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396 pages, Kindle Edition
First published January 26, 2016
"His biceps are roughly the size of my head, and his eyes look like summer incarnate, and he has two little dark freckles on the side of his nose, and a mouth that somehow manages to look like a shy kid’s one minute and a virile Greek god’s the next.”
“Sometimes the most beautiful moments in our lives are things that hurt badly at the time. We only see them for what they really were when we stand at the very end and look back.”I have to be honest, from the title, I didn't expect much of this book. I was wrong, and I love it when I'm wrong in moments like this. This was a wonderfully-written, introspective book of surprising depth.
God is a thing I think I see in glimmers all over: an enormous and vague warmth I sometimes catch pulsing around me, giving me shivers and making tears prick my eyes; a mysterious and limitless Thing threaded through all the world and refusing to be reduced to a name or a set of rules and instead winding itself through millions of stories, true and made up, connecting all breathing things.This book has diversity (for example, the main character is dark-skinned Native American) and feminism, two traits that are incredibly rare in YA literature. I think it would fit into the magical realism genre, which is surprising, since I tend to think of that entire genre as hippie-dippie bullshit.
“That’s when I fell in love with Matt Kincaid,” Megan says quietly.So from what I've said, this book is pretty great, right? Well, no. First, it is suuuuuuuuuuuuper slow. The writing is beautiful, but there are entire paragraphs written about one concept, and so the book feels overly verbose. Furthermore, the romance can get too much at times. It didn't feel that way because again, the writing is wonderful, but it can get distracting.
It’s like a dagger in my heart. Not jealousy, at least not toward Megan. If anything, I’m jealous that she loves Matt but doesn’t even know me. And I’m jealous that this Megan would tell me about things mine never has. I wonder when her feelings for him went away, if they even did, and how I didn’t notice them.
Had I been hurting her, hurting both of them, for the last six years over something it turns out I’d never been sure I wanted?
"I want you to understand something, Natalie. No matter how hard it feels, you don't need to be afraid to move on. There's always more to see and feel."
"Natalie, the world's going to keep right on being terrible and beautiful all at once"
“I stand and lean against the rail in the aisle between bleachers. I want to go down to the field, to stand with this boy between the sky and the grass until every part of me touches every layer of the world. If feels important, but even though I’m so sure this is a dream, I feel a little shy and embarrassed, like I won’t know what to say when I get down there.”
“You never owe another person something, no matter how nice they are to you. Relationships aren’t transactions”
“Do you think . . . I mean, is it possible . . . that there is a God?”
She smiles that same smile I recognize from childhood, the mysterious one that makes our eyes sparkle. “Girl,” she says, “how do you think any of this is possible if something didn’t want it to be? Something tore a hole in time just over our bed all so you, lucky bitch, could know what it is to love. Someone tore up a tree and let us look through and decide to fall.”
I guess I will love him well until I die. I have to believe the world will pick up where I leave off. I have to believe that, whether I’m there at the end of the world with Beau or not, love is bigger than death.
“This is the story of the beginning of the world, and the woman who fell from the sky.”
"Love is giving the world away, and being loved is having the whole world to give."
“There's little to fear when you love. There's nothing to fear when you are loved.”
“You have only three months.”
“What are you talking about—”
“Three months to save him, Natalie.”
“Save? Save who?”
Her eyes, immense and milky all of a sudden, dart over my shoulder, and her mouth drops open. “You,” she breathes. “Already—you’re already here.”
I look over my shoulder, neck alive with tingles, but no one’s there.
“Don’t be afraid, Natalie. Alice will help you,” Grandmother says. “Find Alice Chan.”
“You're becoming an adult. You’re going to make your own decisions, and I know you’re a smart girl, but everyone makes some mistakes. I want you to know you’ve got me, no matter what. You can always count on your dad and me.”
“I don’t care how much sex your sister is or isn’t having. That’s kind of the deal with the whole "uptight feminazi" thing—we don’t care when other women want to wear stupid orange Soffe shorts with white tennis shoes and have a lot of sex, or when they want to wear habits and live in a convent, or if they want to walk around in pasties and never French kiss, so long as they’re allowed to do what they want.”
“I like to think of myself as somewhat of an expert on my best friend, but the truth is I have no idea how to help with all of this. So tell me, okay? Tell me what you need, and tell me every single time you need it, and I’ll be there.”
“If I only get to build one porch in my life, I’d like it to be yours, and if there’s one person I never have to hurt or disappoint, I’d want that to be you too.”
I fold over him to whisper, “I would still want you here too. In every version of the world, I would.”
“I missed you.”
“Every day,” he answered softly. “All the time.”
“It’s all in the stories. Everything. The truth. The whole world, Natalie. That girl jumped through the hole, not knowing what would happen, and the whole world got born.”
“It’s hard to feel like you belong when you don’t know who you are, and it’s hard to know who you are when you don’t know where you come from.”
“Three months to save him, Natalie.”
“Seasons stretch into years stretch into decades stretch into centuries, all in moments, while I can hear Beau’s breath, make out his edges through the millisecond of dark before another morning comes.”
“I grab the sides of his face and kiss him again, slowly, deeply, his hands coming around me and lifting me over and on top of him. I fold over him to whisper, “I would still want you here too. In every version of the world, I would.”