As you can tell from looking at my last two reviews, I've been reading a lot of John Green recently (he's fast becoming one of my favourite authors)! One thing that John Green is particularly great at is writing quotes. Now I'm sure, and this goes for all authors, that he didn't just pause halfway through Looking For Alaska and say, 'this chapter needs a memorable line in it'... That would just be silly... My point is, that quotes are just sentences in stories that we happen to like. I'm a huge fan of quotes, I can waste hours of time scanning through them on Goodreads... I'm not entirely sure what makes me like them, but perhaps it's the fact that these sentences sum up the book, the characters, people in general and even life as a whole in a few words... I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite quotes – I was going to talk about them, but I'll just let the quotes speak for themselves:
“Thomas Edison's last words were 'It's very beautiful over there'. I don't know where there is, but I believe it's somewhere, and I hope it's beautiful.”- John Green, Looking For Alaska
“A snowball in the face is surely the perfect beginning to a lasting friendship.”- Marcus Zusak, The Book Thief
“When did we see each other face-to-face? Not until you saw into my cracks and I saw into yours. Before that, we were just looking at ideas of each other, like looking at your window shade but never seeing inside. But once the vessel cracks, the light can get in. The light can get out.”- John Green, Paper Towns
“We lead strange lives, chasing our dreams around from place to place.”- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
And here's one of my absolute favourite quotes in existence (it's a bit long, and isn't exactly a few words, but it's said in a beautiful scene when two characters are overlooking the city they live in):
“Here's what's not beautiful about it: from here, you can't see the rust or the cracked paint or whatever, but you can tell what the place really is. You can see how fake it all is. It's not even hard enough to be made out of plastic. It's a paper town. I mean, look at it, Q: look at all those culs-de-sac, those streets that turn in on themselves, all the houses that were built to fall apart. All those paper people living in their paper houses, burning the future to stay warm. All the paper kids drinking beer some bum bought for them at the paper convenience store. Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thin and paper-frail. And all the people, too. I've lived here for eighteen years and I have never once in my life come across anyone who cares about anything that matters.”- John Green, Paper Towns
I think that, to expand on that previous point I made, that the best quotes really do sum up life and humans and everything around us... My English teacher taught us about something called the 'human condition' and she told me that the very best literature always reflects on humans as a whole and that kind of idea of what it actually means to be human. I think that's perhaps what John Green is so great at: he can create these very realistic characters and show us different ideas on life through the eyes of those characters. For example, the last quote, about paper towns and paper people, gives us a real insight into what that character (Margo) thinks about where she lives her life. So yeah... I'll leave you with that, and I'm just about to start Life of Pi!