My intention for the early weeks and months of the year and the 2017 Reading Challenge is to reduce the number of books I am “currently reading”. Although I’ve always read multiple books at a time, my pile of current read stands nineteen books tall (eighteen now), which is excessive even for me.
Today I finished reading a book I received for Christmas *thanks Santa* that had been recommended to me. Dealing with the difficult issue of questioning one’s sexuality, there were things I loved about this particular book and other issues I didn’t overly connect with.
Title: Ask The Passengers
Author: A.S. King
Category: #51 A book about a difficult topic
“Dude, what matters is if you’re happy. What matters is your future. What matters is that we get out of here in one piece. What matters is finding the truth of our own lives, not caring about what other people think is the truth of us!”
Ask the Passengers is a coming of age/YA LGBT novel: it’s a book about discovery of self, true relationships and the importance of love. Our protagonist, Astrid Jones, is a philosophical individual, intent on not being placed unceremoniously into a defined category. Questioning her sexuality, she conjures up Greek philosopher, Socrates, whom she affectionately dubs Frank, and together the two work through Astrid’s thought processes.
The novel incorporates magical realism and intensely flawed characters, making it thoroughly gritty. However, there are a lack of events and a deal of repetition, meaning that at times the book dragged.
Simply put, I was expecting more of a story than this book actually gave me. I liked the characters (and hated some of them at the same time), and the issues faced by Astrid and her friends felt very real, but the resolution felt subpar. That being said, it was clear that “discovery” was the primary theme of the novel, and in terms of those parameters, it was successful.
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