There are many ways to find new books to read. Some people like to head to their nearest Barnes & Noble and spend a few hours quietly perusing. Others like to skim through the reviews and order online. Still others prefer to just buy a bunch of new books and then reread Harry Potter for the hundredth time while their recent purchases languish in some long-forgotten corner. (No shame.) (Okay, a little bit of shame.)
But there is a fourth option. We may not often talk about this one, but we’ve all done it. It’s when you see a quote from a book—whether it be on a shirt, a poster, or an Etsy cross-stitch pattern—and the words are so brilliant, so witty, so intriguing you think to yourself, “I need to find out what book that’s from, and I need to read it immediately.” In the spirit of that book-hunting method, here are 16 quotes from YA novels that are not Etsy cross-stitch patterns but are sure to pique your interest nonetheless.
“‘A self-made man’—not of woman born but alchemized, through sheer force of will, by the man himself. This is what I want to be. I want to be a self-made woman. I want to conjure myself out of every sparkling, fast-moving thing I can see. I want to be the creator of myself.”
—How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran
“It has been sixty-four years since the president and the Consortium identified love as a disease, and forty-three since the scientists perfected a cure.”
—Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
“The gunman is useless. I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it. Even my best mate, Marvin, knows it, and he’s more useless than the gunman. The worst part about the whole thing is that Marv’s car is standing outside in a fifteen-minute parking zone. We’re all facedown on the floor, and the car’s only got a few minutes left on it.”
—I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
“We’d stared into the face of Death, and Death blinked first. You’d think that would make us feel brave and invincible. It didn’t.”
―The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
“Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you’re dead.”
—A Certain Slant of Light, by Laura Whitcomb
“There’s something about swimsuits that make you think you’ve got to earn the right to wear them. And that’s wrong. Really, the criteria is simple. Do you have a body? Put a swimsuit on it.”
—Dumplin’, by Julie Murphy
“The gods rule us still. They have come down from the stars. And they are no longer kind.”
—Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard
“I love you,” I say to him, only it comes out, “Hey.”
“So damn much,” he says back, only it comes out, “Dude.”
He still won’t meet my eyes.
—I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
“It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry ‘Monster!’ and looked behind him.”
—Daughter of Smoke and Bone, by Laini Taylor
“The man sitting across from me at the cafe was thinking about murdering his wife.”
—The Mind Readers, by Lori Brighton
“I am no longer afraid of getting old. Indeed I can’t believe I ever said anything so stupid. So childish. So offensive and arrogant.
But mainly, so very, very stupid. I desperately want to grow old.”
—Code Name Verity, by Elizabeth Wein
“I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race—that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.”
―The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
“Hell won’t be so bad, you know. After all, I’ll be there to keep you company.”
―Camille, by Tess Oliver
“Life is messy and the universe has an awful lot of people to keep track of. Sometimes things get screwed up. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes good things happen to bad people.
That isn’t fair.
Bad things should happen to bad people.
And they will. They will.”
―This Is Where the World Ends, by Amy Zhang
“And I’d choose you; in a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, in any version of reality, I’d find you and I’d choose you.”
—The Chaos of Stars, by Kiersten White
“The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World.”
—Going Bovine, by Libba Bray