoy reading this, but I wasn't totally blown away by this book.  Astrid Jones lives in a small town with her controlling workaholic mother, not-so-secretly pot smoking father, and her little sister who seems to fit in perfectly in this town that Astrid hates so much.  Astrid likes to lie down on her picnic table and send her love to the passengers in the airplanes up there in the sky and ask them questions (hence the title of the book).

I did like that every once in a while we got to read about the passengers, but it would only be for a page or two, so I wouldn't be away from the main story for long.  Sometimes Astrid would send her love and her questions to the people in the airplanes and I would think "noo, I don't want to read about those people.  I just want to continue with the story" and it's like the book read my mind and decided not interrupt the story in order to tell me about the passengers.  I appreciated that.

I didn't appreciate how the Mom only seemed to have one personality trait.  She was controlling.  The happiness of her family was an extremely low priority for her, and her highest priority was her work and in fitting in in this small town.  Everything that that the character said or did reinforced this.  EVERYTHING.

And the town was just toxic and I don't think that it was written very complexly.  To be clear, I don't think that the mom or the town needed to be portrayed positively 50% of the time and negatively 50% of the time in order for them to be portrayed complexly.  I just don't think that the town and the mom should be so easily described in one word.  They should be more multifaceted.

And let's talk about Ellis, Astrid's sister.  I was worried in the beginning of the story that because Ellis fits in pretty nicely in this town that Astrid absolutely hates, and because she is the favored child of the mother, that she would automatically be evil, evil, evil.  

I thought that Astrid showed some real maturity in the end when she pointed out how she wasn't always there for her sister, how she wrote Ellis off as soon as she became a small town girl and was favored by the mother.  I didn't like how nothing was done with the bit of information thrown in at the end that Ellis had to go to therapy after she moved from New York.  I felt like that was cheap way of trying to get me to sympathize with Ellis and it wasn't needed.

(spoiler show)

Now, let's talk about Astrid's girlfriend, Dee.  I'll be honest with you.  I did not like Dee very much at all.  

In the book that I wanted to read, Astrid would have broken up with Dee on page 123.

(spoiler show)

 She kept acting as though Astrid was wasting her time because she wanted to have a conversation rather than have sex.

 I'm glad that she did turn around after Astrid talked to her, but I can't forget the first 100 pages of the book.  Also, I don't buy that "shit or get off the pot" was really about how Astrid should come out of the closet and not about how Dee wants her to put out or get out.  She said that after Astrid removed Dee's hands from her pants, not while they were having a conversation about coming out of the closet.  I think that weak explanation was thrown in to keep me from hating Dee but it so didn't work.

(spoiler show)

As I said, I did enjoy the book and I wasn't too bothered by the problems that I had with it (except of course for that last problem I pointed out.)  I liked Astrid and her friend Kristina.  Astrid called herself a pushover in the beginning of the book, but I think that she stood up for herself when it counted and I really enjoyed reading that.

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review 2014-06-23 00:00
Ask the Passengers
Ask the Passengers - A.S. King I liked this book, but it would have been so much better if the author had decided to make Astrid bisexual. I actually thought that might have been what was going to happen. She spent the entire book being very unsure of her sexuality, and when people asked her if she was a lesbian she would tell them that she didn't know. That seemed like the perfect setup for her to be bisexual, but then (like most books with a lesbian character) she suddenly realized that yes, she was indeed a lesbian. I was actually really disappointed because I was really hoping for a good book with a bisexual main character, and once again I was let down.
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