On this day in 2012, the book Ask the Passengers by A.S. King first hit shelves. Chronicling the life of Astrid Jones, Ask the Passengers tells the story of a young girl coming to terms
with her place in a small town and her attraction to other girls.
The cover art to Ask the Passengers by A.S. King shows a young girl lying in the grass and reaching up to the sky (x).
Having just moved from the big
city to a small town in Pennsylvania, Astrid Jones is thoroughly bored. She
spends her days contemplating her high school philosophy class, having secret
make out sessions with her female co-worker, and lying on the picnic table in
her family’s backyard to watch the planes go by and “ask the passengers.” It is
only the anonymous and unseen passengers of those planes that fly overhead Astrid’s
small life every day who she can admit her most secret desires and questions –
namely, what should I do if I’m falling in love with a girl?
Wholly a young adult novel, Ask the Passengers is the type of book
that many of us have probably been waiting our whole lives for. With all the
teenage angst, confusion, and nihilism of classics like The Catcher in the Rye
and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Astrid is a regular lesbian Holden
Caulfield or Charlie Kelmekis. The entire story doesn’t revolve around a romance
like many lesbian YA books, but rather how the main character’s identity is affected
by the taboo-ness of the romance she craves. A.S. King unabashedly adopts the
teenage point of view and is not afraid to center her story on love – romantic,
familial, and just the overwhelming love Astrid seems to have for the entire
world around her.