Genre: Contemporary, YA,
Published: October, 2012, by Little, Brown BFYR
Rating: A big, beautiful gust in a storm!
This. This book. It’s just so perfect. I barely have words to describe how I felt after reading this.
Ask the Passengers is commonly labeled as an LGBT – which is true, but it is so much more than that. I guarantee, just about everyone will find something they can relate too in this book.
The story follows Astrid as she struggles with the fact she has feelings for a girl. The book is filled with cute, sad and humorous quirks, including the habit Astrid has of sending her love to people on planes, because she is confused about where her love belongs.
I’ll start with characters, because I truly love Astrid. She sometimes comes across as bland and boring, but I believe that is because of the unique way King has written it. This story is literally first person, as if Astrid herself was sitting down and relaying the story to you. In consequence, Astrid gets the attention off herself and makes her less interesting. That’s what most people who don’t want attention on themselves would do. When I realized this bit, it made me love her more.
I feel like the town and family issues were exaggerated, but I also feel like that has part to do with Astrid’s perspective. A.S King shows it to us as Astrid sees it. She focuses attention away from herself, exaggerates her parents and the small town atmosphere and creates imaginary friends. Despite this, It also feels very real – like even though some things are exaggerated, she’s telling you the truth; exactly what happened.
Even though I said that Astrid comes across as bland, she is such an interesting character! She’s smart, for one. High fives for intelligent characters. She idolized philosophers and questions their theories. She even has an imaginary philosopher friend. Her inner voice is intriguing. Her outlook on life and the place she lives is fascinating. She’s so relatable! She is a completely ordinary, teenage girl with family problems and trouble fitting in – even though she doesn’t necessarily want to fit in.
Moving on, I liked the representation of love in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Astrid give her love to the people on the planes, and how her view on this changes as the plot progresses. The story even goes the lengths to include what happens to the passengers she gives her love to. Though it’s slightly cheesy, it was a very acceptable amount of cheese and adds to the beautiful quirks of this book.
Even though I’m not a huge fan of complex metaphors and such; I loved them in this book! Not only did they add to Astrid’s character, but it really changed the overall feel of the book. It’s constantly making you think and question everything, and never has any solid conclusions.
This is such a beautifully written and amazing story. Everyone can relate to this. I’m not an LGBT teen, but I can so easily relate to the issues Astrid brings up. Labelling and boxing people into groups being one of them. So thoughtful, thought provoking, captivating and very, very special. I highly recommend Ask the Passengers!