Ask the Passengers
Genre: Young Adult
Summary (from the publisher): 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.
Review: This is another book where I didn't read the summary very well before bringing it home from the library, because I had no idea that Astrid's secret relationship was with another girl. Turns out this book is a coming of age story about a girl questioning her sexuality. I have no problem with that, but it's not a topic I'm particularly invested in or even interested in. I thought the author did a wonderful job with Astrid's character - she was quirky, funny, sympathetic, loveable and just plain real. But I found the other characters a bit distracting, especially since none of them were very nice to Astrid. Her mean mother, hippie father, and uncaring jock sister were a bit too much (couldn't someone be normal?) and her friends and girlfriend also had serious flaws (wake up, Astrid, they're not very nice to you!). The author makes a lot of interesting points about sexuality and labels, and I can see why young adults would find value and entertainment in this book.
Rating: 3.5 stars