Ah, books. For me, they are a marvelous escape to which I:
a) don’t have to talk to real people,
b) can pretend I am somewhere else and,
c) can learn some valuable life lessons.
Some of those life lessons really stuck with me. So, I’ve put together my top 3 quotes from books (in no particular order) that I’ve read that have made me think twice. But be warned: I don’t read “cool” books. I am a big advocate of young adult fiction and I am a firm believer that they are capable of offering some of the most insightful advice you can get. Also, yes, of course John Green is on this list. Deal with it.
1. “Life is not a wish-granting factory.”
Where it’s from: “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green
What I learned: Um, *preach* to this quote. I don’t think it’s ever too early to learn that things don’t always go your way. You are not entitled to anything just for existing. What you earn out of life is exactly what you put into it. I try to remember this every time I have to do laundry because I know that if I don’t put in the effort to go down into the basement and do it myself, I will run out of underpants. (Note: this quote applies to much more than just underpants).
Why you should read it too: If you haven’t read this book yet, it’s likely because you are skeptical about all the hype. But cynics — hear me out! After reading this quote, can you not see for yourself that this book is, in fact, entirely cynical itself? And not just cynical, but wise and engaging and heart-breaking all at the same time? You will FEEL and it will be awful and terrible but just trust me and do it already, okay? (Okay.)
2. “Some of us get dipped in flat, some in satin, some in gloss….but every once in a while, you find someone who’s iridescent, and when you do, nothing will ever compare.”
Where it’s from: “Flipped” by Wendelin Van Draanen
What I learned: I know what you’re thinking, “oh, vom, this sounds like a romance quote.” Which, fine, in context it is. BUT the big picture idea of this is has so much more meaning. What I took from this quote is to remember that, with anything in life, you should never settle for less than extraordinary. And that statement goes two ways — yes, you should expect it, but don’t forget to be iridescent yourself. Be different, weird, passionate…and never let anyone or anything tell you that’s not okay. Also this quote was said by a grandpa and you have to listen to grandpa advice, it’s the law.
Why you should read it too: Full disclosure: I read this for the first time when I was in 8th grade. However, I have read it many times over since and it still gives me the same *feels.* This book is all about looking past the surface level and, to be honest, that can sometimes be a reminder we need every once in a while. So please, if you pick it up, look past the age of the main characters and make it apply to your life.
3. “I’m always finding humans at their best and worst. I see their ugly and their beauty, and I wonder how the same thing can be both.”
Where it’s from: “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusack
What I learned: Holy existential epiphany Batman, this quote is deep! To give some context, this quote is said by Death, as in, the Grim Reaper. Yeah, that guy’s the narrator of this book. It does make sense as the book takes place in WWII Germany, but still, it can sort of throw some people for a loop. Regardless, I adore this quote for a number of reasons. One, the fact that Death can consider humans beautiful. Seems counter-intuitive, but he’s a lot more complicated than you think. And two, it brings up the very good point that we (humans) are not one-dimensional. You don’t have to be one thing because you’re not. It’s impossible. It’s something that’s good to keep in mind when figuring out, say, your future. You have to make choices but remember: you don’t have to be one thing forever.
Why you should read it: Like I said, it’s narrated by Death. Don’t you want to know what he has to say?
Written by Laura Sestito. Laura is the Editorial and Production Coordinator at NextStepU and graduated from Nazareth College.
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