1. "I wasn't gifted. Mom was wrong. I was just smart and I worked hard. I had fooled myself into thinking that was something important to the rest of the world. Other people were complicit in this ruse. Nobody had told me I was common."
    It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini
  2. "So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be."
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
  3. "I wondered what happened when you offered yourself to someone, and they opened you, only to discover you were not the gift they expected and they had to smile and nod and say thank you all the same."
    My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult
  4. "Can you understand? Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that — I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much — so very much to learn."
    The Journals of, Sylvia Plath
  5. "'You do care,' said Dumbledore. He had not flinched or made a single move to stop Harry demolishing his office. His expression was calm, almost detached. 'You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.'"
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, J.K. Rowling
  6. "If there is no love in the world, we will make a new world, and we will give it walls, and we will furnish it with soft, red interiors, from the inside out, and give it a knocker that resonates like a diamond falling to a jeweller's felt so that we should never hear it. Love me, because love doesn't exist, and I have tried everything that does."
    Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
  7. "In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive, right? And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive, right? But here's the secret: in between, we need others as well."
    Tuesdays with Morrie, Mitch Albom
  8. "It hurts to look at the clouds, but it also helps, like most things that cause pain."
    The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick
  9. "Maybe there's something you're afraid to say, or maybe you're afraid to love, or somewhere you're afraid to go. It's gonna hurt. It's gonna hurt because it matters."
    Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green + David Levithan
  10. "Was I bitter? Absolutely. Hurt? You bet your sweet ass I was hurt. Who doesn't feel a part of their heart break at rejection: you ask yourself every question you can think of: what, why, how come, and then your sadness turns to anger. That's my favourite part. It drives me, feeds me, and makes one hell of a story."
    Jennifer Salaiz
  11. "The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own...
    ...sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but you are not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down." A Bad Beginning, Lemony Snicket
  12. "If you knew what was going to happen, if you knew everything that was going to happen next – if you knew in advance the consequences of your own actions – you'd be ruined as God. You'd be a stone. You'd never eat or drink or laugh or get out of bed in the morning. You'd never love anyone ever again. You'd never dare to."
    The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
  13. "Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I'm not living."
    Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
  14. "It's harder to talk about, but what I really, really, really want for Christmas is just this: I want to be 5 years old again for an hour. I want to laugh a lot and cry a lot. I want to be picked up or rocked to sleep in someone's arms, and carried up to bed just one more time. I know what I want for Christmas: I want my childhood back."
    All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum
  15. "I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep, your eyes close."
    100 Love Sonnets, Pablo Neruda
  16. "It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it's so hard to keep...
    ...inside, when you let it out and it doesn't come back. You're left so alone that you can't explain. Damn, there is nothing like that, is there? I've been there and you have, too. You're nodding your head." The Portable Henry Rollins, Henry Rollins
  17. "But some people can't tell where it hurts. They can't calm down. They can't ever stop howling."
    The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
  18. "These kinds of fights can never be won – even if you're the victor, you've hurt the other person, and there has to be some loss associated with that."
    The Lover's Dictionary, David Levithan
  19. "You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove webs for you because I liked you. After all, what's a life, anyway? We're born, we live a little, we die. A spider's life can't help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven...
    ...knows anyone's life can stand a little of that." Charlotte's Web, E.B. White
  20. "I have concluded, maybe that's what life is about: there's a lot of despair but also the odd moment of beauty, where time is no longer the same. It's as if those strains of music created some sort of interlude in time, something suspended, an elsewhere that had come to us, an always within never. Yes, that's it, an always within never."
    The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
  21. "When the universe has finished exploding all the stars will slow down, like a ball that had been thrown into the air, and they will come to a halt and they will all begin to fall towards the centre of the universe again. And then there will be nothing to stop us seeing all the stars in the world because they will all be moving towards us...
    ...gradually faster and faster, and we will know that the world is going to end soon because when we look up into the sky at night there will be no darkness, just the blazing light of billions and billions of stars, all falling." Mark Haddon, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
  22. "I went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night thinking I heard someone cry, thinking I myself was weeping, and I felt my face and it was dry. Then I looked at the window and thought: why, yes, it's just the rain, the rain, always the rain, and turned over, sadder still."
    Green Shadows, White Whale, Ray Bradbury
  23. "There is no such thing as a 'broken family.' Family is family, and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart. The only time family becomes null is when those ties in the heart are cut. If you cut those ties, those people are not your family. If you make those ties, those...
    ...people are your family. And if you hate those ties, those people will still be your family because whatever you hate will always be with you." C. JoyBell C.
  24. "Oh, it was delicious to have someone to keep secrets with. It was having someone look at you after your mother has nearly fretted herself to death because you are freakishly tall and frizzy and odd. Someone whose eyes simply said, without words, 'You are fine with me.'"
    The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  25. "I wanted the whole world or nothing."
    Post Office, Charles Bukowski
  26. "It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters. And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls. It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing...
    ...matters, because I'm not a real person and neither is anyone else. I would have done anything to feel real again." Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  27. "I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity."
    Gilda Radner
  28. "I'm here. I love you. I don't care if you need to stay up crying all night long, I will stay with you. If you need the medication again, go ahead and take it. I will love you through that, as well. If you don't need the medication, I will love you, too. There's nothing you can ever do to lose my love... I am stronger than Depression and I am...
    ...braver than Loneliness and nothing will ever exhaust me." Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
  29. "I was not a loveable child, and I'd grown into a deeply unloveable adult. Draw a picture of my soul and it'd be a scribble with fangs."
    Dark Places, Gillian Flynn
  30. "Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin...
    ...the penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, 'Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world.'" The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold
  31. "And when at last you find someone to whom you feel you can pour out your soul, you stop in shock at the words you utter — they are so rusty, so ugly, so meaningless and feeble from being kept in the small cramped dark inside you for so long."
    The Journals of, Sylvia Plath
  32. "Life is not a PG feel-good movie. Real life often ends badly. Literature tries to document this reality, while showing us it is still possible for us to endure nobly."
    The Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick
  33. "If there's one thing I've learned, it's this: we all want everything to be okay. We don't even wish for fantastic or marvellous or outstanding. We will happily settle for okay, because most of the time, okay is enough."
    Every Day, David Levithan
  34. "I always thought insanity would be a dark, bitter feeling, but it is drenching and delicious if you really roll around in it."
    The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  35. "I was always holding onto people, and they were always leaving."
    Jealousy, Lili St. Crow
  36. "I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes. More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh, cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly closed, holding to her breast the old kind world, the one she knew in her heart could not remain, and she was holding it and pleading, never to let her go."
    Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  37. "Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime and falling in at night. I miss you like hell."
    Edna St. Vincent Millay
  38. "She had tried so hard to be brave, to be fierce as a wolverine and all, but sometimes she felt she was a little girl after all."
    A Clash of Kings, George R. R. Martin
  39. "Long, dark and lovely she had been, in those days before her mind broke and the parts scattered and she let them go."
    Winter's Bone, Daniel Woodrell
  40. "I waste at least an hour every day laying in bed. Then I waste time pacing. I waste time thinking. I waste time being quiet and not saying anything because I'm afraid I'll stutter."
    It's Kind of a Funny Story, Ned Vizzini
  41. "Because if I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me. Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt as much. Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it."
    Heartburn, Nora Ephron
  42. "I'll never know and neither will you of the life you don't choose. We'll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn't carry us. There's nothing to do but salute it from the shore."
    Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
  43. "I knew that I would have to be brave. Not foolhardy, not in love with risk and danger, not making ridiculous exhibitions of myself to prove that I wasn't terrified – really, genuinely brave. Brave enough to be quiet when quiet was called for, brave enough to observe before flinging myself into something, brave enough to not...
    ...abandon my true self when someone else wanted to seduce or force me in a direction I didn't want to go, brave enough to stand my ground quietly." Orange is the New Black, Piper Kerman
  44. "There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand."
    Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  45. "I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts."
    The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins
  46. "Why wasn't friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn't it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound together not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified."
    A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
  47. "I do. I miss him. I still see him in my dreams. They are nightmares mostly, but nightmares tinged with love. Such is the strangeness of the human heart. I still cannot understand how he could abandon me so unceremoniously, without any sort of goodbye, without looking back even once. The pain is like an axe that chops my heart."
    Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  48. "Some birds are not meant to be caged, that's all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much...
    ...more drab and empty for their departure." Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption, Stephen King
  49. "'You were merely wishing for the end of pain,' the monster said. 'Your own pain. An end to how it isolated you. It is the most human wish of all."'
    A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
  50. "And so I walked on."
    Wild, Cheryl Strayed