“Not just new—but big and awkward. With crazy hair, bright red on top of curly. And she was dressed like… like she wanted people to look at her. Or maybe like she didn’t get what a mess she was… Like something that wouldn’t survive in the wild.”
“When Eleanor was a little girl, she’d thought her mom looked like a queen, like the star of some fairy tale […] You’d look at Eleanor’s mom and think she must be carved into the prow of a Viking ship somewhere or maybe painted on the side of a plane […]”
“If this had happened two summers ago, Eleanor would have run and banged on the door herself. She would have yelled at Richie to stop. She would have called 911 at the very, very least. But now that seemed like something a child would do, or a fool.”
“There were moments—not just today, moments every day since they’d met—when Eleanor made him self-conscious, when he saw people talking and he was sure they were talking about them. Raucous moments on the bus when he was sure that everyone was laughing at them.”
“Park touched her hands like they were something rare and precious, like her fingers were intimately connected to the rest of her body. Which, of course, they were. It was hard to explain. He made her feel like more than the sum of her parts.”
“It wouldn’t do any good to tell him that she hadn’t been that girl at her old school. Yeah, she’d been made fun of before. There were always mean boys—and there were always, always mean girls—but she’d had friends at her old school.”
“Cath could already feel the anxiety starting to tear her stomach into nervous little pieces. ‘It’s not just that…. I don’t like new places. New situations. There’ll be all those people, and I won’t know where to sit—I don’t want to go.’”
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