Monday, March 31, 2014

Review: Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers, by A.S. King. The Goodreads summary:
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.
This is yet another of those books that I probably wouldn’t have read if it wasn’t for book club but that I ended up being glad I read. There isn’t necessarily a whole lot going on in the plot department—it’s basically all about Astrid coming to terms with her sexuality and whether she’s gay or not. But man did it seem like an honest portrayal. I just really felt for Astrid, you know? It seems like everyone around her is pushing her around in one way or another, and like Astrid, I just wanted them all to stop for a second so she could figure things out.

Character-wise, I liked Astrid. She seems pretty grounded and mature, and for the most part she deals pretty well with all the crap that people say about her and do to her. The only thing that really consistently annoyed me about her is how she feels all isolated and like no one who matters really cares about her, but it seemed so obvious that people like her sister, her dad, and Dee would care about her if she’d open up and let them. So it kinda seemed like she was always complaining about something that was partly her own fault. But I guess that's being a teenager for you.

On the relationship front, I’m not sure if I completely bought Astrid and Dee’s relationship. I think it’s because Astrid spends a big chunk of the book pissed off at Dee for various reasons, and since you only get to see Dee through Astrid’s eyes, the picture I got of Dee wasn’t especially flattering. So I had a hard time seeing what Astrid saw in Dee besides her being a good kisser and having a great smile. But I did like that their relationship wasn’t idealized and all rainbows and kittens. Both Astrid and Dee have faults, and those faults cause problems, but despite it all they still care about each other, and that’s something I can get behind.

Overall, it was well done. I could’ve done with a bit more character development from some of the secondary characters, but by and large I thought it was satisfying and hopeful and other good things that I wasn’t really expecting when I started it.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

1 comment:

  1. I love the idea that Astrid talks to plane passengers! What a unique idea. It does get a bit frustrating when characters could so easily fix their problems if they would just stop feeling sorry for themselves and look around at the people who care. Still, this sounds like a great read.


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