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 hope to those who will never stop seeking real love.
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. As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives—and her own—for the better.
The philosophical searching, surprising spiritual guides, and powerful observations of contemporary life that characterize previous works by King (Everybody Sees the Ants) are in full evidence in a story that's at once much more than a coming-out novel and one of the best coming-out novels in years. High school senior Astrid Jones moved from New York City to Unity Valley, Pa., with her family years ago, but it still doesn't feel like home. Astrid isn't comfortable labeling herself gay ("I'm not in this to be a member of some club. I'm not going through this so I can lock myself in the one of them box"), and the community's homophobia and aggressive rumor mill weigh heavily on her. When several secrets become public, Astrid's relationships are further strained, and she copes by silently sending love to the passengers of airplanes flying overhead (whose brief stories indicate they can sense Astrid's questions and feel the love she unleashes) and carrying on imaginary conversations with Socrates. Funny, provocative, and intelligent, King's story celebrates love in all of its messy, modern complexity. Ages 15 up.
This is a story about a girl who is questioning and leaning toward being gay. She has a girlfriend, but she is figuring everything out, including her life in a new town and troubles with her parents. I feel like family relationships are just as big of a focus as anything else in this book. There's also a lot about high school, popularity, friendship and other teen issues. Astrid's narrative is broken occasionally by little bits from other's lives. It shows how everyone is struggling with something in their lives, not just teens. I liked this book and felt like it did have a message for me, but I also think a teen would get more from it than I did.
Very good book!
It's been awhile since I read my ARC of this but I know it was a heart-warning coming-of-age for Astrid's whole family's. A very good book!