This is not one of those books where everything gradually gets worse and worse and then somehow everything fixes itself magically in the end. The many ups and downs make it hard to stop reading. By doing pretty much nothing else, I managed to finish it in two days. Yes, it’s that great. I urge you to NOT read any further, and go grab the book instead. Really!
Telling you what the story is about would be an insult to the author, Sarah Dessen. Never in a thousand years could I write up a summary to come even close to the intensity of the book. Let me just tell you that if you’re not a close minded I’ve-got-all-the-answers kind of person, this book will leave you in the end with at least part of your views on life changed. A word of warning though: it may not appeal to people much older that me (but don’t tell me you’ve got all the answers!)
The list of quotes was difficult to come up with this time, since much of the meaning of the novel seeps through the dialogs, which only make sense within context. Anyway, here goes:
- I’d long ago learned not to be picky in farewells. They weren’t guaranteed or promised. You were lucky, more than blessed, if you got a goodbye at all.
- But the fact that I was angry and scared, that was my secret to keep. They didn’t get to have that, too. It was all mine.
- It was becoming clear to me that I shouldn’t bother to get too attached to anything. Turn your back and you lose it. Just like that.
- Shoulda, coulda, woulda. It’s so easy in the past tense.
- Say what you will, but you’re never prepared for the surprise attack.
- I am not a spontaneous person. But when you’re alone in the world, really alone, you have no choice but to be open to suggestions.
- Who knew three dots could make such a difference? Like everything else, a love or a wish or whatever, it was all in the way you read it.
- But that was the problem with having the answers. It was only after you gave them that you realized they sometimes weren’t what people wanted to hear.
- “Come on, live a little.”
“No, I’d better go.”
- I just think that some things are meant to be broken. Imperfect. Chaotic. It’s the universe’s way of providing contrast, you know? There have to be a few holes in the road. It’s how life is.
- There’s a entirely different feel to quiet when you’re with someone else, and at any moment it could be broken. Like the difference between a pause and an ending.
- Quiet and incredible. I really envy that.
- Then, about a year and half too late, it hit me. I was never going to be perfect. And what had all my efforts gotten me, really, in the end? A boyfriend who pushed me away the minute I cracked, making the mistake of being human. Great grades that would still never be good enough for girls who Knew Everything. A quiet, still life, free of any risks, and so many sleepless nights to spend within it, my heart heavy, keeping secrets my sister had empowered herself by telling. This life was fleeting, and I was still searching for the way I wanted to spend it that would make me happy, full, okay again. I didn’t know what it was, not yet. But something told me I wouldn’t find it here.
- It was one of those moments that you wish you could just disappear, every particle in you shrinking. But that, I knew, was impossible. There was always an After.
- I’d tried to hold myself apart, showing only what I wanted, doling out bits and pieces of who I was. But that only works for so long. Eventually, even the smallest fragments can’t help but make a whole.
- It seemed no matter where I turned, someone was telling me to change.
- For any one of us our forever could end in an hour, or a hundred years from now. You can never know for sure, so you’d better make every second count.
- The truth is, nothing is guaranteed. So don’t be afraid. Be alive.
- But it was okay not to fit in everywhere, as long as you did somewhere.
- Grief can be a burden, but also an anchor. You get used to the weight, to how it holds you to a place.
- Silences are amplified by small spaces.
- But if something was really important, fate made sure it somehow came back to you and gave you another chance.
- That was the thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. It was twenty minutes, or a hundred years, or just this instant, or any instant I wished would last and last. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening.