Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid is not having a happy life. She moved from New York City to a small town in Pennsylvania. Just try to be different when everyone wants to know  your private business.

Not that her family is much better. Her mom, a work from home workaholic is constantly telling Astrid what she should do and is obsessed with whether Astrid has a boyfriend. She has the audacity to befriend Astrid's best friend Kristina who she chats with often. Astrid's dad secretly smokes pot when he is not at his low level office job. Her younger sister can do no wrong in her mother's eyes.

And so Astrid hangs out with her friends Kristina and Justin who are the perfect high school couple - at least in appearance. They are both actually gay and dating other people. The small minded people of their little town would never forgive them if the secret was revealed.

Astrid knows this and is scared about her own secret - she is extremely attracted to her co-worker, Dee. Astrid's never been attracted to another girl before, so she's not sure she is gay or not. Dee is gay and out to everyone and wants more from Astrid than she is ready for.

Astrid is truly confused by all that is going on around her and all the people telling her what to do. Her only escape is to her backyard picnic table where she lays on her back and looks at the sky. She sends love to the people traveling overhead in passing airplanes. Like the author's other book, Everybody Sees the Ants, this bends reality just a bit. In this case, the passengers receive the love.

Astrid's story is about more than questioning her sexuality or coming out to her parents. Astrid is struggling with many issues. Astrid's story is all too familiar to teens who trying to deal with classmates, friends, siblings, parents and even themselves in world that sometimes seems totally against them.

For more information about this book, check out the author's site and the Westfield Washington Public Library catalog.

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