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Location: Brooklyn, NY, United States

05 May 2013

Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King is a coming of age novel set in a small town in Pennsylvania.

Astrid Jones's family moved to Unity Valley when she was ten. Now, seven years later, she still misses New York City and the open-minded people who live there. Most of the people in her town seem to be small-minded and gossipy.

Astrid is a senior in high school. Her best friends are Kristina and Justin - who are the schools most loved couple of the senior class. Only they are not dating each other. They are covering for each other since they are both gay and dating other people. When they convince Astrid to come with them to a gay bar it makes her nervous.

Not because she has a problem with gays and lesbians, but because she is trying to figure out if she is one. She has been kissing her coworker, Dee, every weekend in the walk-in freezer at work, but she does not want to put herself into a box with a label until she is certain.

In the mean time, her school and town continue to spread gossip that usually has little to do with fact. In her philosophy class she is studying Socrates - who is beginning to influence her decisions. And when she feels trapped in her small town, she lays in the backyard and watches the planes flying overhead - wondering where the passengers are going.

King's novels vary greatly, but the two I have read have great lead characters who are strong women who refuse to be bullied into what others thing they should be or do with their lives. I will be reading all of her other books!

King, A.S. (2012). Ask the Passengers. New York: Little, Brown and Company.

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