May 18, 2015

Wicked Review: Ask the Passengers by A.S King

Published: October 23, 2012
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Acquired: Borrowed Paperback

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.

I am officially in love with A.S King. If you see my tweets, I tweet her during the oddest hours of the day. That's how much I love her.

The thing I most love about this book is how love is portrayed in the book. The love here is simple and uncomplicated. Astrid sends her love to everyone, not asking for something in return. It's the purest form of love there is. She sends her love to her socially anxious mother, to her pothead father, to her younger hockey player sister, to her gay friends, to her secret lover at work, the people of Unity Valley, and the passengers. For Astrid, we are passengers on a plane. We are thousands and thousands of feet above the ground and we are locked inside a plane. The plane is what society wants us to be and it's either, we open the door and skydive away from what society wants us to be or we stay locked in the plane, abiding whatever rules there are.

I don't know what it really feels like when you come out and tell the world you're gay or you're a lesbian because for one, I'm straight. A gay friend of mine once told me that coming out to his parents was hard that they didn't talk to him for months! And his siblings avoided him like a plague. But now, they've come around and they were once again a happy family. Astrid's struggle is real. I mean, these things take time to process, to wrap your head around it. I understand Astrid's point when her parents asked her point blank, if she was gay or not, and that he answer to it at first was, she didn't know.

All in all, Ask the Passengers is a wonderful story. You should pick it up because it's something we all should read.

A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed REALITY BOY, 2013 LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults THE DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories for adults, MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP.

Look for Amy's work in anthologies DEAR BULLY, BREAK THESE RULES and LOSING IT. (And brace yourself for 2014's novel, GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.) Find more at

p.s.- If I don't accept your friend request, don't feel sad. It's because I don't really use Goodreads even though I'm completely thrilled that you do!

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