Katie Coyle · 262 pages
Rating: (4.5K votes)
“Don't be the kind of person who sees groups instead of people.”
“The best I can hope for is the occasional moment of loose happy freedom—found usually with Harp but once or twice on this trip with Peter—that tells me it’s okay. That if I was put on this earth for any particular reason, it was to experience love and joy, just like anybody else.”
“But Viv, if I've learned anything at all in the last eight years of my life? It's that people just like to tell themselves stories about where they came from. They can't help themselves. They don't trust the world around them--it's too good for them, or not good enough--so they tell themselves stories about it. They tell themselves an old magician who lives up in the sky made them out of clay and put them here until whenever he makes up his mind to take them out again. Your parents didn't like their creation myth, that's all--it had pain in it, and chaos, and their own parents were ashamed. So they told themselves a story that was at least partially true: about two good people who deserved happy lives. And probably at some point they started to believe that story. But the thing is, really, that it doesn't matter. For your parents or anyone else. It doesn't actually matter where we came from, or where we're going, or when. The only thing that matters is what we have to do while we're here and how well we do it.”
“This is car theft. This is running away. This is some punk-rock New Orphans shit. This is not like any Vivian Apple I have ever been before. But this is Vivian Apple at the end of the world.”
“The way we live our lives is not sustainable. I don’t just mean recycling and turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth. I mean the way we treat each other. The way we pick and choose whose lives are important—who we actually treat as human. There is nobody on this earth whose life is not of value.”
“But the thing is, really,” Peter continues, “that it doesn’t matter. For your parents or anyone else. It doesn’t actually matter where we came from, or where we’re going, or when. The only thing that matters is what we have to do while we’re here and how well we do it.”
“It doesn’t actually matter where we came from, or where we’re going, or when. The only thing that matters is what we have to do while we’re here and how well we do it.”
“The group’s camaraderie had a certain level of appeal in a city where a sexually active girl could find herself waking up in a house on fire,”
“Oh, Vivian Apple," Harp says. "You beautiful, crazy bitch.”
“I know Harp doesn’t really regret it either, because it meant she got to scream “FUCK YOU, OLD MAN” at Mr. Knackstedt as we walked out the door.”
“What the Church wanted from you wasn't goodness; it was meekness. And I know because I've been meek for seventeen years. That's what you just called godliness. It's so much easier to be meek--to read the guidelines and submit and obey, instead of actually dealing with chaos, or pain--but that's not what good is.”
“Introverts need to trust their gut and share their ideas as powerfully as they can. This does not mean aping extroverts; ideas can be shared quietly, they can be communicated in writing, they can be packaged into highly produced lectures, they can be advanced by allies. The trick for introverts is to honor their own styles instead of allowing themselves to be swept up by prevailing norms.”
“Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.”
“What demon could have induced people to line a whole room with orange fabric?”
“even nightingales can’t live on songs alone.”
“I paused outside your door to see if you were awake, and you clearly were, so I came in."
"You still can't just barge in." I crossed my arms over my chest.
"Would you like me to go back out and knock?" Loki gestured to the doors behind him. "Would that make you feel better?”
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