Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Our Plane Is Hitting Turbulence

Expected Publication: October 23rd, 2012
Ask the Passengers
By: A.S. King
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
ISBN-13: 9780316194686

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.

In this unmistakably original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's boxes and definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking and sharing real love.


   Astrid Jones feels like an outsider in her small town, her family and sometimes even with her best friends.  She feels like no one she knows needs her love, so she sends it into the sky to the passengers of the airplanes that go overhead.  Her Dad is always stoned, her sister has given into the small-town, Stepford mentality and her Mom is a complete control freak.  Her best friends Justin and Kristina are using each other to hide the fact that they're both gay and Astrid herself might be in love with her co-worker Dee - another girl.  Astrid only knows for sure how confused she is and that she can use all the help she can get, even if it's from Socrates (he's dead but he gets her).  How much will she lose before she finally admits to herself who she is and what she wants from life?  Can Astrid be accepted by others and more importantly by herself?  Honestly, my favorite part of the book was the side passages that had the stories of the airplane passengers.  I thought they were more easy to connect to than Astrid by far.  Her disconnect from the rest of her life really was something empathized with, but it made connecting with her emotionally as a character almost impossible for me.  I was pissed at how pushy and hypocritical Kristina was towards Astrid when they were caught by the cops at the gay club, Atlantis, and arrested for being underaged.  She blamed everything on Astrid.  Yeah right.  I think the person whose story affected me the most was Astrid's little sister, because she was caught between her uncaring Dad, her detached sister and her emotionally manipulative Mom, on top of the small town societal bigotry.  Poor girl was confused and it's no wonder.  What pissed me off the most, as someone who is personally bisexual (if you want to label it, which I normally don't), that the possibility of Astrid being able to bat for both teams wasn't even touched upon.  She liked girls and boys.  But she had to be either straight or a lesbian.  I'm sorry, but that is not how the real world works!  I liked the ending and it's stark realisticness.  However, this book just didn't do it for me, no matter how well written it was.  My favorite part was Astrid's conversations with the imaginary Socrates - something I might have done as a teen.  Overall, a decent read but not the best ever.  I much prefer the author's Printz winning novel, Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

VERDICT:  2.75/5  Stars

*I received this book as part of Around the World ARC Tours, run by the lovely Princess Bookie. No favors or money were exchanged for this review. It will be available for purchase on October 23rd, 2012.*

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