Quotes Room G-R

Welcome to the Quotes Room G-R.

"It's such a pleasure to write down splendid words -

almost as though one were inventing them".

(Rupert Hart-Davis)

This page features a portion of my favourite quotes from the novels reviewed on this blog. The books are listed by titles, in alphabetical order, from G to R. Every title is also linked to its respective review. Of course, this is an ever-growing project, so be sure to check it out from time to time. (Basically, every time I review a new book, I'm going to add quotes if I find any of its sentences inspiring or witty). Enjoy!



I know this place so well, but sometimes I feel like an impostor here, too. Not Mercedes or Mercy or Dearie or Fraรผlein Marino, but rather someone who is caught between two worlds, the one in my head where I am my true, whole self, and the one out here, where I'm always waiting behind a canvas or sketchbook, where no matter how much I wave and jump around and call attention to myself, I still feel like I'll always be watching everyone else live.

True love isn't all chocolate-dipped strawberries and perfect harmony. It's work, work you enjoy doing, but work all the same.

I, the Cinderella girl from the wrong side of town, trapping herself a minute to midnight for sixty years, so the clock could never chime and the spell would never end [...].


There's a cat-shaped hole where Tybalt used to be, floating in her [Mom's] footsteps.

[...] every person we pass has robed up, and each time we go by they make this gesture of blessing and prayer. Or maybe it's a hex, depending on the person. I don't do anything in return. Only one hand gesture springs to mind, and it just isn't appropriate.

There is nothing good here. There never has been. [...] We don't belong here. Wherever it is, it is the lack of everything. No light, no darkness. No air or taste. It's nothing; a void.
I don't want to think anymore. My eyes might pop and run out of my head. I might break my skull against the bottom and listen to the empty pieces, wobbling like the discarded shell of an egg. [...]
This place exists in the wake of a scream.


► And I don’t get it, Diary, I really don’t. Does this happen to everyone when they grow up? Like, they’re sure they’re going to be different and special and then one day they’re like WHOOPS, I’M DONE HAVING GOALS NOW, BEST FIND ME A MAN AND SQUIRT OUT SOME BABIES! Is everyone doomed to ultimately turn into the most boring version of themselves? Do we all end up just like everyone else?

► That’s what I love so much about Rae and Donna. We’re united in this: we want more than Little Hope. I can’t see either of them becoming one of those dull adults who settle for love (boring) and sex (boring) and babies (triple-boring). I just can’t believe that two people who are so themselves and so full of fire and justice and passion and light could just be snuffed out. Everyone says we’ll understand when we’re older. One day we’ll meet the right guy and what we want will change. I won’t believe it. I think we’ll make it out of this town alive. Not just alive but Alive.

You didn't want to blow high the highlights, and you had to give the shadows all the detail you could by finding the darkest max black areas and then shooting them three zones lighter.
By shooting the darkest areas three zones lighter, you turned a black, lifeless max black zone 0 into a zone 3.
I think, in life, most of us did this all the time.

[...] Ellie knew what all girls knew - we were here to be whatever men wanted us to be.
We were here to touch their tipis.
I tried to think of one single message out there that said the opposite, but I couldn't think of one. Everywhere I'd looked for seventeen years said, under the slick imagery, "You are here to look pretty, keep quiet, and touch tipis."



My cell phone glared at me from my desk. I reached for it, then stopped. Mom and Dad could reach me on my cell if they were worried, but I hated that. Just when you were away from them and having fun, the portable babysitter rang and interrupted everything.
[Note: I love this paragraph because I love Bea's stance on technology. Through the whole book, she doesn't make a big deal about it. Her cell phone is more of a nuisance than anything, because it means she can be reached by her parents...but it's more like she states her right to live the moment without being interrupted or annoyed by "anyone's" calls. Cell phones aren't all the freedom people thinks they are. Most of the time, they only manage to prevent you from having a life. Oh, the luxury of going around without having to be found].

Even if you know what's coming, you're never prepared for how it feels.


Except blowing up isn't always external. It's not always easy to hear or see. Synapses fire every day in my brain. Thinking is just like exploding until it eventually scars you and you can't interact with people anymore. It's like one big, final detonation.

Parents lied to children when they thought it was necessary, or when they thought that it would somehow make things better. It only made sense that children should lie to parents in the same way.

Mysteries in books were the best kind. The real world was absolutely full of boring mysteries, questions that never got answered and lost things that never got found. That wasn't allowed, in books. In books, mysteries were always interesting and exciting, packed with daring and danger, and in the end, the good guys found the clues and the bad guys got their comeuppance. Best of all, nothing was ever lost forever. If something mattered enough for the author to write it down, it would come back before the last page was turned. It would always come back.

"What's the Goblin Market?"
"It is a place where dreamers go when they don't fit in with the dreams their homes think worth dreaming."






[Sloane]: How can I possibly even scratch the surface of honoring Bill at an event like this? The adult world that runs our school considers this a teachable moment (a new phrase for our era) where children will learn to process loss and grief and loneliness by sitting in the football bleachers and being presented with the truth of mortality. There's nothing to be taught. Only something to be felt. And I swear to God no one needs to sit in football bleachers to feel it.

[Maggie]: A little chill runs through me. Why would I want to fantasize that I'm a lonely girl with an inattentive mother and a tragically dead father and no real friends to speak of besides my little sister? Doesn't it make more sense that I'm Maggie, dreaming of a life where she's about to scarf pancakes burned with love? That's craziness, I know. But maybe I need to think of my life as the dream life. Maybe that will help me appreciate and enjoy it more.

I don't know why I'm crying. They're probably vodka tears. You don't fall in love with someone after one afternoon at a river, even if you've known them since Preps and think they're kind of cute. You fall in hope, and that leads to daydreaming about love. And yes, I had been daydreaming and it did feel good, believing that a guy - a popular guy - might fall in love with me, thinking that finally I might be able to be me with someone, and have a future, being one half of a pair. Now I'm just me and by myself again.

It's the sort of thing that can only happen to me. I lean too close, I laugh too loud, I try too hard. And I get burned.

It's turning out different from the way I thought it would. We were going to take this city by storm, the two of us, a double act no one could top. But I'm feeling lonelier than I've ever felt before. We aren't connected anymore, the way we used to be, as though we've traded in the old model of our friendship for a newer, more sophisticated, complex model, which neither of us knows how to drive. I keep hoping that we'll learn, that it's just growing pains, that our friendship will last But maybe it won't. Maybe we've changed, don't want the same things anymore, or want the same thing too much. We're coming to some sort of crossroad and I have the strongest sensation we're going to go our separate ways. And I find myself wondering if Dale's noticed, or whether she even cares.

I'm left lying in the dark, wrestling with that yellow-and-green-eyed monster. I want to punch it on the nose, but it's bigger than me. I can feel that old lack of confidence nagging at me again, undermining me. I have to work hard at talking myself into believing that what I am doing is important too. That I am a necessary part of the team. But it always strikes me that, at the end of a song, at the end of the night, she gets the applause. She gets the man. I never do.

Because success is not about who we are, what we sound like - it's all about what other people make of us, how they perceive us. It has nothing to do with us.

Maybe it's because Buddy's arm is around me, or maybe it's that voice - my voice that has been silent for too long, starting to talk at me again, telling me that just because a dream stops, it doesn't mean you stop dreaming. Or maybe it's just that the time is right, that I'm ready to let go of one part of my life to start another, ready to be touched again in that part of myself that is the most private and the most hopeful and loving. I lean into Buddy, we sit looking out, and I give the little kid who doesn't live here anymore permission to cry.


Numbers are simple, obedient things, as long as you understand the rules they live by. Words are trickier. They twist and bite and require too much attention. He has to think to change the world. His sister just does it.

There's one thing he can do. Maybe the only thing. Maybe it was always the only thing, and they've been building toward this the whole time. It feels like failure, like running back to the garden, and he doesn't care, because her chest is barely moving, and there's so much blood, there's so much blood, and it doesn't matter that he knows the words, all the words, for everything. The numbers are taking her away. He can't reach them without her.

This worksheet should have been done an hour ago. But he was at a good place in his book (they're all good places) [...]

(It has to happen now, he realizes, dimly aware that the things he's experiencing should be impossible. Two years ago, he would have accepted voices in his head helping him with his homework as so natural that he'd have told everyone about it, cheerfully unaware that some things are best kept secret. Two years from now, he would think hearing voices meant he was going crazy and would claw himself to ribbons trying to make it stop. This is the perfect time. This is the one point on his timeline where contact can be made without trauma or damage. He doesn't know how he knows that, or why he's so sure that two years in either direction would change everything, but he's seven years old; he accepts his conclusion without questioning it.)

People who say "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" don't understand how words can be stones, hard and sharp-edged and dangerous and capable of doing so much more harm than anything physical. If someone chucks a real stone at you on the playground, it leaves a bruise. Bruises heal. Bruises get people in trouble, too; bruises end with detentions for the rock-throwers, with disapproving parents ushered into private offices for serious conversations about bullying and bad behavior.
Words almost never end that way. Words can be whispered bullet-quick when no one's looking, and words don't leave blood or bruises behind. Words disappear without a trace. That's what makes them so powerful. That's what makes them so important.
That's what makes them hurt so much.

Book-smart is okay for girls, as much as any sort of smart is okay for girls. But math-smart isn't the same. Math-smart belongs to skinny boys with glasses and pocket protectors and heads full of science. That's what the books say. That's what the TV says. And that's what her classmates say in a thousand tiny ways, every time she finishes her math book ahead of the rest of them. Even the math-smart boys don't like her, because she's smarter than them, and some thing are too much too be borne.

Dodger is so very, unbearably tired.
She wouldn't describe what she feels quite like that, but deep down, she knows "tired" is the right word: maybe the only word. She's tired. She's tired of being too smart to slow down and appreciate things that aren't performing at her level. She's tired of adults treating her like a circus sideshow and other kids treating her like a freak. (They're not the same, not quite: to the adults, she's the strongman, the fire-eater, the girl who dances on the trapeze without a net. To the kids, she's the bearded woman, the lobster-girl. The adults gape and whisper because of what she can do. The kids her own age do it because of what she is. They're both right and they're both wrong and she's exhausted from the effort of trying to make them understand.) She's tired of being lonely, and having Roger back in her life has made things worse when it should have made them better, because she always thought he was the same as she was, but he's not, he's not. He has friends. He has people. He has a life. And she has numbers, and figures, and math enough to redefine the sky.
The numbers would have been enough, if she'd never found the door at the back of her own mind, leading to a boy her own age – to the day – who couldn't finish his worksheet. They might even have been enough if he'd never slammed and locked the doors between them, shutting her out and giving him time to change the world he lived in. She could have adjusted to how much better he was at people than she was, if she'd watched it happen, if he'd boiled her like a frog. But he didn't do that. He closed her out, and while she was gone he raised the temperature of the water, and now that she's back, she can't take it.

The sky is a bruise, pulsing with clouds, heavy with the promise of more rain. The air is electric. This is a Frankenstein day, ready to strike out at any moment.

They were supposed to grow up with their hands in each other's pockets, compensating for one another's weaknesses, encouraging one another's strengths. That didn't happen. For whatever reason, it didn't happen, and now, when they're together, it's like they're trying to accelerate through those lost years, using the cheat codes to get the experience without actually playing the game.

They destroy themselves every time they destroy the world. Their past is littered with the unburied bodies of the people they chose never to become.

Running away may not be the grownup thing to do, but Dodger has never put much stock in being a grownup. Sometimes logic says the childish thing is the right one.

She should be angry about that, demanding to know what gave him the right to pick up a phone and change the equations that make her who she is, but all she feels is relief. She needs him for the math to work properly. Anything that revises him back into her life can't be wrong.

She may be a paradox walking, revised by her own hand, but she's still angry at him, under the forgiveness. That's almost a relief. She's changed some of her math; her core equations remain intact.

They aren't people who somehow inherited a cosmic force of logic and definition: the are that force, made incarnate by someone who should have known better, should have done better, should have been better. They're ideas who dreamt of being people, and now that they're waking up, it's too late for them to be anything else. The children Reed intends to put in they place might still be able to turn human. She and Roger...no. Not anymore.


He's seeing the actual Milky Way streaked across the sky. The whole of his entire galaxy, right there in front of him. Billions and billions of stars. Billions and billions of worlds. All of them, all those seemingly endless possibilities, not fictional, but real, out there, existing, right now. There is so much more out there than just the world he knows, so much more than his tiny Washington town, so much more than even London. Or England. Or hell, for that matter.
So much more that he'll never see So much more that he'll never get to. So much that he can only glimpse enough of to know that it's forever beyond his reach.
The clouds close up again. The Milky Way vanishes.

► It’s like this. When you travel, even for the measly week the agency takes to reconstruct a murder before sending us back to stop it, you learn things. Your body and mind return to the scene of the crime, then proceed forward along whatever altered trajectory you’ve precipitated. So far as anyone can tell, the reality you create becomes the reality, with each part of the sentence rearranged in its new syntax. People, places, things. Verbs too. When it works out according to plan, you’re the good guy – no ticker-tape parades or keys to the city, but at least the shock to your system was worth it. Conversely, when things go the way they went today, that becomes your reality. The new you you have to live with from here on out.
Either way, it raises a question I’ve wrestled with since I joined the force. What happens to the other you that would have lived its life if you hadn’t doubled back? For that matter, what happens to all the other lives that would have played out differently if not for you? The lives that did play out differently – yours included – between the original occurrence of the event and your return to alter it? Do those lives cease to exist? Or are they hanging out somewhere else – in another place, another time?
Maybe the genius who designed the system knows. I sure don’t. A strong body and receptive mind were in the job description, not an advanced degree in quantum physics.
Still, it seems to me I can sometimes feel the ones I left behind. The strays. All of the other possible Miriams that might have been, each of them trapped in her own personal limbo.
Hence my alias.

► What is memory but time travel? What is time travel but memory?






He watched them and noticed how none of them recognized him when they glanced the short distance over and saw him across from where they were waiting. He was not in the proper context. He felt slightly sad about this, as if without his book he was nobody, as if, in a sense, he was his own book’s “plus one” guest.

The writer and the reader had shared a moment where they had understood one another completely, right down to their bared souls, except that the writer had not been there. Only his words had, only the thoughts that he had had two years prior to the reader’s discovering them. Like gazing at a star that twinkles long after its own death, the reader had seen only the writer’s emanation and had loved it, even though there was nothing there and the reader had also been alone in a room, just as the writer had been when he had recorded his long-expired thoughts.

It was astounding to her that somewhere that sort of freedom existed—the freedom to love everybody and to not have to pretend that some people were inappropriate for you and some people were just there to shake hands with and move on from instead of to really get to know. She wanted to explore the experience of knowing anyone she wanted. Maybe art was the key.It was astounding to her that somewhere that sort of freedom existed—the freedom to love everybody and to not have to pretend that some people were inappropriate for you and some people were just there to shake hands with and move on from instead of to really get to know. She wanted to explore the experience of knowing anyone she wanted. Maybe art was the key.

Mrs. Dwight T. Randall began her fanciful art collection on a hot summer day after being dropped off at home by a grocery boy.
She was wide-eyed with wonder, seven months and a few weeks pregnant, and the loneliest she’d ever been. But when she had the idea of wanting to put art on her walls, and when she connected it with the articles she had read and all the spirit with which the artists did what they did, her loneliness lifted, and she would never feel it in that same way again.

She sat in the hall in the chair next to the table below the mirror. She did not remember that chair ever being used by anyone, not even a salesman or deliveryman. It was a chair that simply sat in the hall as if in a waiting room, and she finally used it and finally understood what it was for. It was for when you did not know what room to go to and you did not know what to do next. It was for when you could not decide whether to stay in the house or run out screaming or simply lie down on the floor and wait to die.

It had not occurred to him or any man of his generation to share the feelings inside them when their women complained or talked about things they didn’t have, which translated to complaint for the man who heard those words.
And because they never told the women about how they heard things, the women were never able to, in turn, let them know that what they were doing was not complaining but sharing dreams and hoping that perhaps the husband would join them in their fantasy. 
And so, the men and women went on in their mutual confusion, living together, occasionally one of them expressing how it would be better if things were different while all the other heard was that they were inadequate.
Eventually, walls were built to protect their hearts.

She wanted to know what people thought of her without actually being aware of what she was. Fame was the only way out of the task of actually living her life and dealing with all the human intimacy that would be required for that life to become worthwhile and real.






Kane turned to the room of stolen dreams, and he recalled the library of his childhood. The feeling of thick air and soft spines, of tilting your head sideways to read the names of authors. Mostly, Kane recalled the intoxicating potential of it all. For a child like Kane, potential was his forever friend. The promise of something else - or somewhere else - where Kane could start over and actually belong. It wasn't just about finding a world that would tolerate him. It was about imagining a world that loved him back. That enjoyed him.
Kids like Kane weren't often enjoyed.

He reminded himself of the few reveries he'd witnessed. They all taught him something new about the way dreams inhabit a person. Dreams can be parasites we sacrifice ourselves to. Dreams can be monstrous, beautiful things incubated in misery and hatched by spite. Or dreams can be the artifacts we excavate to discover what we really are.


  1. I LOVE that quote from How to Say Goodbye in Robot about cellphones. As convenient as they are, they really do take away a lot of freedom and living in the moment.

    1. I don't even have one, go figure. Though sometimes I have to borrow my hubby's when the bank or some other institution force me to give them a number...

      Thank you for breathing a little life into this page - I don't think anyone commented on my quote pages before!

    2. I'm obsessed with quotes, so I had to check these pages out!

    3. Ha! At least my hard work has been for something! ๐Ÿ˜‰


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