Monday, March 24, 2014

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl. (from Goodreads)

Flo's Review
I finished this book about an hour ago, and I've been trying to think about how to describe my feelings towards it since then. I'm kind of like Astrid herself really -- in one scene she is trying to explain to her parents that it's not just "Yes I'm gay" or "No I'm not gay." It's not so clear, simple, black and white as that. I am not doing it justice in my description, but it was a really good scene. Anyway, that's how I feel about this book. I liked it...I guess. I didn't not like it. But I also can't say 100% truthfully that I enjoyed reading it. I got to .... oh, about 40% in and started to skim. I am still trying to figure this out, so listen to my jumbled thoughts are I try to get a handle on my thoughts here.

The style of this story was very quirky. I like quirky. It's cute. In doses. (In my opinion.) I think my problem here was that this story was SO quirky all the time that it didn't feel like a story. Each chapter felt separate from the others, like it was 20 something little featurettes about Astrid. I guess they didn't flow? It didn't read as a story to me, but as a series of scenes. Because I didn't feel the continuity of a story, I began to get bored. I guess I didn't feel like we were really getting to know the characters -- we were just seeing them being quirky in different situations. So, as I mentioned earlier, about 40% in I started skimming. I "read" the rest of the book that way, and I still feel like I read it, like I can say I've read this book. 

See? It's not that I didn't like the book. I liked it...I liked Astrid. The other characters? Meh. 

Perhaps because of it didn't feel like a story to me, I didn't really appreciate what I'm sure are some of the deeper meanings and commentary behind things like the passengers and Astrid's obsession with Socrates. I read this book because it is the FYA Book Club selection for March, so I am looking forward to the meeting -- maybe there I will gain some new insight and appreciation.

Has anyone else read this book? What did you think? Or anything else by A.S. King? Is it her writing style in general?

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