This is such a beautiful, very meaningful read and I’m kind of hating myself a little that it took me so long to pick this book up. Now I finally understand why Ask the Passengers won so many literary awards because it deserves all of it and more for this book has practically everything in it. It’s a contemporary YA but it reads more like a general fiction and I do not find it impossible that one day, this may well become a literary classic as well.
Astrid, our main character is smack–dab in the middle of the literal and metaphysical unknown. Call it teenage life crisis but I call it a quest for self discovery. She’s 17 and all she has are questions and even more questions. Questions about their pretentious small town, about the philosophies of life particularly those of the fundamental ones posed by classic Greek philosophers as Zeno and Socrates, about her dysfunctional family, about her best friends (Justin and Kristina) pretending to be in love with each other when in truth they’re both in love with the members of the same sex, and about her own sexuality because she might be in love with a girl but she couldn’t know for sure.
It’s amazing, the concepts and themes this simple plot is able to pull off with that genius use of life snippets from the different random people on a plane as every day, Astrid lies down her picnic table to watch as each plane goes by, sending her love to the passengers in it.
“It feels good to love a thing and not expect anything back.”
Written in the main character’s perspective, this is one of the most genuine, all-encompassing YA novels I have read laced with wit, charm, sarcasm, and humor, and a sprinkling of magical-realism and yes, I guess this now makes me automatically an A.S. King fan. Special thanks to Neil for recommending me this book. I’ve only read one other book by the author but I might agree with him as early as now that this too is my favorite.