“I learned that it was in hard times that people usually changed the course of their life; in good times, they frequently only talked about change. Hard times forced them to overcome the doubts that normally gave them pause. It surprised me how often we hold ourselves back until we have no choice.”—Po Bronson, What Should I Do with My Life?
“That’s when I understand that I have been stained. Whether I’m still in love with him, whether he was ever in love with me, and no matter who he’s in love with now, he changed my life. He showed me how to get lost, and then I showed myself how to get found.”—Gayle Forman, Just One Day
“I never felt this way with anyone else. Like I’m falling every time I’m around you, like I can’t catch my breath, and I feel alive—not just standing around and letting my life walk past me. There’s been nothing like that with anyone else.”—Jennifer L. Armentrout, Onyx
“That’s the difference between family and friends. Family is always there, no matter what, even when it’s not right next door. Which means that you’ll find a way to keep the connection alive. Especially since you realize how important it is.”—Nicholas Sparks, The Longest Ride
“It was the best thing anyone had ever said to me, and it was the best for one reason: I felt exactly the same way. The person who loved me like this was the person I loved back, which can feel like an absolute miracle. It is an absolute miracle.”—Emily Giffin, Baby Proof
“Truth is, something that I thought was perfect was taken away from me, and I never wanted perfect again. I wanted middle of the road, stuff I didn’t care about so that I couldn’t lose anything I really loved ever again.”—Cecelia Ahern, The Time of My Life
“When I was little, I used to go to the local ice-skating rink. In my mind, I always felt like I could twirl and jump, but when I got out onto the ice, I could barely keep my blades straight. When I got older, that’s how it was with people: In my mind, I am bold and forthright, but what comes out always seems to be so meek and polite.”—Gayle Forman, Just One Day
“There are just lots of possibilities in the world. I need to keep my mind open for what could happen and not decide that the world is hopeless if what I want to happen doesn’t happen. Because something else great might happen in between.”—Rachel Cohn, Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares
“It’s strange indeed how memories can lie dormant in a man’s mind for so many years. Yet those memories can be awakened and brought forth fresh and new, just by something you’ve seen, or something you’ve heard, or the sight of an old familiar face.”—Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows
“We ran into lots of old friends. Friends from elementary school, junior high school, high school. Everyone had matured in their own way, and even as we stood face to face with them they seemed like people from dreams, sudden glimpses through the fences of our tangled memories. We smiled and waved, exchanged a few words, and then walked on in our separate directions.”—Banana Yoshimoto, Goodbye Tsugumi
“I remember always being baffled by other children. I would be at a birthday party and watch the other kids giggling and making faces, and I would try to do that, too, but I wouldn’t understand why. I would sit there with the tight elastic thread of the birthday hat parting the pudge of my underchin, with the grainy frosting of the cake bluing my teeth, and I would try to figure out why it was fun.”—Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl
“Everyone always wants to know how you can tell when it’s true love, and the answer is this: when the pain doesn’t fade and the scars don’t heal, and it’s too damned late.”—Jonathan Tropper, The Book of Joe
“It’s funny how bed and pillows and covers can change a conversation. Words turn quiet and you mean more and say less. It’s like you can build your own little world, Population: 2.”—Robin Benway, Audrey, Wait!