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Ask the passengers, p.21
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       Ask the Passengers, p.21

           A. S. King
 
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  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  Thank you to my family and friends—you know who you are, and you rock.

  Topher, you get an extra line because you’re Topher. Big love.

  Thanks to my awesome editor Andrea Spooner and to Deirdre Jones, who held this book’s hand until it found its way. Thanks to the entire team at Little, Brown for making me feel so welcome and for everything they do.

  Thank you to my agent Michael Bourret, who knows my Vulcan secrets.

  A huge thank-you to Rosemary Hauseman and Bob Fleck—my humanities teachers from high school. That class was where I (unintentionally) wrote my first piece of fiction and where I met Socrates, who has traveled with me through life. Thank you also to an unnamed fellow student from that humanities classroom who reminded me what a refuge it was.

  Thank you to Detective Courtney Garipoli, an old friend and invaluable resource for all things police-related.

  And an awesomechutney thank-you to every fan who has ever written to me or come to see me at events, and to every librarian, teacher, bookseller and blogger who has supported my work. Your support means the world to me, and I will be forever grateful.

  EARLY PRAISE FOR ASK THE PASSENGERS

  A Junior Library Guild selection

  “A beautiful, heartfelt, and honest story that sends love up from every page.”

  —JOHN COREY WHALEY, Printz Award–winning author of Where Things Come Back

  “So special and perfect and true and right. This book is made of stardust and guts; I’ll hold it in my heart forever.”

  —LAUREN MYRACLE, New York Times bestselling author of ttyl and Shine

  “I’m sending love to Astrid Jones, for being one of the most reachable, realistic characters that I have ever dared to adore. And I’m sending love to A.S. King, whose positively brilliant writing style never ceases to amaze me. Ask the Passengers made me smile, cringe, laugh, and believe in the absolute power of the human spirit. Amazing. Simply amazing.”

  —HEATHER BREWER, New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series “A.S. King is one of the most engaging and innovative writers in the field. Ask the Passengers is a wonderful novel about tolerance and the limitations of definition; it should be required reading in all high schools.”

  —MATT DE LA PEÑA, author of Ball Don’t Lie and Mexican WhiteBoy

  “A warm, thoughtful, and thought-provoking novel about the paradoxes of love, sexual identity, and the magic of connectedness.”

  —MALINDA LO, author of Adaptation and Huntress

  “In Ask the Passengers, A.S. King exquisitely creates a tender, multilayered portrayal of the takeoffs, nose-dives, and loop-the-loops of sexuality, friendship, family, and love.”

  —ALEX SANCHEZ, author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends

  “In Astrid Jones, A.S. King has created a memorable, thoughtful, funny, questioning protagonist whose search for answers reminds us how important it is to ask the questions in the first place.”

  —SARA RYAN, author of Empress of the World

  Contents

  WELCOME

  DEDICATION

  EPIGRAPH

  ASTRID JONES SENDS HER LOVE.

  CHAPTER 1: YOU’D HATE IT HERE.

  CHAPTER 2: AUBERGINES, FOYERS, AND THE HORSE WHO LIVES UPSTAIRS.

  CHAPTER 3: ASTRID JONES SENDS HER LOVE. FROM A PICNIC TABLE.

  CHAPTER 4: CLAIRE NEVER QUITS.

  CHAPTER 5: I WORK WEEKENDS.

  CHAPTER 6: DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT.

  CHAPTER 7: ASTRID TO HOME PLANET: PLEASE RESCUE ME.

  CHAPTER 8: MOO.

  CHAPTER 9: HOMECOMING FRIDAY IS JIGGLY.

  CHAPTER 10: I DO NOT LIKE THE PLAN.

  CHAPTER 11: IT IS WAY TOO EASY TO GET INTO ATLANTIS.

  CHAPTER 12: TURNS OUT ASTRID JONES IS A ROBOT.

  CHAPTER 13: ASTRID JONES JUST ISN’T READY YET, OKAY?

  CHAPTER 14: I THINK THE RACCOONS NOW HAVE DYSENTERY.

  CHAPTER 15: THE 135.

  CHAPTER 16: AM I WEARING A “BE PUSHY WITH ME” SIGN?

  CHAPTER 17: WE HEAR THINGS.

  CHAPTER 18: THE BIG BANG.

  CHAPTER 19: THIS IS NOT POLITE DINNER CONVERSATION.

  CHAPTER 20: CONFESSIONS OF A DANCING QUEEN.

  CHAPTER 21: LIFE OFF THE POT IS QUIET.

  CHAPTER 22: MY NAME IS CLAIRE, AND I’LL BE YOUR PILOT TODAY.

  CHAPTER 23: JEFF THE LEG JIGGLER TALKS, TOO.

  CHAPTER 24: I AM A PUSHOVER. THAT’S WHY THIS SHIT HAPPENS TO ME.

  CHAPTER 25: WELCOME ABOARD FLIGHT ATLANTIS.

  CHAPTER 26: OHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT.

  CHAPTER 27: OHSHITOHSHITOHSHIT PART TWO.

  CHAPTER 28: THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT.

  CHAPTER 29: THIS IS NOT HOW I EXPECTED IT TO UNFOLD.

  CHAPTER 30: CLAIRE MAKES SHADOWS.

  CHAPTER 31: I WAS NOT IMAGINING THE GOSSIP FOG.

  CHAPTER 32: IT ONLY GETS WORSE, YOU KNOW.

  CHAPTER 33: NOTHING MATTERS.

  CHAPTER 34: IRON THIS.

  CHAPTER 35: YOU CAN IRON THE CURTAINS STRAIGHT.

  CHAPTER 36: FRIDAY IS JUST GROSS.

  CHAPTER 37: I USED TO LOOK FORWARD TO WORKING ON WEEKENDS.

  CHAPTER 38: WHAT WOULD SOCRATES DO?

  CHAPTER 39: IN WHICH ASTRID JONES FINALLY LOSES IT.

  CHAPTER 40: I CAN’T DECIDE IF I WANT HIM TO DRIVE SLOWER OR FASTER.

  CHAPTER 41: CAN YOU SAY AWKWARD?

  CHAPTER 42: THE SOCRATES PROJECT.

  CHAPTER 43: THANKSGIVING IS NOT A DIRTY WORD.

  CHAPTER 44: MOTION IS POSSIBLE.

  ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

  EARLY PRAISE FOR ASK THE PASSENGERS

  COPYRIGHT

  Copyright

  This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

  Copyright © 2012 by A.S. King All rights reserved. In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author’s intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at [email protected] Thank you for your support of the author’s rights.

  Little, Brown and Company

  Hachette Book Group

  237 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017

  www.hachettebookgroup.com

  First e-book edition: October 2012

  Little, Brown and Company is a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  The Little, Brown name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  The publisher is not responsible for websites (or their content) that are not owned by the publisher.

  The Hachette Speakers Bureau provides a wide range of authors for speaking events. To find out more, go to www.hachettespeakersbureau.com or call (866) 376-6591.

  ISBN 978-0-316-21453-7

 


 

  A. S. King, Ask the Passengers

 


 

 
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