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Ask the Passengers

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  12,875 ratings  ·  1,754 reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Little, Brown BFYR
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Kerstyn Absolutely. My first thought when I finished this book was that I'm glad it's not the first A.S. King book I read, because I never would have picked…moreAbsolutely. My first thought when I finished this book was that I'm glad it's not the first A.S. King book I read, because I never would have picked up another one. But I've read Reality Boy and Glory O'Brien, and they were both incredible. I say give it a shot.(less)
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Best YA Fiction with GLBTQQI themes / characters
23rd out of 944 books — 2,416 voters
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Mock Printz 2013
12th out of 87 books — 503 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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So, here's the thing. I finished this book yesterday and I just couldn't tell you guys because IT WAS SO GREAT I CAN'T THINK OF HOW TO EXPLAIN HOW GREAT IT IS. I WILL be doing a video review about it with more thoughts, but here's some current thinkings:

1) A.S. King writes some of my favourite main characters of all time. Characters that I genuinely love and want to hold hands with and hug and talk with.

2) Her use of magical realism is stunning and powerful and I want to write something with mag
Raeleen Lemay

This was pretty good! Not the best coming of age/LGBTQ book I've ever read, but I really enjoyed Astrid and all of her philosophical quirkiness.

Sep 26, 2012 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, ya
As seen on The Readventurer

3.5 stars

If you've read as much YA as I have, I am sure this story will sound VERY familiar to you. I myself have read it once, twice or three times, in one form or another, and each version was of a different quality. I want to repeat the blurb and say that Ask The Passengers is a "truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions," but it just isn't.

Astrid's is a story that's been told before. A teen who lives in a small town full
As always, AS King's writing is beautiful and her themes and overall messages are great. I also really liked the magical realism aspect - if you can even call it that?
However, I just didn't love it. I didn't ever really root for the characters or connect with them, and though Astrid does develop quite a bit in terms of learning, her overall characterization didn't really expand a lot.
A beautifully written book about acceptance of yourself and others & coming of age/LBQT, but the actual sto
I did not like this book. Ask the Passengers was disappointing because I wanted to like it, since I was interested in the premise and I knew it was an acclaimed novel. But I just had too many problems with this book to enjoy it.

Ask the Passengers is about Astrid, a senior in high school in the small, close-minded town of Unity Valley. Many of the people at her school are bigoted and the whole town is a vicious rumor mill. Her family is not understanding and for the most part they ignore her. So
Oh this was so great. BRILLIANT. A.S. King, where have you been all my life? I feel like I had a firm grasp of the characters within the first 15 pages, I just immediately understood them. That is talent. I will definitely definitely be reading more from her in the future.

King handles the subject matter PERFECTLY - an incredibly important book about loving yourself, ignoring small-minded people and how unnecessary labels are. *claps forever*
Astrid Jones sends her love to strangers. She gives it away to passengers in the sky, because that's the only way she'll be free. Her demanding, over-controlling mother talks at her, her dad smokes pot, and her sister worries too much about her reputation to be of any help. Living in a small town has its downsides, and Astrid realizes just how damaging those downsides are when she finds herself falling in love - with a girl.

What a voice. Astrid's perception of her surroundings struck me as wise
First Second Books
One of my favorite things about this book: it features two teenagers (who are dating) actually having a sensible conversation about sex before they have it.

A lot of what teenage sex seems to be about is awkwardness, which leads to a whole lot of teenagers in books not talking about having sex before they have sex. Or else there’s the scenario, ‘We were thrown together by hormones/alcohol! Now perhaps I have regrets, but clearly it was not ME who made that sex-related decision, but hormones/alcoh
Neil(ed) it!
"Equality is obvious. First, to define equality. Then to define obvious. I mean, I can even try to define is if I want, because equality isn’t really working in the present tense, is it? Because 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."

Ask the Passengers is mainly about breaking free about society's definition and label but this
Very unique story that was shared with a sense of levity by an immediately likeable character. It was because of the smooth, funny, thoughtful narrative that allowed me to enjoy this novel about a very serious subject.

Astrid Jones is from a small town called Unity Valley. We meet her at a time when she’s struggling to understand her sexual orientation and how and when she wants to make it public to family and friends. She can’t quite open up to her mother, which she finds hard to connect with o
Here is what they say about Astrid Jones and her family in their small-town of Unity Valley:

• Their mother hardly ever leaves the house. But she’s stuck-up, and thinks she’s above it all for keeping her fancy New York job.
• The dad is a stoner – if he’s not making birdhouses, he’s taking a toke in the shed.
• Youngest daughter, Ellis, is a mean hockey player. She fits right in here, a real small-town girl.
• That Astrid Jones is a weird one – don’t know how she came to be friends with the nice Ho
Vitor Martins
Achei que esse seria mais um YA contemporâneo, mas dei de cara com um livro incrível!
Tem humor, tem amor, tem muita coisa pra fazer a gente pensar! A narrativa que se divide entre o ponto de vista da Astrid e os pontos de vista dos passageiros torna esse livro uma história cheia de outras histórias.
Sem contar que rolou AQUELA IDENTIFICAÇÃO com a protagonista né?
Adorei <2
Ask the Passengers’ cover flap cheers that this is a “truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society’s definitions,” and while I think that’s vaguely total bullshit, it’s still not a bad book.

Our protagonist, Astrid, is a calm and fairly introspective seventeen-year-old. She’s dealing with the fact that she's maybe-just-maybe-just-maybe is actually (GASP) gay. It’s a little unclear, because she could be straight but weirdly attracted to one particular girl? Maybe? You kn
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Dec 14, 2012 Christina (A Reader of Fictions) rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Christina (A Reader of Fictions) by: Bekka (Pretty Deadly Reviews)
Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions.

Okay, it's official. I think A.S. King is one of the very best YA writers out there. Ask the Passengers is only my second experience with King, but I loved it just as much as, perhaps even more than, the first one I read, Everybody Sees the Ants. Even better, King falls into that realm of authors who can do something totally new every time. She has some themes in common, but the books themselves are very different. One has a younger male teen lead, one a
DNF for acephobia, biphobia, and ableism
"'I don't know. I'm still not even sure, I don't think. I mean, how do I know?'

'It's not a guy?'

I shake my head.

Justin hoots. 'Dude! You're one of us!'

I keep shaking my head, and I add a shrug, but I'd be lying if I told you that his excitement and invitation into -one of them- isn't making me cringe. Because I'm not in this to be a member of some club. I'm not going through this so I can lock myself into the -one of them- box.

'So, you're questioning?' she says.

'I guess.'

Astrid Jones goes to Un
Could King be any better? Seriously. This is my favorite of her books, hands down. I also think it might be the most accessible but it does not stray from her style of infusing the real with a bit of the fantastic. There are a striking number of similarities to EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS but it's subtle. Very, very subtle.

Astrid Jones feels alone and confused and lost, but rather than wallow in that, rather than try to figure herself or her family out, she sends her love to everyone around her. Sh
The general premise isn't bad, but it's muddled and poorly-executed. I found myself disliking all the characters, including Astrid, the main character with whom I am supposed to relate. It's like the author couldn't decide on a personality for any one of the characters, so she just jumped around without making much sense. For example, does Astrid actually LIKE her girlfriend? I DON'T KNOW. I really should know that. And, oh my God, if I have to read the phrase "send my love" one more time... NO. ...more
Lovely story - understated, but incredibly gripping. And my love for A.S. King is confirmed once again.

To love this book, you need to love its narrator, and for me at least Astrid is impossible not to love.
Sure, she's a questioning teenager, and she's confused - but she's sensible too. She's hurt, but resilient; emotional, but rational.
Her voice is calm, even through the hurdles she has to overcome, and when she finally loses her cool, she does it in a way that only made me appreciate her more.

"I start to feel resentful. You mean to tell me it's 2011 and this guy gets paid to have remedial talks with high school students about how they shouldn't hate other people? Isn't this elementary? Shouldn't it be automatic? What kind of species are we if we gave to have people come talk to us about this crap?"

Astrid is yet another MC from AS KING who is not quite like the rest in refusing to be just one thing. That and the fact that she asks questions... at least, she does eventually. She's fi
Steph Su
While it does nothing new, Printz Award-winning author A. S. King’s latest book, ASK THE PASSENGERS, does everything old in this subgenre of YA contemporary literature well.

Every year, there are more than a handful of books published about a teen’s gradual awareness of his or her sexual orientation. And I guess that if you want to pick just a handful to represent this subgenre, ASK THE PASSENGERS might be a good choice. Besides for doing the elements of LGBT lit well, it also gets the essentials
This book successfully matched up to my expectations. So inspiring, touching, and thought-provoking. It's all about acceptance and fitting into the real you, with an underlying layer of philosophy. It was amazing.

My favorite quote from the book: “I am equal to you. You are equal to me. It’s that universal. Except that it’s not.”

Because honestly, that's just how life is. No matter how much we say we accept, there will be people that just DON'T.
Gail Carriger
I enjoyed this contemporary YA, at first I was annoyed by the artifice of the inset passenger clips. I thought they were an excuse the author was using to get all essay and literary on the reader, but at the end they tied in nicely and I forgave A.S. King.
Kat (Lost in Neverland)

Astrid desperately wants to talk to someone. Someone other than her overbearing mother, stoner of a father, distant sister, or even her pushy friends and girlfriend.
She doesn't have anyone to love so she sends her love to planes passing over-head, hoping someone will send some back.

This book is one of those 'books with main gay character where the story is all about the character being gay' ones. I still think it was brilliant, and very poignant, in the way it showed how Astrid hated being lab
Originally reviewed on my blog Reading the Best of the Best.

Have you ever come across a book/author that sounds like your type of book? Something you think you will love and you read it with the highest of hopes and you are utterly disappointed? Well, for me Ask the Passengers would be that book. After so much hype surrounding this book and A.S. King, when I received the chance to review it, I took it! While I did finish this book rather quickly, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

A.S. King hasn't let me down yet.

This was so perfectly insightful and weird and quirky and fun and its just so A.S. King and its so brilliant.

Astrid Jones, our protagonist, is just as endearing and funny as Lucky Linderman and her characterization is spot on. And I can safely say that about every single one of the characters in this book.

And as is in Everybody Sees The Ants, the magical realism in this book was so brilliant and completely impactful.

But I must say that I didn't quite enjoy th
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Astrid is a high school senior trying to find an answer to the biggest question imaginable. Is she or isn’t she? While struggling to find the answer of what to do with her love, she opts not to waste it and sends it away to passengers in planes she sees overhead.

I’m so glad there are YA authors like King who are willing to tackle real-life situations teens face in a mature way. Hopefully writing like this helps kids get through difficult times if they have a$$holes like Astrid’s mother and some
Molly (Stacks of Books)
I read this last night for the end of the readathon!
Lying flat on a picnic table she and her father built for their back yard in gossip-hounded, small-town Pennsylvania, Astrid Jones searches the sky for planes and shoots up streams of love towards them. The reason I know I’m reading an A.S. King book is not that Astrid sports this quirky habit, but that the passengers, some of them, have names and lives and problems; but they absorb that unconditional love and find strength and clarity in its warmth—if only for a moment. This magical realism is ...more
Badz (Abandoned Marionette)
This book is not JUST about homosexuality. This book is everything that a person who have problems with being boxed and labeled and tagged and stereotyped needs. This is such a wonderful read! The touch of magical realism is the perfect medium to show readers how love isn't just for those we know but it is something we can actually give to just about everyone if we just have the heart to share.
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Smithton PLD YA B...: The Power of Loving Yourself 1 6 Aug 04, 2014 02:27PM  
Smithton PLD YA B...: Better Than . . . 1 5 Aug 04, 2014 02:27PM  
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A.S. King is the author of the highly-acclaimed GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, 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-winn ...more
More about A.S. King...
Please Ignore Vera Dietz Everybody Sees the Ants Reality Boy Glory O'Brien's History of the Future The Dust of 100 Dogs

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“All those people who are chained here thinking that their reputations matter and this little shit matters are so freaking shortsighted. Dude, what matters is that you're happy. What matters is your future. What matters is that we get out of here in one piece. What matters is finding the truth of our own lives, not caring about what other people think is the truth of us.” 99 likes
“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.” 60 likes
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