All SCCLD locations will be CLOSED Tuesday, March 31 for César Chávez Day.

Ask the Passengers

A Novel

King, A. S.

Book - 2012
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Ask the Passengers
"Astrid Jones copes with her small town's gossip and narrow-mindedness by staring at the sky and imagining that she's sending love to the passengers in the airplanes flying high over her backyard. Maybe they'll know what to do with it. Maybe it'll make them happy. Maybe they'll need it. Her mother doesn't want it, her father's always stoned, her perfect sister's too busy trying to fit in, and the people in her small town would never allow her to love the person she really wants to: another girl named Dee. There's no one Astrid feels she can talk to about this deep secret or the profound questions that she's trying to answer. But little does she know just how much sending her love--and asking the right questions--will affect the passengers' lives, and her own, for the better"--

Publisher: New York : Little, Brown, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 0316194689
Characteristics: 293 p. ;,22 cm
Alternate Title: Ask the passengers


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 27, 2014
  • KateHillier rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Astrid Jones I think might just be one of my favourite YA characters. She is a real person with real problems and flaws and acts in ways that I can completely understand or at least see a reason for. She has a decent support network but doesn't use it, she has a bunch of problems with her family but she is responsible for it almost as much as everyone else is. Every character in this it far from perfect and that it was makes it great. Parts of the book really, really bothered me and I wanted to explode much like Astrid did at parts. It also pains me to think that this is the experience for many people.

It's a fantastic book overall. Plain and simple.

This teen novel deals with sexual identity, family, and small town life with a blend of wry humor and keen observation. Beautiful, poignant, and realistic.

Jun 27, 2014
  • MarikaHahn rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is one of the best LGBTQ young adult books I've read next to David Levithan. The characters were well developed and it was impossible not to fall for them.

Jan 07, 2014
  • Squirt_tastic rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

It was enjoyable. I would have liked to possibly have read from another's perspective or have Astrid give her town more of a chance. She just seemed completely against anything that wasn't where she came from, which made me not like her as much as I could have. The author's writing is very well done though; it's easy to follow and stays consistent with the character.

Jun 22, 2013
  • Yahong_Chi rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It’s Astrid who makes this small-town story sing. So much could’ve been cliché, with the mean girls and boys, the fractured family, the iffy friends. But with Astrid so lovely to read about, the story carries itself. And when I say that I don’t mean she’s a lovely girl (though she definitely is sometimes)—I mean that reading her voice is effortless. The family is another high point. The sister dynamics between Ellis and Astrid are so, well, dynamic. Ups-and-downs spot their relationship but also extend to the other spheres of their lives, like school social statuses and how their parents treat them. And the parents: the mother and Astrid have such tense exchanges that are so hard to read but so important, because they need to be had. Both the mother and father develop and change. The father’s arc is shallower, and his smoking pot is somewhat handled more lightly than seems normal, but together they seem like an authentic, flawed couple. Onto the actual coming-out: it’s dramatic and it’s satisfying—as it should be, with the build-up of the twisted emotions that's been happening so realistically for the past hundred or so pages. Mixed in with philosophy from Astrid's Humanities class, Ask the Passengers blends LGBTQ issues with philosophical statements ("Equality is obvious"; "Nobody's perfect") in perfect balance. And I think that's the key word I'd use for this book: balance. Everything has its own place, including the friends turmoil, the sexual vs. caring side to a romantic relationship, and the brief passages narrating the stories of passengers in airplanes who Astrid sends her love to. The final passenger's story and interaction with Astrid is a little far-fetched, but with such a strong story behind it, I'll take it.

May 06, 2013
  • VioletEyed rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I found this book very fun, but meaningful at the same time. However, I had signed out the book unaware that is was about gay relationships, and that was the main premise of the story.
Still a great read, though!

Apr 30, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A.S. King has this uncanny ability to write characters that are both realistically flawed and believably admirable; and to write about issues that require entire books to capture their complexity while reducing them to simple, insightful common sense wisdom in the process.
She also has a way of making connections between people both magical and tangible. We can all relate to and understand each other, if only we take the time to really do so. Yet doing so can be so hard that accomplishing it can feel like magic.
She makes us believe that love can be passed, received, and felt between dreamers on the ground and passengers in the sky.
Astrid is struggling with love because everyone insists on giving it careful parameters that narrowly define us against (and generally falling well short of) standards of acceptable, good, and correct. But everyone else's definitions don't work for Astrid, and she refuses to accept their attempts to make her conform to one category or another. She can't. No one gets to define Astrid but Astrid herself. Even if not being defined means no one else in her life will choose to accept her.
Astrid has so much love to give. If only those in her life would become capable of getting over their predefined standards of perfection enough that they could receive--and return--that love.

Jan 17, 2013
  • tigerlittle2 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed reading this book, and found it very touching. I would recommend this book.

Jan 02, 2013

"Astrid Jones is stuck - between the narrow-minded, gossipy residents of her small town and her needy, kind of messed-up family, she doesn't know what to do with all of the love she has in her heart. So, Astrid lies on her back on a picnic table, staring up at the sky, and sends her love to the passengers in airplanes flying overhead. She doesn't know whether it has any effect, but she has no idea when she'll figure out how to love just one special someone, either. Fans of philosophical, realistic, emotional reads about rules, labels, and conformity will be entranced by Ask the Passengers." Teen Scene January 2013 Newsletter


Add a Summary

Dec 16, 2014
  • nab1991 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A coming of age book about a girl struggling with her sexuality and her place in the close knit but conservative town she lives in. She's at odds with her parents, distant from her sister, and even her best friend is acting strange. The only solace she finds is in sending her extra love out to the passengers of flying airplanes and thinking of their lives.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Find it at SCCLD


app05 Version ofelia Last updated 2015/03/23 12:01