Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

2012
08.25



“I think about how I have different secrets hidden from different people in my life in different areas of my life. I think about how that might be the reason I’m chewing on Rolaids all the time.” Astrid Jones is an excellent secret keeper. If anyone ever finds out that her best friend is gay or that her dad is smoking pot in the garage or that her mother doesn’t really love her, it’s not going to be because they heard it from Astrid. The only people who ever get to listen to Astrid’s secrets are the anonymous passengers she imagines in planes that fly over the backyard picnic table where she goes to lie down and think. It’s safe to silently tell the passengers. They won’t report back to her mom or gossip about her at school. The passengers are the only ones that know Astrid has a secret too, and it’s about who she loves. But secrets have a way of coming out. All of Astrid’s secrets are suddenly revealed one night when she is caught somewhere she shouldn’t be, and any comfort she ever gleaned from conversations with the imaginary passengers vanishes. Now she will have to take a risk and reach out to the real people in her life–which won’t be easy, but promises to be much more rewarding. This perceptive offering about an introspective teen trying to learn to live her life out loud is just the type of super smart book I’ve come to expect from wickedly cerebral author A.S. King. She’s building quite an impressive back list and I can’t wait to see what she does next. (To read a short, funny and insightful interview with out-of-the-box King that will challenge your image of authors, click here.)

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