I guess that’s just part of loving people: You have to give things up. Sometimes you even have to give them up.
I know that the whole point—the only point—is tofind the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse tolet them go.
And you can’t love, not fully, unless you are loved in return.
Now I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.
If you’re smart, you care. And if you care, you love.
I’d rather die on my own terms than live on theirs. I’d rather die loving Alex than live without him.
Find the things that matter, and hold on to them, and fight for them, and refuse to let them go.
We wanted the freedom to love. We wanted the freedom to choose. Now we have to fight for it.
I told you,” he whispers back. I can feel his breath just tickling the space behind my ear, making my hair prick up on my neck. “I like you.””You don’t know me,” I say quickly.”I want to, though.
Popularity’s a weird thing. You can’t really define it, and it’s not cool to talk about, but you know it when you see it. Like a lazy eye, or porn.
Hunky Heroes, rescuing distressed women, captive princesses, and girls without wheels since 1684. p. 450
I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it’s the effect or vice versa
If I could make it better I would,” he says. In some ways it’s a stupid, obvious thing to say, but the way he said it, so honest and simple like it’s the truest thing there is, makes the tears prick in my eyes. (Before I Fall)
And it’s the funniest thing: as soon as I see it, the whistling in my ears stops and the feeling of terror drains away, and I realize this whole time I haven’t been falling at all. I’ve been floating.
You can’t be happy unless you’re unhappy sometimes”.
But maybe happiness isn’t in the choosing. Maybe it’s in the fiction, in the pretending: that wherever we have ended up is where we intended to be all along.
And for a moment―for a split second―everything else falls away, the whole pattern and order of my life, and a huge joy crests in my chest. I am no one, and I owe nothing to anybody, and my life is my own.
Unhappiness is bondage; therefore, happiness is freedom.
He is my world and my world is him and without him there is no world.
This is what I want. This is the only thing I’ve ever wanted. Everything else—every single second of every single day that has come before this very moment, this kiss—has meant nothing.
If they really want us to be happy, they’d let us pick ourselves.
His eyes are blazing with light, more light than all the lights in every city in the whole world, more light than we could ever invent if we had ten thousand billion years.
Nothing has ever been so painful or delicious as being so 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.
But you can build a future out of anything. A scrap, a flicker. The desire to go forward, slowly, one foot at a time. You can build an airy city out of ruins.
Things change after you die, though, I guess because dying is the loneliest thing you can do.
They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happened for me.
Let me tell you something about dying: it’s not as bad as they says.it’s the coming-back-to-life part that hurts.
It’s amazing how close I have been, all this time, to my old life. And yet the distance that divides me from it is vast.
Poetry isn’t like any writing I’ve ever heard before. I don’t understand all of it, just bits of images, sentences that appear half-finished, all fluttering together like brightly colored ribbons in the wind.
With the cure, relationships are all the same, and rules and expectations are defined. Without the cure, relationships must be reinvented every day, languages constantly decoded and deciphered. Freedom is exhausting.
[S]he’d realized that he had loved her only because she belonged to him.
At the same time I know that it’s not really their fault, at least not completely. I did my part too. I did it on a hundred different days and in a thousand different ways, and I know it. But this makes the anger worse, not better.
Everyone just wasting time because they have so much of it to waste, minutes slipping by on who’s with who and did you hear.
The hours here are flat and round, disks of gray layered one on top of the other…they move slowly, at a grind, until it seems as though they are not moving at all. They are just pressing down…
No guest rooms.” I shake my head resolutely. “I want to be in a room room. A lived-in room.
Take it from me: If you hear the past speaking to you, feel it tugging up your back and runing its fingers up your spine, the best thing to do-the only thing-is run.
It’s too late,’ she says.And I say ‘It’s never too late.
And there it is: Even though we’re standing in the same patch of sun-drenched pavement, we might as well be a hundred thousand miles apart.
He and I have a head-nod friendship, since that’s pretty much the limit of our interaction.
Of course. That’s what people do in a disordered world, a world of freedom and choice: they leave when they want. They disappear, they come back, they leave again. And you are left to pick up the pieces on your own.
I don’t understand how everything changes, how the layers of your life get buried. Impossible. At some point, at some time, we must all explode.
I was going to tell you that you look beautiful with your hair down. That’s all I was going to say.
People need other people to feel things for them,” she said. “It gets lonely to feel things all by yourself.
I guess it’s the same way trees grow around the very vines that are killing them, so they’re strangled and sustained all at once. After a long time, even pain can be a comfort.
Everything in me feels fluttering and free, like I could take off from the ground at any second. Music, I think, he makes me feel like music.
This is one of my favorite things about the Underground: the crashing of the cymbals, the screeching guitar riffs, music that moves into the blood and makes you feel hot and wild and alive.
My first kiss. A new kind of kiss, like the new kind of music still playing, softly, in the distance – wild and arrhythmic, desperate. Passionate.
Strains of music spring up, crystallizing in the night air like rain turning suddenly to snow, drifting to earth.
As soon as she sees me she swings forward and hits a key on her keyboard. The music cuts off instantly. Strangely, the silence that follows seems just as loud.
I think of the quietness of Julian’s voice as he said I love you, the steadiness of his rib cage rising and falling against my back, as we sleep.I love you, Julian. But the words don’t come.
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.
Love can open like a flower out of even the hardest places.
Is it possible to tell the truth in a society of lies? Or must you always, of necessity, become a liar?And if you lie to a liar, is the sun somehow negated or reversed?
Everyone you trust, everyone you think can count on, will eventually disappoint you. When left to their own devices, people lie and keep secrets and change and disappear…
But for now, the future, like the past, means nothing.
on the day that started it all, that rocketed me forward and landed me here, in this new body, in this new future.
I learned to swallow words back, hold secrets on my tongue until they dissolved like soap bubbles.
Once you let in the word, once you allow it to take root, it will spread like a mold through all of your corners and dark spaces— and with it, the questions, the shivery, splintered fears, enough to keep you permanently awake.
For a second, I feel a sense of overwhelming grief: for how things change, for the fact that we can never go back. I’m not certain of anything anymore. I don’t know what will happen–
I feel a flash of grief so intense it almost makes me cry out: not for what I lost, but for the chances I missed.
A good friend keeps your secrets for you. A best friend helps you keep your own secrets.
And when I wake up it’s wonderful, like I’ve been carried quietly onto a calm, peaceful shore, and the dream, and its meaning, has broken over me like a wave and is ebbing away now, leaving me with a single, solid certainty. I know now.
I guess we all have some of these – memories like artillery shells, fired at close range.
I wish I could close my eyes and be blown into dust and nothingness, feel all my thoughts disperse like dandelion fluff drifting off on the wind.
It won’t matter if nobody ever thinks I’m pretty (although sometimes I wish, just for a second, that somebody would)
This is the past: It drifts, it gathers. If you are not careful, it will bury you.
If you’re ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were. You just have to look up
I’ve been in the Wilds for a month and a half now, and in that time I’ve almost forgotten about the fences. It’s amazing how close I have been, all this time, to my old life. And yet the distance that divides me from it is vast.
I suppose that’s the secret. If you’re ever wishing for things to go back to the way they were, you just have to look up.
Suicide. A sideways word, a word that people whisper and mutter and cough: a word that must be squeezed out behind cupped palms or murmured behind closed doors. It was only in dreams that I heard the word shouted, screamed.
But all you see is the crap. So you don’t have to believe in anything. So you’ll have an excuse to fail.
You should only fall in love with people who will fall in love with you back.
I met an Invalid, and fell for his art. He showed me his smile, and went straight for my heart.
What’s poetry?” I’ve never heard the word before, but I like the sound of it. It sounds elegant and easy, somehow, like a beautiful woman turning in a long dress.
There is only what you want and what happens. There is only grabbing on and holding tight in the darkness.
Is what I did really so bad? So bad I deserve to die? So bad I deserved to die like that?I what I did really so much worse than waht anybody else does?Is it really so much worse than what you do?Think about it.
You broke my heart.I fell for you and you broke my heart.Period, done, end of story.
Lies are just stories, and stories are all that matter. We all tell stories. Some are more truthful than others, maybe, but in the end the only thing that counts is what you can make people believe.
Anger is useful only to a certain point. After that, it becomes rage, and rage will make you careless.
Running is a mental sport, more than anything else. You’re only as good as your training, and your training is only as good as your thinking.
Everyone is asleep. They’ve all been asleep for years. You seemed … awake.’ Alex is whispering now. He closes his eyes, opens them again.’I’m tired of sleeping.
Please understand. Please forgive me.I prayed every day for you to be alive, until hope became painful.Don’t hate me.I still love you.
Up and down, up and down, a ladder of choices leading to the next choice, and the next, until suddenly you’ve run out of choices, and ladder, and you find time as rare and thin as air on a mountain. Then it’s oops, sorry, turn’s over.
He believed in people. He believed that if people could only be shown the right way-the way to health and order, a way to be free of unhappiness-they would make the right choice. They would obey.
This was progress. This was modernity: you could cover over the past completely. You could bury the old under a relentless surface of new, stretched from corner to corner.
Love will turn the whole world into something greater than itself.
That is the rule of the Wilds: You must be bigger and stronger and tougher. You must hurt or be hurt.
But those are just words, and words are just stories, and eventually, always, stories come to an end.
You can’t go home again” ─ isn’t necessarily that places change but people do.
I don’t know which is worse: that I’m home and so much is different, or that I’m home and so much feels the same.
We are all punished for the lives we have chosen, in one way or another.
I vowed after that day that I would be your hero too, no matter how long it took
And then, just at that moment, when I’m no longer sure if I’m dreaming or awake or walking some valley in between where everything you wish for comes true, I feel the flutter of his lips on mine.
I’ve never really had a party before.” “Why did you have one now?” I say, just to keep him talking. He gives a half laugh. “I thought if I had a party, you would come.
—And you completely blow me away and rip my world up and everything else, and then you go back to ignoring me.” “I blew you away?” I squeak out before I can stop myself. He stares at me steadily. “You blew everything away.
People are stubborn and stupid. They’re irrational. they’re destructive. that’s the point, isn’t it? That’s the whole reason for the cure. People will no longer destroy their own lives. They won’t be capable of it.
Amazingly, I can still see the stars: whole galaxies blooming from nothing – pink and purple suns, vast silver oceans, a thousand white moons.
I’m not ugly but I’m not pretty either. Everything is in-between. I have eyes that aren’t green or brown, but a muddle. I’m not thin but I’m not fat either. the only thing you could definitely say about me is that: I’m short
She lives for this-the fight, the battle for survival. She actually enjoys it.
That was the problem with the outside world, the human world. The whole thing was made up puzzles, of a language she didn’t quite speak.
He pauses for only a fraction of a second. Then he leans forward and presses his lips to mine, and the whole world powers off, the moon and the rain and the sky and the streets, and it’s just the two of us in the dark, alive, alive, alive.
At least when I’m sleeping I can dream myself back to Alex, can dream myself into a different world.
She knew that this day, this feeling, couldn’t last forever. Everything passed; that was partly why it was so beautiful. Things would get difficult again. But that was okay too.The bravery was in moving forward, no matter what.
The sparrows jumped before they knew how to fly, and they learned to fly only because they had jumped
I’m scared all the time,” she whispered. “You’d be an idiot if you weren’t,” Anne said. “And you wouldn’t be brave either.
Stop your idiocy, Sandra, please. For once in your death.
Time waits for no man, but progress waits for man to inact it.
Who the hell calls at two in the morning?””Maybe it’s Matt Wilde, confessing his love,” Lindsay says.”Very funny,
Now, after so many years, I understand what the Coldness was and where it came from—this sense that everything is lost, and worthless, and meaningless.
So many things become beautiful when you really look
This is the mistake they make above. They think that only certain people habe a place. Only certain kinds of people belong. The rest is waste. But even waste must have a place. Otherwise it will clog and clot, and rot and fester.
Power isn’t free. Energy isn’t free. It has to be earned.
An eye for an eye.” “And the whole world goes blind,” Coral puts in quietly.
Don’t worry about what you’re writing or whether it’s good or even whether it makes sense.
And suddenly I am blindingly angry at Raven–for her lectures, and her stubbornness, and for thinking that the way that you help people is by driving them against a wall, by beating them down until they fight back.
Perfection is a promise, and a reassurance that we are not wrong.
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.
This is not the person I wanted to become: Hatred has carved a permanent place inside me, a hollow where things are so easily lost.
Everywhere he touches is fire. My whole body is burning up, the two of us becoming twin points of the same bright white flame.
Do the other kids make fun of you? For how you talk?”Sometimes.”So why don’t you do something about it? You could learn to talk differently, you know.’But this is my voice. How would you be able to tell when I was talking?
Things change after you die, though- I guess because dying is about the lonliest thing you can do.
We’ll walk together holding hands, and kiss in broad daylight, and love each other as much as we want to, and no one will ever try to keep up apart.
…I’ve never really had a party before.””Why did you have one now?” I say, just to keep him talking.He gives a half laugh. “I thought if I had a party, you would come.
I guess that’s what saying good-bye is always like–like jumping off an edge. The worst part is making the choice to do it. Once you’re in the air, there’s nothing you can do but let go.
How is it possible, I think, to change so much and not be able to change anything at all?
I used to think that’s what love was: knowing someone so well he was like a part of you.
This is what happens when you try to help people. You get screwed.
It’s not my fault I can’t be like you, okay? I don’t get up in the morning thinking the world is one big, shiny, happy place, okay? That’s just not how I work. I don’t think I can be fixed.
…into hate, into refusal, against hope and without fear
Is what I did really so much worse than what anybody else does?Is it really so much worse than what you do?Think about it.
My boyfriend’s an idiot,” I say as soon as he lurches
Why do you flirt with Mr. Daimler? He’s a perv, you
I think of Lindsay in the bathroom of Rosalita’s, and wonder how many people are clutching secrets like little fists, like rocks sitting in the pits of their stomachs. All of them, maybe.
I’d never undetstood how Hana Could lie so often and easily. But just like anyhting else, lying becomes easier the more you do it.
But maybe you carried your demons with you everywhere, the way you carried your shadow.
When you’re completely free, you’re also completely on your own.
There’s still always the possibility that I’ve gone totally, clinically cuckoo. But somehow I don’t think so anymore.An article I once read said that crazy people don’t worry about being crazy – that’s the whole problem.
They told us love was a disease. They told us it would kill us in the end.For the very first time I realize, that this, too, might also be a lie.
He is no longer mine to lose, but the grief is there, a gnawing sense of disbelief.
I put my forehead on his collarbone, place one hand on his chest. Its rhythm reassures me: He is real, and he is now.
Lindsay calls them the Pugs: pretty from far away, ugly up close.
Chance. Stupid, dumb, blind chance. Just a part of the strange mechanism of the world, with its fits and coughs and starts and random collisions.
The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win.
An itchy feeling began to work its way through my body, as though a thousand mosquitoes were circulating through my blood, biting me from the inside, making me want to scream, jump, squirm. I ran.
Juliet!’ I whip around but not quickly enough. She’s swallowed by the crowd, the gap that allowed her to break for the door closing just as quickly as it opened, a shifting Tetris pattern of bodies…
Dystopian novels help people process their fears about what the future might look like; further, they usually show that there is always hope, even in the bleakest future.
I was a troubled teen and I was constantly looking for someone to throw me a rope. Those ropes are connections. They allow us to see that life exists beyond the little worlds we are currently a part of.
Finishing books – and leaving the world you’ve created – is always a kind of emotionally wrenching experience. I usually cry.