James Patterson · 320 pages
Rating: (9K votes)
“Have you ever done something extremely stupid like, oh, I don’t know, try to make a room filled with total strangers laugh until their sides hurt? Totally”
“when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life doing something, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”
“wanted that to be my bedroom,” he says. “It’d be so easy to sneak out at night to TP yards, egg cars, and punch people.” Yes, Stevie has an active social life.”
“He may look like an idiot and talk like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you. He really is an idiot.”
“A lot healthier than getting socked in the stomach. Especially if you had a big breakfast.”
“Yes, I have a very small and mostly nerdy fan club. And much to my amazement, it grows a little larger every day. Apparently, these new recruits liked what they saw of my act on YouTube (even though everybody wishes that doofus blocking the camera had a smaller head).”
“The school crossing guard is a zombie?” screams the youngest Smiley. Then she starts crying. “I hugged her once, Mommy! Am I gonna turn into a zombie, too?” “Take it easy, dear,” says Aunt Smiley. “It’s just a joke. I think. Right, Jamie?”
“Okay, so how, exactly, did I get into this mess—up onstage at a comedy club, baking like a bag of French fries under a hot spotlight that shows off my sweat stains( including one that sort of looks like Jabba the Hutt), with about a thousand beady eyeballs drilling into me?”
“Stevie Kosgrov is my very own somewhat demented Dudley Dursley—if Dudley had muscles and serious BO issues and knew how to jam people’s heads down toilets to give them a swirly. Yes,”
“Chapter 16 ME AND MY CRAZY FRIENDS Yes, the other Smileys finally came home and, yes, my body finally thawed out. (Now”
“It was at night,” I say. “What was?” “What happened. The car wreck. We were driving along the Storm King Highway.” “Where’s that?” “Oh, it’s one of the most scenic drives in the whole state,” I say, somewhat sarcastically. “Route 218. The road that connects West Point and Cornwall up in the Highlands on the west side of the Hudson River. It’s narrow and curvy and hangs off the cliffs on the side of Storm King Mountain. An extremely twisty two-lane road. With a lookout point and a picturesque stone wall to stop you from tumbling off into the river. Motorcycle guys love Route 218.” We stop moving forward and pause under a streetlamp. “But if you ask me, they shouldn’t let trucks use that road.” Cool Girl looks at me. “Go on, Jamie,” she says gently. And so I do. “Like I said, it was night. And it was raining. We’d gone to West Point to take the tour, have a picnic. It was a beautiful day. Not a cloud in the sky until the tour was over, and then it started pouring. Guess we stayed too late. Me, my mom, my dad.” Now I bite back the tears. “My little sister. Jenny. You would’ve liked Jenny. She was always happy. Always laughing. “We were on a curve. All of a sudden, this truck comes around the side of the cliff. It’s halfway in our lane and fishtailing on account of the slick road. My dad slams on the brakes. Swerves right. We smash into a stone fence and bounce off it like we’re playing wall ball. The hood of our car slides under the truck, right in front of its rear tires—tires that are smoking and screaming and trying to stop spinning.” I see it all again. In slow motion. The detail never goes away. “They all died,” I finally say. “My mother, my father, my little sister. I was the lucky one. I was the only one who survived.”
“However, I had been hoping that Donald Trump would just drop me off in one of his helicopters.”
“A man named Stephen King. Do you know that name?” And saw by Cullum’s eyes that he did.”
“What’s this war called again?”
“The Hundred Years War.”
“Hmmmm, got a bad feeling about this one.”
“It was like she was MADE of cake, light and pretty and decorated on the outside-with her sweet laugh and pink streak to her hair-but it was anyone's guess what was on the inside.”
“Perhaps having the courage to find a better path is having the courage to risk making new mistakes.”
“Still, even without the country or a lake, the summer was a fine thing, particularly when you were at the beginning of it, looking ahead into it. There would be months of beautifully long, empty days, and each other to play with, and the books from the library.”
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