My rating: 3/5
Astrid Jones needs to talk to someone, someone that can provide answers like weather or not she’s in love with a girl, about if that’s okay, about why people care so much about it. But she can’t trust her family with those questions so she asks the passengers. Laying on a bench outside her house she stares at the sky and sends her love and questions to those unknowing souls traveling a thousand feet above her.
Of all of A.S. King’s books, this was her least impressive. Although it wasn’t bad, I couldn’t enjoy it.
Mainly because I didn’t relate to the main character. She seemed melodramatic most times, making her problems seem a lot worse than they were. Because, although she did struggle with her sexuality, she was actually living a quite privileged life. She had an imperfect but stable family, a wealthy home and a healthy body. Yet, it felt like she was living a miserable life. Therefore, I would’ve appreciated it if she would’ve been more grateful and a lot less whiny about everything.
Also, Astrid’s friends were uninteresting, underdeveloped and forgettable. They were pretty much cardboard cutouts of tropes we’ve seen before in other YA stories and didn’t leave much of an impression on me.
Her love interest wasn’t particularly suitable for her either. Even so, that their relationship made me feel uncomfortable. Astrid was constantly being pressured by her girlfriend into having sex and coming out; and although it was addressed in the story, she didn’t suffer any particular consequence for it. I didn’t feel any kind of special connection or understanding between them and at the end it just seemed forced.
I also couldn’t understand her family, they seemed one dimensional with unexplored issues. The mother I found to be particularly difficult. Maybe because I don’t understand the culture of where she comes from or because I don’t understand how stuck up people like her think. But to be honest, what kind of mother would want her teenage daughter to become sexually active? I just don’t get it.
However, the magical realism was a good addition to the story and it was what saved this book from having a lower rating. The aspect of making the character relate to people she has never seen before was interesting. It showed a glimpse to other people’s lives, who are going through difficult situations as well. It says that there are others struggling as much as you and that you are not alone.
Overall, I think this is one of A.S. King’s weaker books and I would recommend her other ones before this.