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58 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences From "Paper Towns"

“Forever is composed of nows.” —John Green

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1. “What a treacherous thing it is to believe that a person is more than a person.”

2. “I like this. I like the consistency. I like that I can drive fifteen hours from home without the world changing too much.”

3. “Everyone demented with the mania of owning things. All the things paper-thing 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.”

4. “I knew these halls so well — and finally it was starting to feel like they knew me, too.”

5. “Forever is composed of nows.”

6. “Tonight, darling, we are going to right a lot of wrongs. And we are going to wrong some rights. The first shall be the last; the last shall be the first; the meek shall do some earth-inheriting. But before we can radically reshape the world, we need to shop.”

7. “I imagine it is hard to go back once you’ve felt the continents in your palm.”

8. “This was the first time in my life that so many things would never happen again.”

9. “We can hear others, and we can travel to them without moving, and we can imagine them, and we are all connected one to the other by a crazy root system like so many leaves of grass — but the game makes me wonder whether can really ever fully become another.”

10. “It is so hard to leave — until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

11. “Humans lack good mirrors. It’s so hard for anyone to show us how we look, and so hard for us to show anyone how we feel.”

12. “You keep expecting people not to be themselves.”

13. “I always felt like you had to be important to have enemies.”

14. “New York was the only place in America where a person could actually live a halfway livable life.”

15. “The physical space between us evaporates. We play the broken strings of our instruments one last time.”

16. “I can almost imagine a happiness without her, the ability to let her go, to feel our roots are connected even if I never see that leaf of grass again.”

17. “The day passed as it always did — in slow motion, with a thousand plaintive glances at the clock. But now it was even more unbearable, because every minute I waste din school was another minute in which I failed to find her.”

18. “Nothing is as boring as other people’s dreams.”

19. “Such was life that morning: nothing really mattered that much, not the good things and not the bad ones. We were in the business of mutual amusement, and we were reasonably prosperous.”

20. “And when I say that her hand brushes up against mine, and I just grab hers because it feels like there is less to ruin now.”

21. “Once the vessel cracks open, the end becomes inevitable.”

22. “If it doesn’t happen to you, it doesn’t happen at all.”

23. “There are so many people. It is easy to forget how full the world is of people, full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently misimagined.”

24. “The town was paper, but the memories were not. All the things I’d done here, all the love and pity and compassion and violence and spite, kept welling up inside me.”

25. “Maybe she had sat here in the cacophonous darkness and felt some kind of desperation take her over, and maybe she found it impossible to unthink the thought of death.”

26. “At least I carpe’d that one diem.”

27. “Even though I could see her there, I felt entirely alone among these big and empty buildings, like I’d survived the apocalypse and the world had been given to me, this whole and amazing and endless world, mine for the exploring.”

28. “I’m not saying that everything is survivable. Just that everything except the last thing is.”

29. “I think the future deserves our faith.”

30. “I’ve never seen her eyes dead like that, but then again, maybe I’ve never seen her eyes before.”

31. “I don’t know how I look, but I know how I feel: Young. Goofy. Infinite.”

32. “It’s kind of great, being an idea that everybody likes.”

33. “Maybe the strings break, or maybe our ships sink, or maybe we’re grass — our roots so interdependent that no one is dead as long as someone is still alive. We don’t suffer from a shortage of metaphors, is what I mean. But you have to be careful which metaphor you choose, because it matters.”

34. “Everything’s uglier close up.”

35. “I always liked routine. I suppose I never found boredom very boring. I doubted I could explain it to someone like Margo, but drawing circles through life struck me as a kind of reasonable insanity.”

36. “She either trusted me or wanted me to fall.”

37. “I learn something about fear. I learn that it is not the idle fantasies of someone who maybe wants something important to happen to him, even if the important thing is horrible. It is not the disgust of seeing a dead stranger, and not the breathlessness of hearing a shotgun pumped outside of Becca Arrington’s house. This cannot be addressed by breathing exercises. This fear bears no analogy to any fear I knew before. This is the basest of all possible emotions, the feeling that was with us before we existed, before this building existed, before the earth existed. This is the fear that made fish crawl out onto dry land and evolve lungs, the fear that teaches us to run, the fear that makes us bury our dead.”

38. “At some point, you gotta stop looking up at the sky, or one of these days you’ll look back down and see that you floated away, too.”

39. “And this is what I was trying to do, too. I guess: to listen to all the little sounds of her, because before any of it could make sense, it had be heard.”

40. "Leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can’t do that until your life has grown roots.”

41. “I have nothing to gain from kissing her. But I am no longer looking to gain anything.”

42. “I leave, and the leaving is so exhilarating I know I can never go back. But then what? Do I just keep leaving places, and leaving them, and leaving them, tramping a perpetual journey?”

43. “We bring the fucking rain, Q. Not the scattered showers.”

44. “I think maybe the reason I have spent most of my life being afraid is that I have been trying to prepare myself, to train my body for the real fear when it comes. But I am not prepared.”

45. “Isn’t it also that on some fundamental level we find it difficult to understand that other people are human beings in the same way that we are? We idealize them as gods or dismiss them as animals.”

46. “I decided to clean out my locker, because I didn’t really want to come back here and again have to feel like my lungs were drowning in this perverse nostalgia.”

47. “I wanted to tell her that the pleasure for me wasn’t planning or doing or leaving; the pleasure was in seeing our strings cross and separate and then come back together."

48. “You can argue...that Ahab is a fool for being obsessed. But you could also argue that there is something tragically heroic about fighting this battle he is doomed to lose.”

49. “Only now, after all this lost time, did I realize how terribly I had misunderstood both her game and the prize for winning it.”

50. “You listen to people so that you can imagine them, and you hear all the terrible and wonderful things people do to themselves and to one another, but in the end the listening exposes you even more than it exposes the people you’re trying to listen to.”

51. "She’d told me: the pleasure isn’t in doing the thing; the pleasure is in planning it.”

52. “Sometimes, the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are...People are different when you can smell them and see them up close.”

53. “I didn’t need you, you idiot. I picked you. And then you picked me back...And that’s like a promise. At least for tonight. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. For richer, for poorer. Till dawn do us part.”

54. “We are now as I wished we could be then.”

55. “It is saying these things that keeps ups from falling apart. And maybe by imagining these futures we can make them real, and maybe not, but either way we must imagine them. The light rushes out and floods in.”

56. "Doing stuff never feels as good as you hope it will feel.”

57. “I am afforded the chance to think one more thought, and I think about her. I blame her for this ridiculous, fatal chase — for putting us at risk, for making me into the kind of jackass who would stay up all night and drive too fast. I would not be dying were it not for her. I would have stayed home, as I have always stayed home, and I would have been safe, and I would have done the one thing I have always wanted to do, which is grow up.”

58. “And for those two minutes we just stared at each other, and I watched the blue in her eyes. It was nice — in the dark and the quiet, with no possibility of me saying anything to screw it up, and her eyes looking back, like there was something in me worth seeing.”


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