Looking For Alaska by John Green

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Eighty-nine Days Before.

“We found you a girlfriend”, Alaska said to me. Still, no one had explained to me what happened the week before with the Jury. It didn’t seem to have affected Alaska, though, who was (1) in our room after dark with the door closed, and (2) smoking a cigarette as she sat on the mostly foam couch. She had stuffed a towel into the bottom of our door and insisted it was safe, but I worried about the cigarette and “girlfriend”.

“All I have to do now,” she said, “is convince you to like her and convince her to like you.”

“Monumental tasks”, the Colonel pointed out. He lay on thr top bunk, reading for his English class. Moby Dick.

“How can you read and talk at the same time?” I asked.

“Well, I usually can’t, but neither the book nor the conversation is particularly intellectually challenging.”

“I like that book,” Alaska said.

“Yes.” The Colonel smiled and leaned over to look at her from his top bunk. “You would. Big white whale is a metaphor for everything. You live for pretentious metaphors.”

Alaska was unfazed. “So, Pudge, what’s your feeling on the former Soviet bloc?”

“Um. I`m in favor of it?”

She flicked the ashes of her cigarette into my pencil holder. I almost protested, but why bother. You know that girl in our precalc class?,” Alaska asked. “Soft voice, says these not this. Know that girl?”

“Yeah. Lara. She sat on my lap on the way to McDonald’s.”

“Right. I know. And she liked you. You thought she was quietly discussing precalc, when she was clearly talking having hot sex with you. Which is why you need me.”

“She has great breasts,” the Colonel said without looking upfrom the whale.

“DO NOT OBJECTIFY WOMEN’S BODIES!”Alaska shouted.

Now he looked up, “Sorry. Perky breasts.”

“That’s not any better!”

“Sure it is,” he said. “Great is a judegement on a women’s body. Perky is merely an observation. They are perky. I mean, Christ.”

“You’re hopeless,” she said. “So she thinks you’re cute, Pudge.”

“Nice.”

“Doesn’t mean anything. Problem with you is that if you talk to her you’l; ‘uh um uh’ your way to disaster.”

“Don’t be so hard on him,” the Colonel interrupted, as if he’s my mom. “God, I understand whale anatomy. Can we move on now, Herman?”

– Looking for Alaska
Page 74-75

The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

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“Can you believe that was only yesterday?”

Another plane crosses the patch of sky above them, and Hadley leans into Oliver as they watch, their eyes trained on the bright dots of light. After a moment , he nudges her forward gently so that he can stand up, then offers her a hand.

“Let’s dance.”

“Here?”

“I was thinking inside, actually.” He glances around- his eyes skipping from the carpeted steps to the restless bellhop to the cars lining up outside the entrance- then nods. “But why not?”

Hadely rises to her feet and smoothes her dress, and then Oliver positions his hands like a professional ballroom dancer , one on her back and the other in the air. His form is perfect, his face serious, and she steps into his waiting arms with a  sheepish grin.

“I have no idea how to dance like this.”

“I`ll show you,” he says, but they haven’t moved an inch. They’re just standing there, poised and ready, as if waiting for the music to begin, both of them unable to stop smiling. His hand on her back is like something electric, and being here like this, so suddenly close to him, is enough to make her lightheaded. It’s a feeling like falling, like forgetting the words to a song.

“I can’t believe you’re here,” she says, her voice soft. “I can’t believe you found me.”

“You found me first,” he says, and when he leans to kiss her, it’s slow and sweet and she knows that this will be the one she always remembers, because while the other two kisses felt like endings, this one is unquestionably a beginning.

-Page 211-212
The statistical probability of love at first sight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AUTHOR. 

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

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TINY

Love is the most common miracle. Love is always a miracle, everywhere, every time. But for us, it’s a little different. I don’t want to say it’s more miraculous- it, though. Our miracle is different because some people say it’s impossible. But let me tell you-it’s possible. Very possible.

 

Tiny leaps off the swing and lands in what seems to be a heap .

 

TINY

I fall and I fall and I fall and I fall and I fall…

 

The swing set is wheeled off, and the EX- BOYFRIENDS march onstage to the start of their song.

 

[“PARADE OF EX-BOYFRIENDS”]

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS:

We are the parade of ex-boyfriends!

EX-BOYFRIEND #1

You’re too clingy

EX-BOYFRIEND #2

You’re too sing-y.

EX-BOYFRIEND #3

You’re so massive

EX-BOYFRIEND #4

I`m just too passive.

EX-BOYFRIEND #5

I`d rather be friends

 

EX-BOYFRIEND #6

I don’t date tight ends.

EX-BOYFRIEND #7

I found another guy.

EX-BOYFRIEND #8

I don’t have to tell you why.

EX-BOYFRIEND #9

I don’t feel the spark.

EX-BOYFRIEND #10

It was only just a lark.

EX-BOYFRIEND #11

You mean you won’t put out?

EX-BOYFRIEND #12

I can’t conquer my doubt.

EX-BOYFRIEND #13

I have other things to do.

EX-BOYFRIEND #14

I have other guys to screw.

EX-BOYFRIEND #15

Our love has all been in your head.

EX-BOYFRIEND #16

I`m worried that you’ll break my bed.

EX-BOYFRIEND #17

I think I`ll just stay home and read.

 

EX-BOYFRIEND #18

I think you’re in love with my need.

 

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS

Tiny cooper, have no doubt:
You’re the one we can live without.

TINY (in a Sondheimian frenzy):

What’d I do?
What’d I say?
Why did these boys
all go away?
I tried hard to be
who they’d want me to be
though most of the time
I couldn’t help being me.
Was I too loud?
Too quiet?
Why work on the package
when there’s no one to buy it?
Am I not enough of a gay?
Not enough of a guy?
My love life’s a train wreck
so I might as well fly. . .

CHORUS OF EX-BOYFRIENDS

Parade!
Of the ex-boyfriends!
Any relationship that starts
Inevitably ends!

 

-Page 85-88
Hold me closer, (Will Grayson, Will Grayson #2)
David Levithan.

 

The Author.

 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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We waited until the auditorium was empty, then I wheeled him out, down to the car park in the lift, loaded Will up without incident. I didn’t say much; my head was still ringing with the music, and I didn’t want it to fade/ I kept thinking back to it, the way that Will’s friend had been so lost in what he was playing. I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went. For some time, as we sat there in the audience, I had completely forgotten Will was even beside me.

We pulled up outside the annex. In front of us, just visible above the wall, the castle sat, floodlit under the full moon , gazing serenely down from its position on the top of the hill.

“So you’re not a classical music person.”

I looked into the rearview mirror. Will was smiling.

“I didn’t enjoy that in the slightest.”

“I could tell.”

“I especially didn’t enjoy that bit near the end, the bit where the violin was singing by itself.”

“I could see you didn’t like that bit. In fact, I think you had tears in your eyes you hated it so much.”

I grinned back at him. “I really loved it,” I said. “I`m not sure I`d like all classical music, but I thought that was amazing.” I rubbed my nose. “Thank you. Thank you for taking me.”

We sat in silence, gazing at the castle. Normally, at night, it was bathed in a kind of orange glow from the lights dotted around the fortress wall. But tonight, under a full moon, it seemed flooded in an ethereal blue.

“What kind of music would they have played there, do you think?” I said. “They must have listened to something.”

“The castle? Medieval stuff. Lutes, strings. Not my cup of tea, but I`ve got some I can lend you, if you like. You should walk around the castle with it on earphones, if you really want the full experience.”

“Nah. I don’t really go to the castle.”

“It’s always the way, when you live close by somewhere.”

We sat there a moment longer, listening to the engine tick its way to silence.

“Right,” I said, unfastening my belt. “We’d better get you in. The evening routine awaits.”

“Just wait a minute, Clark.”

I turned in my seat. Will’s face was in shadow and I couldn’t quite make it out.

“Just hold on. Just for a minute.”

“Are you alright?” I found my gaze dropping toward his chair, afraid some part of him was pinched, trapped, that I had gotten something wrong.

“I`m fine. I just…”

I could see his pale collar, his dark suit jacket a contrast against it.

“I don’t want to go in just yet. I just want to sit and not have to think about…”He swallowed.

Even in the half-dark it seemed effortful.

“I just…want to be a man who has been to a concert with a girl in a red dress. Just for a few minutes more.”

I released the door handle.

“Sure.”

I closed my eyes and lay my head against the headrest, and we sat there together for a while longer, two people lost in remembered music, half hidden in the shadow of a castle on a moonlit hill.

 

  • Page 158-159
    Chapter 12
    Me before you by Jojo Moyes.

 

                                   

The author.

ELEVATED by ELANA JOHNSON

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I HITCHED UP MY SKIRT,
Ran toward Jesse as the elevator doors slithered open.
“Wait!”
I made it inside before the doors closed,
Adjusted my dress so I was covered.
“Spill it, Jess.”

Jesse studied his ruined knuckles,
Said nothing.
“What’s the deal? I can make you bleed some more.”

He slid a look my direction,
A half-smile curving his lips,
But not touching his eyes.
“Prove it.”

Swallowing, I removed my heels.
“Okay, but I should warn you that I almost broke Trav’s nose once.”

I hesitated before cocking my fist back.

He grabbed my wrist before I could make contact,
Pulled me close,
Whispered, “Damn, girl.
No wonder Trav has it bad for you.”

I yanked my hand away,
Shoved him in the chest.
“Shut up.”

Jesse grabbed me again,
This time harder,
His eyes wild,
His breath coming quick.
“I want-“

He pushed me against the wall,
And for one horrible moment,
I thought he’d hit me.

My heart pounded in my throat,
His hand felt so hot around my wrist,
His body too heavy against mine.

He pressed so close,
I could barely tilt my head to look at him.
“Jesse”

“I want to kiss you,” he said,
His voice thick,
Hoarse.
“Real bad.”

I swallowed,
Thought of what his lips against mine would feel like.

My eyes flickered to his mouth,
And when I looked back to his eyes,
I found a mix of emotions-desire,
Anger,
Hurt,
Frustration.

I was breathing hard,
My chest rising and falling too fast against Jesse’s.
He finally lowered his head,
His lips drawing dangerously close to mine.
He bypassed my mouth,
Brushed his lips along my jaw,
Whispered, “I think my cousin might slit my throat while I sleep if I do this.”

I couldn’t make sense of his words
Before he stepped back,
Released my wrist,
Gave me space.

He turned away so I couldn’t see his face,
This thing between us big and bloated,
And entirely unfair.

I didn’t want to hurt Jesse,
But I didn’t want to kiss him either.
“Jesse…”

Seconds passes,
Heavy and long.
He didn’t turn around as he said,
“You’re too good for him,”
With a hitch on the last word.

His voice carried so much emotion;
Tears gathered behind my eyes.
I blinked them down.

I’d been so focused on Trav,
I hadn’t even noticed Jesse standing there.
I didn’t know what to say to make this right.

“But he needs you,” Jesse said,
His voice pitching higher.
His fists unclenching.

 

  • Page 68-69
    Elevated by Elana Johnson

KETCHUP CLOUDS – ANNABEL PITCHER

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1 Fiction Road
Bath
September 17th

Dear Mr. Harris,

For once my legs aren’t digging into the tiles because I picked up my pillow before I tiptoed out of the house. I put it on top of the box and it’s quite comfy even though it’s a bit damp. I must have been seating in my dream and it was so real with the rain and the trees and the disappearing hand. I bet you’re no stranger to this so I don’t need to bang on about how terrifying it was. Probably you have nightmares all the time, like when guard turns off the light I bet you zoom right back to the moment your wife told you the truth.

Funny to think it wasn’t your wife who got you the death penalty. I didn’t understand that at first. No offence or anything. but stabbing a woman you’ve been married to for ten years sounds a whole lot worse than shooting a random neighbor who’d popped round with a mincemeat tart because it was Christmas. But then the article, which fyi  I found on google, said something about a crime of passion. When you attacked your wife, you weren’t thinking straight. You were blinded by rage and seeing so much red I bet your wife was practically scarlet, which would have been appropriate. That’s what you call a woman who’s had an affair. A scarlet woman.

In a court of American Law, acting out of anger is not as bad as killing in cold blood. When you didn’t answer the door next morning, your neighbor opened it up and strolled into your house. If you ask me, that’s bad manners, but I guess your neighbor learned her lesson when the bullet blew her brain out. Shooting a potential witness was calculating. According to the jury, you knew exactly what you were doing when you pulled the trigger and fed her tart to your dog. You went on the run for three days but the guilt got too much so you turned yourself in.

Sometimes I think I’d be better off doing that. It’s getting harder to pretend now I`m back at school. Now his mum’s sniffing around too. There I was in English with my phone in my hand, and before you say it I know I shouldn’t have been looking but I was checking the time, willing it to be lunch so I could escape with Lauren. We’re developed this routine where we grab sandwiches then hide away from the staring eyes in the music block in this room full of instruments.

  • Page 43 -44
    Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher.

 

                       

SECOND CHANCE BOYFRIEND – ONE WEEK GIRLFRIEND SERIES (#2) by MONICA MURPHY

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**Recommended for ages 17+ due to sexual content and language, mature subject matter**New Adult ContemporaryLost.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered a tattoo on his rib cage, written in elegant script. It’s a paragraph, more like a string of words in a poem. I trace each word with my finger, trying to decipher their meaning.

For a passion that’s 
Able to shine like ours
Blessed are we to
Love
Each other. 

I`m in shock that clean-cut All-American Boy Drew Callahan has a tattoo. And that he got it after we were together.

“What does it mean?” I ask him, slowing skimming the words, each individual letter with my index finger.

He seems surprised by my question. “Read it again,” he says quietly. “Slowly”.

I do so, realizing that the first letter if every sentence spells my name. Reminding me of the marshmallow note he left for me. I`m shocked. Over-whelmed. Touched so deep, tears form in my eyes, and he kisses them away as they fall onto my cheeks. “I wrote those words for you,” he murmurs against my mouth before he kisses my lips. “You’ve turned me into a poet, Fable.”

God, he’s so sweetly romantic I want to lose myself in him forever.

– Page 75, Chapter 8.