Ask the Passengers. Home · Ask the Passengers Author: King Read more · English Passengers. Read more The Ask: A Novel. Read more · Ask the Grey. Ask the Passengers by A.S. King - Free download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt ) or read online for free. Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone. Ask the Passengers book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her.
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In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything-- and offers. ask the passengers pdf - a.s. king a. - be books lib - passengers. i want to me by adding in a story. but instead astrid has been the, small vignettes we gave. Get Free Read & Download Files Ask The Passengers PDF. ASK THE PASSENGERS. Download: Ask The Passengers. ASK THE PASSENGERS - In this site.
Except that she isnt. Clip-clop, clip-clop, clip-clop. She descends the steps, and I start to unpack my books onto the quietroom desk to get ready for the trig homework Ive been avoiding all day. How was your day? Im starting against Wilson tomorrow, she says.
I suppose thats good, is it? Mom never played sports. So, Elliss field hockey is her introduction to words like starting, varsity and shin splints. Its great, Ellis answers.
How great? Will we see you on the front page of the sports section soon? Ellis rolls her eyes. Its great for me. And the team. And maybe it means Coach Jane will start me more often. I cant understand why she doesnt make you the star of the team. This whole fairnesstoseniors idea is so silly. If they backed talent no matter what age, it would get them further. Im still in the quiet room playing invisible, but I want to explain to Mom that you cant make a player star of the team by better advertising or better shelf placement, the way she does with her clients products.
I think its fair to let the seniors start, Ellis says. Well, it wont help you get your name in the paper, so youll have to forgive me if I disagree, Mom says. Help me make dinner? Ellis deflates and claims homework time in her bedroom. Mom goes into the kitchen to make dinner without asking me how my day was, even though she knows Im here. The quiet room is technically the foyer. In our house, you pro nounce that correctly. Foyyay, not foyer. We call it the quiet room because as long as the horse isnt dancing upstairs and the door is closed, it is the quietest room in the house.
Its where my mother hopes to read classic novels again one day when she isnt working nine days a week, and its where I do my homework because Ellis plays loud music when she works in her bedroom and I cant concentrate. And I need to concen trate because trig is killing me. When I signed up for trig, I certainly thought it would be more exciting than the deep study of triangles. Tri angles. Thats all its about. When I realized this upon reading the basic definition in the front of the textbook on the first day of school, every cell in my body told me to go to Guidance and change my schedule.
I dont need trig to graduate. Ive taken plenty of math, and I got good grades. Im not sure if learning about ancient Greece and classical philosophy is going to get me anywhere, but its not like trig is going to get me anywhere, either. At least philosophy isnt making me want to jump off the nearest bridge. Okay, well at the moment it kinda is, but thats Zeno of Eleas fault.
And anyway, if what he said is true, that motion is impossible, then I wouldnt really be able to jump off a bridge, would I? At five thirty, Dad parallel parks in the space in front of our house and goes into the backseat for his briefcase. When he gets to our front walk, he hits the lock button on the car, and it sounds a little honk.
He stops to make sure our two front bird feeders are filled. He checks the water level in the birdbath. Then he walks in the front door to find me pretending to poke my eye out with a protractor. I put my head down in response. I stick my tongue out and roll my eyes back like Im dying. Good luck with that, he says as he heads upstairs.
I can smell the pot on his breath.
Mom brings the steaming casserole dish to the table and places it on a hot pad. Aubergine casserole! Yes, aubergine. Thats eggplant to us nonspecial, undereducated, smalltown people. She serves it with a cold salad and sprinkles walnuts on top of everything. Halfway through dinner, Ellis tells Dad about starting against Wilson tomorrow.
As she tells him the details, he nods and chews. When he finally swallows, he says, What time does it start?
I bet I can swing that, he says. Even if Im a little late. That would be awesome, she says. Mom says, I cant make it. Even though she works upstairs. And she can. Make it.
But if you want, we can go shopping this weekend. We all go back to eating aubergine casserole. For the record: The last time Mom took me shopping on a whim was never. And its not like Ellis has grown out of her clothes. The saddest part is that Ellis still pretends they have the perfect relationship Mom wants them to have. Because Ellis is her last chance, and they both know it.
It would be nice to see you in the paper, Mom says. Theyre always concentrating on boys sports or the kids who get scholarships. Im a midfielder, Ellis says, which she knows Mom wont understand, so I dont know why she says it. But youre talented, she says.
Im going to get in touch with Mike at the paper and see what he can do. We do each other favors. He could get you in there, she says, pointing with her fork. I dont really want to be in the paper, Ellis says. Everyone wants to be in the paper! Mom says. And its not like its the Times. No need to be modest. I cant figure out if thats an insult or a compliment. When its my turn to talk about my day, I share lit mag news. We got a few poems today that were half decent, I say.
And theres a kid in freshman AP English who writes these great fantasy short stories, and he submitted a few of them. I picked one of those, too. Seriously, Astrid. Youre the edi tor. You should set the bar. Instead of replying with my usual openyourmind speech, I send love to my mother.
Mom, I love you even though you are a critical, unforgiving horror show. This casserole sucks, but I like the way you roasted the walnuts. Were starting the first unit of the Socrates Project in humanities next week, and Im kinda excited, I say. Mom nods, even though she has no idea what the Socrates Project is. I think Ill just be happy to stop talking about Zeno and his dumb motion theories.
I havent told her about Zeno, either. And hows Kristina? Shes using the Kristina tonea weird mix of jealousy and Iknowsomethingyou dontknow because she and Kristina text each other a lot and she thinks I dont know this. Any word on Homecoming? We vote Friday. I know Kristinas really excited about it. I think she has a real chance to win. She has all the right qualities, she says.
I am annoyed that she thinks she knows more than I do about Kristina. Believe me, if she knew half of what I know, shed probably choke on this awful aubergine casserole and die right here in her fourhundreddollar shoes. What qualities are those?
I ask. She takes a sip of her wine. You know. Shes just such a great representation of what this town is all about. True, I say. Because its true. Kristina is exactly the opposite of what she seems, and thats a perfect representation of Unity Valley. Then Dad tells us about how boring it is to work in his new office cubicle all day, talking to people on the phone about microprocessors and systems analytics while looking over his shoulder for the outsourcing memo.
His last job lasted eight months before the company moved to Asia. The job before that lasted eleven. To top it all off, while I was at lunch, someone borrowed my stapler and broke it. Aw, poor Gerry, Mom says. Hey, that was my favorite stapler. It was ergonomic, he says. Without a moments sympathy, Mom launches into her day hellish clients, dumb photographers, bitchy magazine edi tors between gulps of wine and mouthfuls of eggplant.
She could go for an hour, I bet. We all eat as fast as we can to get out of here. Then, after the dishes are done and the kitchen is cleaned, Ellis goes for her nightly jog on welllit Main Street with two of her smalltown teammates, Dad sits down in the quiet room to read a book, Mom goes back to her office, and I go out into the backyard to talk to the passengers. I was sick of making birdhouses. How many birdhouses can two people make before they run out of things to say?
Before they run out of space to put them? Our backyard was an ode to nesting and flightpart bird zoo and part art exhibit. Theyd say: Its very unique. Dad had the whole summer off on account of his temporary unemployment, and Mom was staying with friends back in New York City to do some wellpaid consulting for a month. Ellis was at summer sports camp for a week, and it was just Dad and me. Dad hadnt discovered pot yet.
He was a late bloomer, I guess. So we built the table and moved it to the back patio, and even though Mom hates eating outside, she lets us do it about twice a summer just to be normal smalltown people, the way she wants us to be. The rest of the time, the table just sits here with nothing to do. So I lie on it and I look at the sky. I see shapes in the clouds by day and shooting stars by night. And I send love to the pas sengers inside the airplanes. It makes me happy. Anyone look ing on might think I was smoking Dads pot, I bet.
Lying here, grinning. But it feels good to love a thing and not expect any thing back. It feels good to not get an argument or any pushi ness or any rumors or any bullshit. Its love without strings. Its ideal. Tonight I spot a small jet and I concentrate on it and I stare at it and smile. Its very existence proves Zeno of Elea wrong. If motion was impossible, there would be no such things as airplanes. Or departure times. Or arrival times. I send my love up in a stream of steady light and in my head I think: I love you.
I stare at him because I cant believe he just said that. Did you really just say that? Its rhetorical, that question. I know what he said. This is how he convinced me to let him move into our apartment.
He said hed rather sleep on the couch and pitch in rent than stay in that shitty dorm room with his dorky roommate. Then he smiled just like this. Im fighting with you over how you cant cook anything and how I have to come home from chem lab to a stinky apartment and no dinner and you tell me this now?
You love me? I cant help but smile back at him. We only met two months ago. So you cant love me, I say. Why not?
Because you dont know the real me, right? Weve lived together for two months, Heidi. You make great coffee. Youre always late for work. You use moisturizer in your hair as mousse. Ive washed your underwear. Still doesnt get you out of making dinner once in a while, I say. But I still love you. I still cant believe hes saying this. Whyd you choose to tell me this now? I dont know. I guess it just came out. After two months, I say. After two months, he says.
I want to say so many things. I might even want to say. But instead, my head fills with signature Heidi Klein snarkandlogic combo.
You cant love me. I dont have a soul, so I dont believe in soul mates. Were nineteen. Next thing youll be asking me to marry you. Seriously, did you forget to take some meds this morning? He looks misty. The way my mother was when I left to go to college in September. I hated all that misty crap. Maybe Im codependent and Ive replaced my mother with Ron.
Oh, God. Maybe I need all that misty crap. Can we save this for later? He smiles again. His dimples pop. Let me out, he says.
I need to take a leak. I get up and let him out and plop down in the window seat for a while. Clear skiesI can nearly make out the landscape below, but its still blurry. And then something crazy hits me and I say, I love you, too, without any reason to. Its like Im not in control of my mouth or something. And on the one hand, Im glad Ron wasnt here to hear it, but on the other hand, I hope he gets back soon. I miss him already. The room is filled with kids who either own Albert Camus Tshirts or read Kafka for fun on weekends.
Okay there are a few people here who just do it because it looks good on their college applications. But no matter what group you fit into, in humanities class you can speak your mind and Ms.
Steck will listen. At the moment, were debating how I cant accept that Zeno got away with questioning motion. Every time weve talked about his motion is impossible. I stand up.
I swing my arms around. I say, Motion is possible. Check it out! Today is no different. Back it up with an argument, Ms. Steck says. I swing my arms more wildly and pretend to tapdance in place. Motion is totally possible! Thats not an argument, she says. I think it is. Imagine the argument was Astrid has two arms, but I had only one, and my right arm was a stump, and I could show it to you right here in your face. Wouldnt that be proof enough to move on to the next argument?
Wouldnt the stump be argument enough to prove that Astrid had only one arm? So me standing here moving is proof that Zeno was wrong and silly and just wasting our time. Motion is pos sible, and everyone in this room knows it. Steck just looks at me. I add, Maybe saying motion is impossible was his way of getting out of doing chores. Maybe it got him laid or some thing. But its totally ridiculous.
I swing my arms even more wildly. Two kidsZeno loversin the back row keep trying to explain to me. Thats the point! The other nods. To argue things out to the most absurd!
Steck reminds me of the arrow one of Zenos argu ments. The idea is that an arrow shot at a target has to move through time, but since time is made of tiny moments, the arrow, in each tiny moment, is at rest and not moving. Thats like saying that if I take a picture of ClayI. Steck says, Yes. Thats a little like what Zeno was try ing to say. Which brings me back to: This is a waste of time!
We all know Clay runs hurdles and wins medals. And he must have moved to get here today, right? Although, if I can use this as an excuse to get out of going to trig next, then I might just shut up. The class laughs, and I tell Ms. Steck that I am happy to move on from Zeno and his dumb theory. I understand what he was doing, but I still think its stupid, I say. During free time at the end of class, while most people are writing their short paper on Zeno or finishing their home work for other classes, I hit the Internet, and I find someone who has something more important than motion is impossi ble to offer from around the fifth century bc.
Father of Western medicine. He said this: There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance. Now tell me motion is impossible seems remotely important next to that shit.
After I make it to fourthperiod trig because I moved my legs to walk there, and motion is totally possible , I realize this is. A teen who lives in a small town full of close-minded people, possibly falls in love with a girl and questions her sexuality. She keeps her questions to herself for the time being, not sure of her own feelings and fearing reactions from her superficially accepting family and openly intolerant community.
But one day Astrid's cover is blown and she is forced to face the fallout Although the book is an assemblage of popular tropes, especially the second part, abundant with acts of homophobia and fake gay-supportiveness, King's writing abilities and her unique touches of magical realism and quirk elevate this story from the been-there-done-that level.
The novel shines because of its memorable, vivid characters and interesting family dynamics you can't be bored by Astrid's high-strung NYC-nurtured mother and her laid-back, pot-smoking dad. The elements of magical realism brighten up the story as well. If you are into that sort of thing; in my relationship with A. King's books, it's a hit or miss, sometimes the quirky and weird is too much for me to handle.
In Ask The Passengers imaginary Socrates follows Astrid through her troubles and infuses the book with old time philosophical musings, and Astrid's habit of sending her love to the passengers of flying-by planes adds another layer to the narrative, when these anonymous passengers return the favor by sharing their love and life stories with us, readers. These bits are refreshing and entertaining. Besides the familiarity of the story I think my most acute concern is the one that Flannery talked about in her recent Something Like Normal review , easy and unearned forgiveness.
There are many harsh things Astrid has to go through in this novel, thanks to people closest to her, things she doesn't deserve. But all is forgiven and forgotten in the end.
This is not what a realistic resolution entails, at least not for cold-hearted me. In her last three novels A. While I enjoy King's spin on all of these subjects and she herself is a one cool lady and an author whose approach to her craft I respect immensely, based on this podcast , I wish she would stretch her wings of creativity and write about something View all 8 comments.
Jun 01, Maureen rated it liked it. As always, AS King's writing is beautiful and her themes and overall messages are great. I also really liked the magical realism aspect - if you can even call it that? However, I just didn't love it. I didn't ever really root for the characters or connect with them, and though Astrid does develop quite a bit in terms of learning, her overall characterization didn't really expand a lot.
View all 5 comments. Oh this was so great. King, where have you been all my life? I feel like I had a firm grasp of the characters within the first 15 pages, I just immediately understood them. That is talent. I will definitely definitely be reading more from her in the future. View 2 comments. Aug 31, Andrea rated it really liked it Shelves: You are equal to me.
It's that universal. Except that it's not. Usually, when it comes to this genre, I always read Levithan's work and this book from A. King is really an eye-opener for me. This book is a story about Astrid Jones who is really confused in her sexuality and who is afraid to come out because of the judgmental type o "I am equal to you. This book is a story about Astrid Jones who is really confused in her sexuality and who is afraid to come out because of the judgmental type of town and family she's living into.
She sometimes feels that no one loves her, and however finds happiness and love through her girlfriend and co-worker, Dee. With this story, it will help you understand the obstacles and problems that the LGBT people feel.
Even though in the story, her family especially her Mom can't even support her. I also didn't like Astrid's Mom. Overall, this book is inspiring. View 1 comment.
Nov 12, First Second Books added it Shelves: One of my favorite things about this book: A lot of what teenage sex seems to be about is awkwardness, which leads to a whole lot of teenagers in books not talking about having sex before they have sex. You will be glad to learn that in this book this is not the case!
There are indeed a number of occurrences where the main character thinks everything is too awkward to actually have conversations, but then — in the middle of the book — there is a real, live conversation about how she feels about having sex. Jan 01, Thomas rated it really liked it Shelves: Astrid Jones sends her love to strangers.
She gives it away to passengers in the sky, because that's the only way she'll be free. Her demanding, over-controlling mother talks at her, her dad smokes pot, and her sister worries too much about her reputation to be of any help. Living in a small town has its downsides, and Astrid realizes just how damaging those downsides are when she finds herself falling in love - with a girl. What a voice. Astrid's perception of her surroundings struck me as wise Astrid Jones sends her love to strangers.
Astrid's perception of her surroundings struck me as wise yet authentic; her narration has a relaxed that endured her to me. Through her I witnessed the conflicts within a dysfunctional family and a small town. Ask the Passengers is the wonderful story of a questioning young protagonist searching for her place in the world, and A.
King's writing supplemented the adventure. I also appreciated the magical realism in Ask the Passengers. Magical realism is usually hit or miss for me, so I'm glad that King's subtle use of it in this novel only added to its overall appeal. Overall this wasn't the most original, earth-shaking coming of age or coming out story I've ever read but I enjoyed it.
Even though this is my first A. King book I can tell she's a force to be reckoned with in the YA genre. View all 12 comments. First, to define equality. Then to define obvious. I mean to say: King is one of my favorite authors. And this novel is my favorite among her novels.
I love her other books but in Ask the Passengers, I do felt the rush of hope, happiness and love within me after reading the book. It was like my blood is brimming with positive energy and my whole self was screaming, I am alive. Though, there are sad parts as well; in the end, it's the joy and hope reigned. I don't know exactly why. Maybe because of the main character, Astrid Jones. Maybe, even I can't relate to her situation or maybe I quite do she affected me that big time.
Tem humor, tem amor, tem muita coisa pra fazer a gente pensar! Here is what they say about Astrid Jones and her family in their small-town of Unity Valley: She fits right in here, a real small-town girl. Did you know she really enjoyed her philosophy class but hates Zeno of Elea? Did you know she lies down on a picnic table in their backyard? Just lies there, for hours, staring at nothing. In all likelihood. Especially when you think that one of the main reasons anybody reads is to see a little of themselves reflected on the page — to connect to something in a character that they can relate to, struggle through or learn from.
I love A. You know that old quote: I really, truly believe that of A. Astrid is in many ways your typical teenage girl. But in many ways not easily seen on the surface, Astrid is trying to cope with being a big-minded girl in a small-town.
She thinks her mum is borderline agoraphobic, and that her sister, Ellis, is small-mindedly homophobic. This is particularly troubling since Astrid has recently started kissing her co-worker, Dee Roberts, and liking it. A lot. How she told me how gorgeous I was. How flattered I felt. How exhilarating it was to be wanted. This is why I doubt. Am I doing this out of desperation? And why, if any of the answers are yes, does it feel so right?
There is a high, leaving a crisp white line through the cloudless autumn sky. I ask the passengers: Am I really gay? They are reading their in-flight magazines and sipping ginger ale. I send them love — as much as I can gather. I ask them: What do I do now? She pulls some really weighty ideas into this novel without ever preaching to the reader.
How far have we come, really? I think if we kept a calendar of who gets called gay in high school, there would be a new person on every single day of the day school year. Gay, dyke, fag, lesbo, homo, whatever. Every single one of us has heard it somewhere along the ride. More contagious, too. Nobody gossips about whether you have the flu or not. King draws in a plethora of issues — like a not so great best friend who thinks she has more to lose than Astrid, a distant mother, determinedly ignorant father and Astrid missing the sisterly bond she and Ellis used to have.
This being an aforementioned wholly original A. Life is crazy, A. View all 4 comments. Mar 12, Arlene rated it really liked it Shelves: Very unique story that was shared with a sense of levity by an immediately likeable character. It was because of the smooth, funny, thoughtful narrative that allowed me to enjoy this novel about a very serious subject. Astrid Jones is from a small town called Unity Valley. However, one night when she gets caught with her girlfriend and everything comes tumbling around her, friends and family seem to disappoint her, so she resorts back to passengers in the sky.
She kept me busy with her insightful ramblings and philosophical debates. She carried on internal monologues with the passengers in the sky, Frank Socrates, herself, her brain people… just about everyone.
Through her musings, I came to understand her frustrations and worries. Throughout the story, I wanted to yell at everyone around her to just shut up and let Astrid breathe! To top it off, she was betrayed by her best friend at the most difficult times, so I felt frustrated for the main character. I wanted them all to cut her break and let her think and breathe. Overall, Ask the Passengers is a breath of fresh air that grapples with a very real and serious subject in a manner that was relatable and worthy of applause.
Well done! Bekka Pretty Deadly Reviews. Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions. Okay, it's official. I think A. King is one of the very best YA writers out there. Ask the Passengers is only my second experience with King, but I loved it just as much as, perhaps even more than, the first one I read, Everybody Sees the Ants. Even better, King falls into that realm of authors who can do something totally new every time.
She has some themes in common, but the books themselves are very different. One has a younger male teen lead, one a Originally posted on A Reader of Fictions. One has a younger male teen lead, one an older female teen, and both voices come through completely authentic.
I am always so incredibly impressed by authors who can vary their subject matter, style and characters so much, sort of reinventing themselves with each book. I just adore King's writing. She is, for me, one of the most quotable authors. Her writing isn't overly complex, but it gets the feelings and the point across so incredibly strongly. There are so many lines that I wanted to read aloud to my friend on vacation with me so that she could appreciate King's brilliance, but I couldn't because I'm so making her read this book next.
Ask the Passengers focuses on the theme of belonging, of identity, of self-discovery, and of peer pressure. Astrid Jones doesn't want to be put into boxes, doesn't want to be forced to be any one thing. She just wants to be Astrid Jones, whoever that is. Why does it have to matter so much whether we're gay or straight, white or brown, religious or agnostic, male or female, wealthy or poor, popular or unpopular?
Astrid struggles with everyone's expectations and perceptions, afraid to be who she is but also unwilling to pretend to be something or someone else. These themes resonated with me, because, really, who the fuck cares about those things? I mean, COME ON, it's the 21st century and we're still so caught up in defining things one way or another and on what's right that gay marriage is legal hardly anywhere.
King brings up a lot of powerful issues and looks at the issue of being a girl in love with a girl in a different way than I have yet seen, and really made me consider the issue from a new angle.
Plus, I sympathized with her desire to not have anyone know her business, because that's totally how I am. Why does everyone need to know? Of course, the book also has humor, because the best issues books are imbued with humor, because a spoonful of sugar really does help the medicine go down. The whole opening plot is about how Astrid is weighed down by all of these secrets, those of her friends, her family and herself.
Her friends, Justin and Kristina, are a power couple at school, the kind to be nominated for Homecoming King and Queen. Every Friday, they go on double dates with another couple, Donna and Chad. Actually, though, Justin's dating Chad and Kristina's dating Donna.
The only one who knows is Astrid, who's trying to decide whether to confess that she's actually dating a girl too, Dee, who works with her.
I thought the whole situation was a hot mess, but I loved how theatrical it was. This would make a fantastic indie film. Just saying. Another thing that I loved about the book, one which I could definitely see alienating some readers is Astrid's newly developed fascination with philosophy in general and Socrates in particular. I love philosophy myself, but the frequent discussions of it could put off some people.
Even more than that, the philosophy takes a weird turn, in that Astrid creates an imaginary friend version of Socrates, who she dubs Frank Socrates; he helps her out along the way, making her question her behavior and what she holds true.
I thought this worked, because of how motivated Astrid was by him and just her sheer exuberance about the class in general, but I do think it's interesting that both of her MCs I've read so far have had imaginary friends.
Very odd, that. My very favorite thing, though, was the part that gave the book its title: Astrid's love of planes and their passengers. Astrid does this thing where she will lie on the ground or on picnic tables and stare up at the sky, watching for planes. When she sees planes, she sends the passengers her love, along with her questions and frustrations, in a way of trying to help other people feel more loved and comfortable than she herself does.
That was awesome just in and of itself. Better still, though, were the snippets of other people's stories though a couple were too off the wall for me , showing the effect her little bits of love sent into the universe had on someone or other on the plane.
These were all incredibly touching and moving, and I loved this little dose of magical realism. I do know that everyone probably won't love A. King; I suspect her books will just be too weird for a lot of people. I, however, love them and want to strongly urge everyone who liked thought-provoking, quirky, clever books to read them. From what I can tell, A.
King does not have anywhere near the name recognition and popularity she deserves. Nov 30, Gail Carriger rated it really liked it Shelves: I felt for Astrid because her life was a struggle. But it almost felt unrealistic. Every character but Astrid in this book was pretty much a bad person and they were all so terribly mean to her that they seemed like overdrawn cartoon villains.
It felt like a Cinderella story, and not a very convincing one. I was also not convinced by the love story, and in fact it made me uncomfortable. Astrid's girlfriend, Dee, violated Astrid's boundaries several times and exhibited behaviors akin to date rape.
King, as an author, didn't really establish whether we were supposed to like Dee, and many times throughout the novel, Astrid wasn't even sure if she liked her, and she was made to feel intensely uncomfortable by her! She even thinks that Dee is always pushy towards her, and pressuring her, similar to the emotional abuse she suffers at the hands of her family. I'm sorry, but if your girlfriend tries not once, but multiple times to force herself on you, that's when you get the fuck out of that relationship.
In the end, it felt like once Astrid finally escaped one abusive pattern by standing up to her family , she just fell into another by sticking with her date rapist girlfriend. I thought this was a bad message. The book is narrated in the first person by Astrid, except for every time she sends her love, it switches to a new first person narrator who is one of the passengers receiving her love.
Cool concept, but poorly executed. All the passenger segments felt too cliche and were full of trite platitudes. It was like Bam! Okie dokie. The plot was also nothing to write home about. For literally one half of the book this was all that happened: Astrid goes to humanities class, she avoids her family, she goes to work on the weekend, she almost gets date raped, she sneaks off to a gay club.
And then King would introduce things to the plot that would appear to be important, and then never revisit them.