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John Green Quotes

86 of the best book quotes from John Green
  1. #1
    “I thought of Florida, of my “school friends,” and realized for the first time how much I would miss the Creek if I ever had to leave it. I stared down at Takumi’s twig sticking out of the mud and said, “I swear to God I won’t rat.”
  2. #2
    “I didn’t know whether to trust Alaska, and I’d certainly had enough of her unpredictability—cold one day, sweet the next; irresistibly flirty one moment, resistibly obnoxious the next. I preferred the Colonel: At least when he was cranky, he had a reason.”
  3. #3
    “For a long time, I was mad at you. The way you cut me out of everything hurt me, and so I kept what I knew to myself. But then even after I wasn’t mad anymore, I still didn’t say anything, and I don’t even really know why. Pudge had that kiss, I guess. And I had this secret.”
  4. #4
    “So we gave up. I’d finally had enough of chasing after a ghost who did not want to be discovered. We’d failed, maybe, but some mysteries aren’t meant to be solved.”
  5. #5
    “That which came together will fall apart imperceptibly slowly, and I will forget, but she will forgive my forgetting, just as I forgive her for forgetting me and the Colonel and everyone but herself and her mom in those last moments she spent as a person.”
  6. #6
    “But we will deal with those bastards, Pudge. I promise you. They will regret messing with one of my friends.”
  7. #7
    “Your rote memorization is, like, so impressive,” I said.
    “You guys are like an old married couple.” Alaska smiled. “In a creepy way.”
  8. #8
    “I wanted so badly to lie down next to her on the couch, to wrap my arms around her and sleep… But I lacked the courage and she had a boyfriend and I was gawky and she was gorgeous and I was hopelessly boring and she was endlessly fascinating. So I walked back to my room and collapsed on the bottom bunk, thinking that if people were rain, I was drizzle and she was a hurricane.”
  9. #9
    “As I took those two steps back, Margo took two equally small and quiet steps forward.”
  10. #10
    “The Colonel was screaming. He would inhale, and then scream. Inhale. Scream. Inhale. Scream.
    I thought, at first, that it was only yelling. But after a few breaths, I noticed a rhythm. And after a few more, I realized that the Colonel was saying words. He was screaming, “I’m so sorry.”
  1. #11
    “And I said, ‘Oh God, Alaska, I love you. I love you,’ and the Colonel whispered, ‘I’m so sorry, Pudge. I know you did,’ and I said, ‘No. Not past tense.’ She wasn’t even a person anymore, just flesh rotting, but I loved her present tense.”
  2. #12
    “I would never know her well enough to know her thoughts in those last minutes, would never know if she left us on purpose. But the not-knowing would not keep me from caring, and I would always love Alaska Young, my crooked neighbor, with all my crooked heart.”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Looking for Alaska
    character
    pudge
    concept
    love
  3. #13
    “But a lot of times, people die how they live. And so last words tell me a lot about who people were, and why they became the sort of people biographies get written about. Does that make sense?”
  4. #14
    “What is an “instant” death anyway? How long is an instant? Is it one second? Ten? The pain of those seconds must have been awful as her heart burst and her lungs collapsed and there was no air and no blood to her brain and only raw panic. What the hell is instant? Nothing is instant. Instant rice takes five minutes, instant pudding an hour. I doubt that an instant of blinding pain feels particularly instantaneous.”
  5. #15
    ″‘My heart is really pounding,’ I said.
    ‘That’s how you know you’re having fun,’ Margo said.”
  6. #16
    “The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, we’d learned, and that the cessation of desire meant the cessation of suffering. When you stopped wishing things wouldn’t fall apart, you’d stop suffering when they did. ”
  7. #17
    “The hardest part about pranking, Alaska told me once, is not being able to confess. But I could confess on her behalf now. And as I slowly made my way out of the gym, I told anyone who would listen, “No. It wasn’t us. It was Alaska.”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Looking for Alaska
    character
    pudge
    concept
    lies
  8. #18
    “I still did not know her as I wanted to, but I never could. She made it impossible for me.”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Looking for Alaska
    character
    pudge
    concept
    love
  9. #19
    “And if the Colonel thought that calling me his friend would make me stand by him, well, he was right.”
  10. #20
    “But we knew what could be found out, and in finding it out, she had made us closer—the Colonel and Takumi and me, anyway.”

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  1. #21
    “Do you even remember the person she actually was? Do you remember how she could be a selfish? That was part of her, and you used to know it. It’s like now you only care about the Alaska you made up.”
  2. #22
    “The five of us walking confidently in a row, I’d never felt cooler. The Great Perhaps was upon us, and we were invincible. The plan may have had faults, but we did not.”
  3. #23
    ″‘We’re just going to go to SeaWorld, that’s all. It’s the only theme park I haven’t broken into yet.‘”
  4. #24
    “Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Paper Towns
    characters
    QMargo
    concepts
    mysterythoughts
  5. #25
    “’Basically,’ she said, ‘this is going to be the best night of your life.’”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Paper Towns
    characters
    MargoQ
    concept
    adventures
  6. #26
    “To be alive is to be missing.”
  7. #27
    “Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really—just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body.”
  8. #28
    ″‘She’s not dead. She’s a drama queen. Wants attention.‘”
  9. #29
    “I is the hardest word to define.”
  10. #30
    ″‘I honestly never thought of her as anything but my crazy beautiful friend who does all the crazy beautiful things.‘”
  1. #31
    “At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to paint, photograph or even remember it. It is enough.”
  2. #32
    ″‘As long as we don’t die, this is gonna be one hell of a story.‘”
  3. #33
    “You’re both the fire and the water that extinguishes it. You’re the narrator, the protagonist, and the sidekick. You’re the storyteller and the story told. You are somebody’s something, but you are also your you.”
  4. #34
    “The problem with happy endings, I said, is that they’re either not really happy, or not really endings, you know? In real life, some things get better and some things get worse. And then eventually you die.”
  5. #35
    “That’s what my dad is like-he really disappeared a long time ago, which is maybe why it didn’t bother me much.”
  6. #36
    “In your last moments […] you’ll say to yourself: ‘Well, I wasted my whole goddamned life, but at least I broke into SeaWorld with Margo Roth Spiegelman my senior year of high school. At least I carpe’d that one diem.‘”
  7. #37
    ″[Margo] wore white shorts and a pink T-shirt that featured a green dragon breathing a fire of orange glitter. It is difficult to explain how awesome I found this T-shirt at the time.”
  8. #38
    “And if you can’t pick what you do or think about, then maybe you aren’t really real, you know? Maybe I’m just a lie that I’m whispering to myself.”
  9. #39
    “For the record, he who does fear death also dies only once, but whatever.”
  10. #40
    “I couldn’t help but hope that Margo Roth Spiegelman would return to my window and drag my tired ass through one more night I’d never forget.”

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  1. #41
    “Thoughts are just a different kind of bacteria, colonizing you. I thought about the gut-brain information axis. Maybe you’re already gone. The prisoners run the jail now. Not a person so much as a swarm. Not a bee, but the hive.”
  2. #42
    “But for some people, the invasive can kind of take over, crowding out all the other thoughts until it’s the only one you’re able to have, the thought you’re perpetually either thinking or distracting yourself from.”
  3. #43
    “I seemed to be the first person to walk on these unnamed dirt streets in years.”
  4. #44
    “You and I are just kids. We’ve got the best and the worst of it in front of us”
  5. #45
    “It must be said that Lacey Pemberton was very beautiful. She was not the kind of girl who could make your forget about Margo Roth Spiegelman, but she was the kind of girl who could make you forget about a lot of things.”
  6. #46
    “My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”
  7. #47
    “We never really talked much or even looked at each other, but it didn’t matter because we were looking at the same sky together, which is maybe even more intimate than eye contact anyway. I mean, anybody can look at you. It’s quite rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.”
  8. #48
    ″‘She’s just doing Margo stuff. Making stories. Rocking worlds.‘”
  9. #49
    “True terror isn’t being scared; it’s not having a choice on the matter.”
  10. #50
    “Even though I laughed with them, it felt like I was watching the whole thing from somewhere else, like I was watching a movie about my life instead of living it.”
  1. #51
    “To find Margo Roth Spiegelman, you must become Margo Roth Spiegelman.”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Paper Towns
    characters
    QMargo
    concept
    identity
  2. #52
    “You’d think solving mysteries would bring you closure, that closing the loop would comfort and quiet your mind. But it never does. The truth always disappoints.”
  3. #53
    “But I was beginning to learn that your life is a story told about you, not one that you tell.
    Of course, you pretend to be the author. You have to.”
  4. #54
    “Yes, well, in that respect and many others, American high schools do rather resemble prisons.”
  5. #55
    “I wonder if [Margo] created this journey for us on purpose or by accident—regardless, it’s the most fun I’ve had since the last time I spent hours behind the wheel of a minivan.”
  6. #56
    “You seemed locked inside of your mind, and I can’t know what’s going on in there, and it scared me.”
  7. #57
    “Adults think they’re wielding power, but really power is wielding them”
  8. #58
    ″‘I do think there are some interesting connections between the poet in ‘Song of Myself’ and Margo Roth Spiegelman—all that wild charisma and wanderlust.‘”
    author
    John Green
    person
    poets
    book
    Paper Towns
    characters
    QMargo
    concept
    connection
  9. #59
    ″‘Everything is uglier up close,’ she said.”
  10. #60
    ″‘Doing stuff never feels as good as you hope it will feel.‘”
    author
    John Green
    book
    Paper Towns
    characters
    MargoQ
    concept
    adventures
  1. #61
    “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
  2. #62
    “You are not a grenade, not to us. Thinking about you dying makes us sad, Hazel, but you are not a grenade. You are amazing. You can’t know, sweetie, because you’ve never had a baby become a brilliant young reader with a side interest in horrible television shows.”
  3. #63
    “Mom sobbed something into Dad’s chest that I wish I hadn’t heard, and that I hope she never finds out that I did hear. She said, ‘I won’t be a mom anymore.‘”
  4. #64
    “Augustus nodded at the screen. ‘Pain demands to be felt,’ he said, which was a line from An Imperial Affliction.”
  5. #65
    “Everyone was so kind. Strong, too. In the darkest days, the Lord puts the best people into your life.”
  6. #66
    “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.”
  7. #67
    “I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar.”
  8. #68
    “That was the worst part about having cancer, sometimes: The physical evidence of disease separates you from other people.”
  9. #69
    “Maybe some people need to believe in a proper and omnipotent God to pray, but I don’t.”
  10. #70
    “I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it—or my observation of it—is temporary?”
  1. #71
    “It occurred to me that the reason my parents had no money was me. I’d sapped the family savings with Phalanxifor copays, and Mom couldn’t work because she had taken on the full-time profession of Hovering Over Me.”
  2. #72
    “My name is Hazel. Augustus Waters was the great star-crossed love of my life.”
  3. #73
    “There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
  4. #74
    “Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really.)”
  5. #75
    “But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
  6. #76
    “Without pain, how could we know joy?′ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.”
  7. #77
    “Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.”
  8. #78
    “People talk about the courage of cancer patients, and I do not deny that courage. I have been poked and stabbed and poisoned for years, and still I trod on.”
  9. #79
    “I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”
  10. #80
    “The world is not a wish-granting factory.”
  11. #81
    “I hated hurting him. Most of the time, I could forget about it, but the inexorable truth is this: They might be glad to have me around, but I was the alpha and the omega of my parents’ suffering.”
  12. #82
    “I almost felt like he was there in my room with me, but in a way it was better, like I was not in my room and he was not in his, but instead we were together in some invisible and tenuous third space.”
  13. #83
    “I’m a grenade,” I said again. “I just want to stay away from people and read books and think.”
  14. #84
    “There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.”
  15. #85
    “I went to Support Group for the same reason that I’d once allowed nurses with a mere eighteen months of graduate education to poison me with exotically named chemicals: I wanted to make my parents happy.”
  16. #86
    “You realize that trying to keep your distance from me will not lesson my affections for you.”
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