Monday, July 7, 2014

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Lauren Oliver sure got a good shot at this one. It was my first time reading her 400 plus-paged novels, and already I have no words for the first book. So I’ll let half of the quotes I’ve gathered from it speak for the entirety of its story:
  • “People didn’t realize how deadly a disease love was. For a long time they even viewed it as a good thing, something to be celebrated and pursued. Of course that’s one of the reasons it’s so dangerous: It affects your mind so that you cannot think clearly, or make rational decisions about your own well-being.”
  • “It’s so strange how life works: You want something and you wait and wait and feel like it’s taking forever to come. Then it happens and it’s over and all you want to do is curl back up in that moment before things changed.”
  • “A sharp blade of sadness goes through me, deep and quick. I guess it was bound to happen eventually. I’ve always known it would. Everyone you trust, everyone you think you can count on, will eventually disappoint you. When left to their own devices, people lie and keep secrets and change and disappear, some behind a different face or personality, some behind a dense early morning fog, beyond a cliff.”
  • “The idea—the fact of it, the fact that he even noticed and thought about me for more than one second—is huge and overwhelming, makes my legs go tingly and my hands feel numb.”
  • “Human beings, in their natural state, are unpredictable, erratic, and unhappy. It is only once their animal instincts are controlled that they can be responsible, dependable, and content.”
  • “There’s an arm around my waist and a voice in my ear—a voice so familiar in that moment it’s like I’ve been waiting for it all along, like I’ve been hearing it forever in my dreams.”
  • “I can feel his eyes on me like the hot pressure of touch, but I’m too afraid to look at him. I’m afraid that if I do, I’ll lose myself in his eyes, forget all the things I’m supposed to say.”
  • “Words that mean nothing, really, just sounds intoned into vastness and darkness, little scrabbling attempts to latch on to something when we’re falling.”
  • “The Book of Shhh says that deliria alters your perception, disables your ability to reason clearly, impairs you from making sound judgments. But it does not tell you this: that love will turn the world into something greater than itself.”
  • “Nothing has ever been so painful or delicious as being close to him and being unable to do anything about it: like eating ice cream so fast on a hot day you get a splitting headache.”
  • “It’s an incredible thing, how you can feel so taken care of by someone and yet feel, also, like you would die or do anything just for the chance to protect him back.”
  • “I’m so used to Alex telling me I’m beautiful. I’m so used to feeling beautiful around him. A hollow opens up in my chest. This is what life will be like without him: Everything will become ordinary again. I’ll become ordinary again.”
  • “I keep seeing an endless series of bland days, days the color if pale yellow and white pills, days that have the same bitter aftertaste as medicine.”
  • “I’m just struck with a sense of time passing so quickly, rushing forward. One day I’ll wake up and my whole life will be behind me, and it will seem to have gone as quickly as a dream.”
  • “I used to fantasize about stretching out on the operating table, waiting for the anesthesia to turn the world to fog, waiting to wake up renewed. Now I’ll be waking up to a world without Alex: I’ll be waking up into fog, everything gray and blurry and unrecognizable.”
  • “Something inside of me fractures when he says that, and feel like I could cry again. His voice is so reassuring. There’s something I want more in that moment than to believe him.”
  • “This seems like a place where nothing should flourish or grow, where the sun should never shine: a place on the edge, at the limit, a place completely removed from time and happiness and life.”
  • “A thousand feelings swirl through me, a thousand questions whip around my mind, a thousand suppressed hopes and desires, buried long ago—and yet I can’t hold on to anything, not a single theory or explanation that makes any kind of sense.”
  • “His eyes are steel, all the warmth drained out of them, and it makes me nervous to know that he can do that so successfully—become someone else, someone who doesn’t have any attachment to me.”
  • “Without love, there could also be no hate: without hate, no violence. Hate isn’t the most dangerous thing, indifference is.”
  • “He gave her up so she could be saved, even though it killed him to let her go.”
  • “I know that life isn’t life if you just float through it. I know the whole point—the only point—is to find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.”
  • “It’s a good kind of pain: the pain that reminds you how amazing it is to breathe, to ache, to be able to feel at all.”
  • “All of it is being sucked into nothing, like sand getting swept up by a current.”
  • “And now I know why they invented words for love, why they had to: It’s the only thing that can come close to describing what I feel in that moment, the baffling mixture of pain and pleasure and fear and joy, all running sharply through me at once.”
And how she ended it is just perfectly (hanging):
You have to understand. I am no one special. I am just a single girl. I am five feet two inches tall and I am in-between in every way. 
But I have a secret. You can build walls all the way to the sky and I will find a way to fly above them. You can try to pin me down with a hundred thousand arms, but I will find a way to resist. And there are many of us out there, more than you think. People who refuse to stop believing. People who refuse to come to earth. People who love in a world without walls, people who love into hate, into refusal, against hope, and without fear. 
I love you. Remember. They cannot take it.

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