Favorite Book Quotes from 2021

I read 78 books in 2021 and here are some quotes that stuck with me.

In, The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, V.E. Schwab wrote, “Being forgotten, she thinks, is a bit like going mad. You begin to wonder what is real, if you are real. After all, how can a thing be real if it cannot be remembered?” This book had so many moments that just made you think about life and what it truly means to have people you love. Addie had to live her life without those meaningful relationships, battling the thought that she isn’t good enough to be remembered.

“She’d laughed, and if he could have bottled the sound and gotten drunk on it every night, he would have. It terrified him.” ― Leigh Bardugo, Six of Crows. Kaz and Inej have battled their demons throughout this book and had to learn how to love again. Inej and him have had such a complicated but incredible partnership for the ages. Their love goes farther than just words.

Leigh Bardugo wrote in her book, Crooked Kingdom, “I have been made to protect you. Even in death, I will find a way.” If there was one word you had to use to describe how I felt while reading this scene it would be devastated. Matthias and Nina’s love for each other will forever stay, even after death. They are the definition of soulmates.

“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”― Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us. This book was an emotional rollercoaster taking us through the pain Lily survived. She was so strong, surviving an abusive relationship that shattered anyone who read this book into a million pieces.

“We’re more than our mistakes. We’re more than what people expect of us.”― Marieke Nijkamp, This Is Where It Ends. Mistakes don’t define who we are. We grow from them and become a better version of ourselves. People expect you to be perfect when in reality no one is. We are the only ones allowed to define ourselves and who we are on the inside.

“But there’s comfort in knowing that when your plans fall apart, you can survive. That the worst thing imaginable can happen, but you can get through it.”― Jenn Bennett, Starry Eyes. This quote hit me hard because I am a planner and I don’t like to leave things up to fate. But, it made me realize that I can get through it and survive even if all your plans fall apart.

“For so many years I lived in constant terror of myself. Doubt had married my fear and moved into my mind, where it built castles and ruled kingdoms and reigned over me, bowing my will to its whispers until I was little more than an acquiescing peon, too terrified to disobey, too terrified to disagree. I had been shackled, a prisoner in my own mind. But finally, finally, I have learned to break free.”― Tahereh Mafi, Ignite Me. Juliette found herself throughout this series and learned how to truly be herself without the doubt of not being enough.

Holly Black in, The Queen of Nothing, wrote, “Maybe it isn’t the worst thing to want to be loved, even if you’re not. Even if it hurts. Maybe being human isn’t always being weak.” Jude battled her thoughts of hating being human. She grew to know that being human doesn’t mean you’re weak and that you’re allowed to love.

“I’m starting to wonder if this is what being in love is. Being okay with ripping yourself to shreds, so the other person can stay whole.”― Ali Hazelwood, The Love Hypothesis. Love means sacrifice. Sacrificing yourself for someone else, someone you love.

“The difference between the ugly side of love and the beautiful side of love is that the beautiful side is much lighter. It makes you feel like you’re floating. It lifts you up. Carries you.” ― Colleen Hoover, Ugly Love. Some parts of love are beautiful but some are ugly. The beautiful side can consume you and make you feel like it’s worth it to get through the ugly side to find the beautiful side.

In November 9, Colleen Hoover wrote, “One of the things I always try to remind myself of is that everyone has scars,” she says. “A lot of them are even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people’s aren’t.” Some scars are visible and show other people the pain that you’ve survived. The scars that aren’t visible are shown when people open up to another person they trust. Both kinds of scars show how strong each person is to survive and get to this moment.

She wasn’t a robot or a disabled autistic girl. She was herself. She was enough. She could be anything. She could make herself into anything. She could prove everyone wrong.” ― Helen Hoang, The Kiss Quotient. Stella doesn’t let autism define her. She alone knows that she is enough and can do anything she dreams of.

Every single one of these books have really changed me and the way I look at love and life.

-Kaitlyn D.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover was an amazing book that I read on November 9th. Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors and she is known for her plot twists and extraordinary romance books. This book broke me and put me back together again.

The book follows Fallon, an actress that suffered major burns from a fire accident, and Ben, who aspires to be an author. November 9th is the date that the accident Fallon suffered from happened. Fallon is about to move to New York, when she meets Ben she spends the day with him and they get to know each other. They immediately have a connection that most people never find. Fallon mentions that her mother told her not to fall in love until she is 23. So, when she’s about to leave they make a promise to meet on the same day every year until Fallon turns 23; no contact information just that one day.

“You can’t leave yet. I’m not finished falling in love with you.” Ben said this to Fallon and it is one of those quotes that I will always remember. Ben puts his heart on the line and admits how he feels. The fact that they had to part ways and not see each other for an entire year is beyond devastating.

They reconnect every year like nothing has changed. The book is split up into 7 November 9ths. Each one leaving you with a cliffhanger that makes you want to keep reading. Fallon and Ben’s relationship is a one in a lifetime kind of thing and it makes you think. How far will they go to have a happy ending? Those last few November 9ths were an emotional rollercoaster. But, the book does have a happy ending.

A quote I find powerful at the beginning of the book that foreshadows backstory that is revealed at the end of the book was, “One of the things I always try to remind myself is that everyone has scars, A lot of them even worse than mine. The only difference is that mine are visible and most people’s aren’t.” It really reveals how much emotion was put into this book.

Fallon and Ben have a love story for the ages. Everything between forbidden love and betrayal. Imagine loving someone and only seeing them one day out of the year. It has a powerful message about how most love is fictionalized while in reality love isn’t perfect. You want the other person to have fun and live their life but it breaks your heart that they are doing it without you. Is loving someone so much worth sacrificing your own happiness to see them be happy? Is love worth waiting for? These are the things I thought about while reading this book.

Overall, this book was a solid 5/5 stars. Definitely one of my favorites!

-Kaitlyn D.

November 9 by Colleen Hoover is avaialbe to download from Overdrive.

Film Review: Whisper of the Heart

Now that the school year is starting, I thought this would be the best time to write about a movie that relates to many students, specifically high schoolers such as myself. As a sophomore, I’m already beginning to think about what universities I should attend, what career I should have for the rest of my life, and how I’m able to achieve any of these goals in the first place. The main character in the film, Whisper of the Heart, faces many of these “coming-of-age” challenges as well. In another masterpiece created by the Studio Ghibli franchise, viewers are taken on a journey that—quite frankly—they never thought they needed.

The movie introduces the main character, Shizuku Tsukishima, who has a passion for stories and writing. After discovering that her library books have all been previously checked out by one person, she meets Seiji Amasawa, a boy whom she finds annoying but is also the mystery student from the library. As they grow closer, Seiji explains to Shizuku his dream in becoming a professional violin maker in Italy. This makes Shizuku question her future path in life—or lack thereof. By using her love for writing, she creates a novel about a cat named Baron, inspired by a cat statue owned by Seiji’s grandfather. Seiji and Shizuku fall in love, but Seiji is given the opportunity to pursue his dream and has to leave Shizuku. However, Seiji surprises Shizuku early the next morning and takes her to see the sunrise. The boy promises to wait for her and reunite once they both achieve their dreams.

I’ll always applaud Studio Ghibli for being able to create such breathtaking imagery, albeit there’s a message far beyond the surface of this film that requires deeper analysis and understanding. The director of this movie, Yoshifumi Kondō, creates a balance between dreams and reality. Seiji’s dream forces Shizuku to realize that he’s moving forward with his life, whereas Shizuku is receding into her childhood self. Throughout the film, Shizuku constantly prioritizes her novels first because they help her escape the burdens of our world, but this proves consequential when she begins to fall behind on classes and relationships. While the director reminds us that making sacrifices is a part of growing older, he also shows how important it is to create our own path in life. As a result, Shizuku is able to intertwine her childhood into her future path by becoming a writer, regardless of how difficult it may be.

Typically, I’m not the type of person who enjoys romance or dramas, especially movies as cliché as this one. On the other hand, this movie is possibly one of the greatest romance movies I’ve ever seen because it genuinely relates to me from a high schooler’s perspective. The end of Whisper of the Heart is open-ended, leaving many viewers wondering if the two protagonists ever achieve their dreams. We can only assume, but our assumptions will determine our sense of the world.

– Natisha P.

Book Review: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Wow. As someone who spends hours having an existential crisis and constantly reads sad books to feel something. I think this book may have broken me.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab is an absolutely brilliant book, if you understand it’s simple complexities. However I will admit, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

The book is set around Adeline LaRue, an eccentric young women set on living her own life. No restrictions, no arranged marriages, and plain freedom. But in France, 1714 she’s forced to marry a man she doesn’t love. Desperate to escape she prays to the gods as her mentor, Estelle, taught her. However, she went against Estelle’s greatest warning. “Never pray to the gods that answer after dark.” A god answers Addie, granting her freedom and also immortality. The consequence, you might ask? She will live forever alone, without being remembered by anyone she’s seen or met. She will never leave a mark on the world.

When she turns to her village, no one remembers her. To them she is a stranger, a traveler, someone foreign and lost. But once she was a daughter, a friend, and now she is nothing. Desperate, she flees and decides to travel the world.

I’ll spare you the boring details because this book sadly has little to no plot. Instead you just watch a lonely girl wander the world, stealing to live, and slowly losing herself in the process. No one remembers her except for Luc, the god who cursed her. Who visits her every year on her birthday to try and claim her soul. But Addie hasn’t given up and refuses to die despite being alone.

But one day, in New York, March 13, 2014. The boy in the bookshop remembers her name. He remembers her. For the first time in hundreds of years, Addie hears the words, “I remember you.” Three small worlds, that tug Addie’s heart.

Because of all the people in the word who have forgotten Addie, the boy in the bookstore is someone special. Or at least- now he is to Addie. The rest of the story is a blur of tragic backstories, clothes tinged with alcohol, and running through the rain. Classic hopeless romantic tropes that may or may not have made me swoon.

But as I said before, this book will break you. Because what qualifies as love? Is it someone you have a connection with? Is it someone who you know everything about? Honestly who knows. However V.E. Schwab decided to write a triangle of sorts. It may be a love triangle between a god desperate to obtain her, a forgotten girl, and a boy who just wants to be loved. Or it’s just three “people” connected by horrible misfortunes. But none the less, it can only end in one pair.

So I have one question for anyone who wants to or has read this book. The same question I wondered after reading this book. Can you be manipulated into loving someone without knowing? And would you still love them?

–Ashley Y.

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by V.E. Schwab is available for checkout at the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Tobias Iaconis, and Mikki Daughtry

Stella, a teenager that has Cystic Fibrosis whose entire life has been very routine-like is approached by a boy named Will. The catch is that Will also has Cystic Fibrosis and they must stay six feet apart at all times in order to stay safe. Hospital trips, medications, and nurses have been a huge part of Stella’s life, but to Will, this is all new. Ironically, their personalities clash. Stella could be described as a good kid, but on the other hand, Will likes to act out, giving the book an adventurous side. Fortunately, this doesn’t get in the way of them catching feelings for each other. Five Feet Apart is a book about their influence on each other with appearances made by other vital side characters.  

Even though I read this book a couple of months before the movie came out, I still watched the movie. I figured that some of you may have already heard of, or seen the movie, but I’m here to tell you to give the book a shot as well! It made me bawl my eyes out and allowed for more emotion to be felt. Will really added a fun and exciting element to the book that kept me on the edge of my seat and the impact they both had on each other really touched my heart. It’s a 10/10 for me!

-Kaitlyn Y.

Five Feet Apart is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Love and Luck by Jenna Evens Welch

The novel Love and Luck by Jenna Evens Welch tells the story of overcoming a broken heart and finding one’s self.  

The story stars a young Addie, the youngest of her large family. Addie and her family are on a trip to Ireland for her aunt’s extravagant destination wedding. But the only thing on Addie’s mind is the recent events that led to her heart being broken. 

No matter how hard she tries to forget, the images keep replaying in her mind- and it does not help that her brother Ian keeps reminding her of it. In fact, the two fight over the aftermath of the heartbreak situation for most of the story. However, things start to look up when Addie finds a guidebook titled Ireland for the Heartbroken. On a whim, she takes the book, hoping to escape her nagging thoughts-and her nagging brother.  

When an unexpected change in plans occurs, Addie ends up in a tiny car with Ian and his new Irish friend Rowan. The three of them take a fun-filled adventure around Ireland visiting all sorts of beautiful landmarks. Addie hopes her guidebook can help her find the peace she longs for, and, surprisingly, Rowan joins in. Along the trip, Addie works to mend her heart as well as mend her relationship with Ian. Love and Luck is an exciting read full of self-discovery, friendship, adventure, and of course, love!  I would highly recommend this book to any teen who enjoys a cute story that features travel! 

-Hidaya R.

Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Amazon.com: Love & Gelato (9781481432559): Welch, Jenna Evans: Books

If you are looking for a cute romance novel to read, I have the perfect book for you! Love and Gelato was written by Jenna Even Welsh in 2016. It falls into the categories Romance and Young Adult Fiction. The story follows young Lina, who moves from Seattle to Florence to live with her father after her mother passes away. There’s only one problem- Lina has never met her father. And she does not want to. 

However, Lina promised her mother she would make an effort to get to know him right before her mother passed away, so she doesn’t really have a choice. Although Lina is moving to a foreign country to live with her absent father she has never met, she tries to make the most of it. 

However, her plan to stay positive comes to a crashing halt when she learns her father lives in a cemetery. But when things seem as though they can not get any worse, Lina is given a journal that her mother kept while living in Italy. It was Lina’s final chance to connect with her mom now that she is gone. Lina travels all over Florence with Ren, the boy next door. She meets tons of new people and tries all sorts of new things. She visits different parts of the city, including all her mother’s favorite parts. Once in Florence, with Ren, Lina finally feels like she can be happy without her mother-she starts to find herself again. But, the best things she finds in Florence are Love and Gelato!

This book makes for a great quick read. Once you start it, you will not be able to put it down! Trust me, I have read it three times! Not only is it a romance novel, but it has a great plot with countless twists and turns. You will be kept on the edge of your seat while also rooting for your favorite couple!

-Hidaya R.

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Book Cover, A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams, 1947 | Objects  | Collection of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

A Streetcar Named Desire is a tragic play written by Tennessee Williams. It is centered around Blanche DuBois, a fragile thirty year old woman who is detached from reality. After being fired from her previous job as a schoolteacher and losing her home, Blanche decides to go and stay with her younger sister, Stella Kowalski. Stella Kowalski lives with her Polish husband, Stanley Kowalski, a plain and straightforward man. Despite falling out of touch with her sister, Blanche arrives with her large trunk at the Kowalski household.

The title of this play is very crucial to its message and illustrates its entire plot. In the beginning, Blanche recounts her journey to her sister’s house. First, Blanche rode a streetcar named Desire. Then, she took a a streetcar named Cemeteries, which took her to a street called Elysian Fields. Elysian Fields is the land of the dead in Greek mythology. This entire journey symbolizes Blanche’s life and her fear of death. At first, Blanche allows her sexual desires to overcome her and ruin her life. As a result, she is evicted from her childhood home, and lastly, she is taken to an asylum and ostracized completely from society.

Throughout this entire play, we watch as Blanche DuBois gradually becomes completely out of touch with reality. Because of her adherence to lies, fibs, and illusions, she clashes with Stanley. Stanley is a grounded and vicious man who represents the vital force, the strength which animates all living creatures. Everything that he does, he does with extreme passion; he loves passionately, treats Blanche cruelly, and is extremity loyal to his friends.

In the end, after Blanche’s depressing and indecent past is revealed to Stella and Stanley, they decide to send Blanche to an insane asylum. The final moments of this play are heart wrenching and painful. As a broken, depressed, and insane Blanche pleads for her sister to save her, she is lead to the asylum like a prisoner.

Despite its tragic finale, this play discusses very important themes such as death, illusions, and sexuality. Overall, this was an extremely intriguing and deep play that I would recommend to anyone who does not mind a sad ending and loves to explore complex themes.

-Yvette C.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Authors We Love: Nathaniel Hawthorne

10 Things You May Not Know About Nathaniel Hawthorne - HISTORY

Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) is the founder of American psychoanalytic fiction and the first writer of short stories in the history of American literature. He has been called the greatest American romantic novelist in the 19th century. Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in the United States. His family believed in the Christian puritanism, and Hawthorne was influenced by puritanism. After graduating from Bowdoin college in 1825, Hawthorne returned to Salem, where he wrote and published dozens of stories and short stories. In 1839, Hawthorne worked in Boston customs for more than two years, and then entered the “brook farm”, where he was exposed to transcendentalism and got acquainted with Emerson and Thoreau, the representatives of transcendentalism.

Later, Hawthorne went to Salem’s customs office, where his work experience there has a direct impact on his writing “The Scarlet Letter”, which consolidated his solid position in the American literary world. Hawthorne was evaluated as a spectator of life, and his attitude to life determined his interest and insight into people’s inner and psychological activities. He was deeply influenced by the thought of original sin, and the original sin was passed down from generation to generation. His representative works include the novel “The Scarlet Letter”, “The House of the Seven Gables”, “The Blithedale Romance”, “Twice Told Tales”, and “Mosses from an Old House”. Among them, “The Scarlet Letter” has become the world literature classic where Henry James, Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville and other literary masters are deeply influenced by it.

The works of Nathaniel Hawthorne are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. They can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Amazon.com: The Boy Most Likely To (9780147513076): Fitzpatrick ...The Boy Most Likely To is a very well written book. There are two books that come before it, The Boy Next Door and What I Thought Was True. I don’t think that What I Thought Was True is necessary to read however since it is about different characters in the same city. However, the two main characters in The Boy Most Likely To, Tim and Alice, are characters in the Boy Next Door, so I would definitely recommend reading that beforehand.

I remember years ago, probably almost four, I picked the Boy Next Door off the shelf since I didn’t realize that Becca Fitzpatrick and Huntley Fitzpatrick were different authors. That’s happened to me a few times, and it was a rare occurrence for me to love both of the series.

The story follows seventeen-year-old Tim and the crazy life of 19-year-old Alice. Alice is taking care of all her siblings while her dad is in the hospital, while Tim is trying to stay out of trouble. It is unlikely that they would fall for each other, but everything else isn’t perfect in their life.

The story switches off between Tim’s and Alice’s points of view, which are written in distinctly different tones, which I thought was nice. I think that it was a well-written book and sequel, and is definitely worth the read. If you’re a fan of a realistic or a romance, this book is for you.

-Rebecca V., 12th grade