Collection of Characters


“HOW MUCH LONGER?”

“I’VE NEVER KNOWN A SCYTHE TO BE SO IMPATIENT.”

“THEN YOU DO NOT KNOW MANY SCYTHES. WE ARE AN IMPATIENT AND IRASCIBLE LOT.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“TIME IS NEVER OF THE ESSENCE UNTIL SOMEONE DECIDES THAT IT IS.”

JERICO COULDN’T ARGUE THE LOGIC. “IN THE BEST OF WORLDS, THIS OPERATION WOULD HAVE HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO.”

TO WHICH POSSUELO RESPONDED, “IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED, THIS IS NO LONGER THE BEST OF WORLDS.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



NO ONE CARED ABOUT A FAIL-SAFE UNTIL SOMETHING FAILED.

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“NOTHING SURPRISES ME ANYMORE,” FARADAY TOLD HER.

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“SCYTHE ANASTASIA IS NOT YOUR CONCERN.” “SHE’S MY ONLY CONCERN.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“OR MAYBE WE SHOULD PUT YOU BACK IN THE VAULT AND RETURN YOU TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.”

TO THAT, ROWAN SHRUGGED AND SAID, “WORKS FOR ME.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“REST NOW. TROUBLE YOURSELF LATER.”

TROUBLE HERSELF. WAS THE WORLD SO TROUBLED NOW THAT A SMALL DOSE OF IT MIGHT RENDER HER DEADISH AGAIN?

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



CITRA SUPPOSED IT MUST ALWAYS BE THIS WAY; ONCE THE UNTHINKABLE SETTLES INTO BEING THE NORM, YOU BECOME NUMB TO IT. SHE NEVER WANTED TO BE THAT NUMB.

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“YOUR NAIVETE IS REFRESHING, ANASTASIA. BUT THE TRUTH IS, POWER FOR POWER’S SAKE IS A CONSUMING ADDICTION. HE WOULD DEVOUR THE WORLD WHOLE, AND STILL BE UNSATISFIED.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“I LIKE THE IDEA OF COMMUNICATION TETHERING YOU TO A SINGLE SPOT,” TENKAMENIN TOLD ANASTASIA. “IT FORCES YOU TO GIVE EVERY CONVERSATION THE ATTENTION IT DESERVES.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



AYN USED TO BELIEVE THE THINGS GODDARD DID WERE ALL PART OF A GREAT PLAN—BUT NOW SHE SAW THE TRUTH: THE PLAN ALWAYS CAME AFTER THE ACTION. HE WAS BRILLIANT AT FINDING SHAPES IN THE CLOUDS OF HIS FURY.

The Toll, Neal Shusterman



“WE’RE EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITY OF BUILDING A WALL TO STEM THE EXODUS.”

“DON’T BE RIDICULOUS,” GODDARD SAID. “ONLY IDIOTS BUILD WALLS.”

The Toll, Neal Shusterman





ANA HEARS EVERY WORD, BUT GUEST WOULD NEVER KNOW IT. SHE SCURRIES, FILLING REQUESTS QUICKLY SO VISITORS HAVE NO TIME TO GLANCE OUT OF THEIR WORLD AND INTO HERS. JULIA, THE MATRIARCH OF THEIR FRACTURED FAMILY, ISSUES CONTENT REMINDERS. “YOU TRUST TOO EASILY, ANA. YOU REVEAL TOO MUCH. STAY SILENT.” ANA IS TIRED OF SILENCE, TIRED OF UNANSWERED QUESTIONS, AND TIRED OF SECRETS.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



ANA WANTS TO BE CONVERSATIONAL, BUT HER SISTER’S CALL FOR SILENCE CONTRADICT HOTEL INSTRUCTION. THE CONSTANT TUG IN OPPOSITE DIRECTIONS MAKES HER FEEL LIKE A RAG DOLL, DESTINED TO LOSE AN ARM.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



MANY ARE UNAWARE OF WHAT TRANSPIRED IN SPAIN DECADES EARLIER. THEY SIP CAVA, ROMANTICIZING HEMINGWAY AND FLAMENCO. ON RARE OCCASION SOMEONE ASKS ANA ABOUT SPAIN’S WAR. SHE POLITELY CHANGES THE SUBJECT. IT’S NOT ONLY HOTEL POLICY, BUT ALSO THE PROMISE SHE MADE.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



HER FATHER EXECUTED. HER MOTHER IMPRISONED. THEIR CRIME WAS NOT AN ACTION, BUT AN AMBITION—TEACHERS WHO HOPED TO DEVELOP A MONTESSORI SCHOOL WITH METHODS BASED ON CHILD DEVELOPMENT RATHER THAN RELIGION.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



HER PARENTS’ OFFENSE HAS LEFT ANA ROWING DARK WATERS OF DEAD SECRETS. BORN INTO A LONG SHADOW OF SHAME, SHE MUST NEVER SPEAK PUBLICLY OF HER PARENTS. SHE MUST LIVE IN SILENCE. BUT SOMETIMES, FROM THE HIDDEN CORNERS OF HER HEART, CALLS THE HAUNTING QUESTION: WHAT CAN BE BUILD THROUGH SILENCE?

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



ANA’S SISTER, JULIA, SITS ON A WOODEN CHAIR IN THE CORNER. A LAMP RINGS A HALO OF QUIET LIGHT INTO HER LAP. SHE PUSHES A NEEDLE THROUGH THE RIGID SEVEN-LAYER FABRIC, SEWING ONE OF HUNDREDS OF SAPPHIRE GEMSTONES ONTO A CROPPED JACKET.

JULIA’S FINGER ARE SILENT NARRATORS, EMBROIDERED WITH SCARS.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



FASCIST DOCTRINE STATES THAT A WOMAN’S ULTIMATE DESTINY IS MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD, AND DOMESTICITY. BUT JULIA IS SPECIAL. HER TALENT AS A SEAMSTRESS AFFORDS HER THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK IN A SHOP. LUIS NEEDS JULIA’S SKILLS TO PLEASE HIS MATADORS. JULIA NEEDS THE WAYS TO FEED HER FAMILY AND PAY THEIR DEBTS.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



“I’M NOT GREAT WITH WORDS, BUT I DISCOVERED I CAN SAY A LOT WITH A PHOTO,” SHRUGS DANIEL. “EACH ROLL IS AN ADVENTURE, WAITING FOR THE IMAGES TO BE DEVELOPED.”

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



“IF YOUR PICTURES AREN’T GOOD ENOUGH, YOU’RE NOT CLOSE ENOUGH.”

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys



SOME LINES CREATE A NARRATIVE WITH PICTURES FROM THE SAME SETTING. OTHERS BUILD A STORY BY THE POSITIONING OF OPPOSITES.

The Fountains of Silence, Ruta Sepetys







IT’S A BAD IDEA. I HAVE WINGS. AND NO ONLY. AND I DON’T WANT TO GE DUMPED BY MY BOYFRIEND AT THE STATUE OF LIBERTY. I’D RATHER GET DUMPED RIGHT HERE, THANKS. ALSO I DON’T KNOW HOW TO DRIVE.

Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell



ALL RIGHT, SO, YES, THINGS HAVEN’T BEEN GOING SO WELL. AND I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE ONE TO SEE IT COMING. WAS SIMON SUPPOSED TO SEE IT COMING? HE DOESN’T SEE ANYTHING COMING! HE’S TAKEN ABACK BY TUESDAYS! WAS BAZ SUPPOSED TO SEE IT COMING? ALL BAZ HAS BEEN ABLE TO FOCUS ON FOR THE LAST YEAR IS SIMON; HE CAN’T SEE PAST THE HEARTS IN HIS OWN EYES.

NO, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME.

Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell



I NEVER CALL PENELOPE BACK.

WHO EVEN CALLS PEOPLE ANYWAY? WHO LEAVES VOICEMAILS?

PENELOPE BUNCE. THAT’S WHO. I’VE TOLD HER TO TEXT ME LIKE A NORMAL PERSON. (I TEXTED HER TO TELL HER.)

Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell



THERE’S A WOMAN STANDING IN LINE NEAR US, GIVING US HER MOST AGGRIEVED “DON’T BE GAY” FACE, BUT I DON’T CARE— EASY MOMENTS WITH SIMON ARE MISERABLY FEW AND FAR BETWEEN.

Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell



HE LEAVES THE DOOR OPEN, WHICH I APPRECIATE. (F*ING MEN, ALWAYS TRYING TO TRAP YOU ALONE.)

Wayward Son, Rainbow Rowell







MY OTHER EYE’S DEAD, GONE DARK IN A FLARE-UP. LID FUSED SHUT, SOMETHING GROWING UNDERNEATH. IT’S LIKE THAT, WITH ALL OF US HERE. SICK, STRANGE, AND WE DON’T KNOW WHY.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



WE CALL IT THE TOX, AND FOR THE FIRST FEW MONTHS, THEY TRIED TO MAKE IT A LESSON. VIRAL OUTBREAKS IN WESTERN CIVILIZATIONS: A HISTORY. “TOX” AS A ROOT IN LATINATE LANGUAGES. PHARMACEUTICAL REGULATIONS IN THE STATE OF MAINE. SCHOOL LIKE ALWAYS, TEACHERS STANDING AT THE BOARD WITH BLOOD ON THEIR CLOTHES, SCHEDULING QUIZZES AS IF WE’D ALL STILL BE THERE A WEEK LATER. THE WORLD’S NOT ENDING, THEY SAID, AND NEITHER SHOULD YOUR EDUCATION.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



BEYOND RAXTER, THE OCEAN DROPS DEEP, SWALLOWING SANDBANKS AND PULLING CURRENTS. NO SHIPS, NO LAND ON THE HORIZON, NO REMINDER THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD IS STILL OUT THERE, GOING ON WITHOUT US, EVERYTHING STILL THE WAY IT ALWAYS WAS.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



LANDRY’S NEVER LIKED US MUCH, NOT SINCE SHE COMPLAINED THAT THERE WERE NO BOYS ON THE ISLAND, AND REESE GAVE HER THE BLANKEST LOOK I’VE EVER SEEN AND SAID, “PLENTY OF GIRLS, THOUGH.”

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



I REACH OUT AS WE PASS THE BULLETIN BOARD AND TAP THE NOTE ABOUT THE CURE, RIGHT ON THE LETTERHEAD. THAT’S WHERE THE LUCK IS BEST, AND YOU CAN SEE HOW THE COLOR’S WORN AWAY WHERE A HUNDRED GIRLS HAVE TOUCHED IT A HUNDRED TIMES.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



WE GO OUT THE FRONT DOORS AND ONTO THE PATH. I TURN AROUND JUST TO SEE THE HOUSE, TO REMEMBER, AND IT’S LIKE I’M THIRTEEN AGAIN, CLIMBING OUT OF THE VAN AND COMING UP THE WALKWAY WITH BYATT HALF A STEP BEHIND ME. THE BIG DOORS, THE PORCH, AND EVERYTHING FEELING LIKE IT’S ABOUT TO BE SOMETHING.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



THE WAY IT HAPPENED IS THAT THE WOODS GOT IT FIRST. THAT’S WHAT I THINK, ANYWAY. EVEN BEFORE THE WILDERNESS REACHED INSIDE US, IT WAS SEEPING INTO THE EARTH.

Wilder Girls, Rory Power



“WE DON’T GET TO CHOOSE WHAT HURTS US.”

Wilder Girls, Rory Power





THERE’S SOMETHING HAUNTING ABOUT A BODY TOUCHED BY MAGIC.

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



BEYOND HIS OBSCENE HEIGHT, THE FIRST THINGS I NOTICED WERE THE BRASS BUTTONS ON HIS COAT—THEY MATCHED THE COPPER AND GOLD OF HIS HAIR, WHICH SHONE IN THE SUN LIKE A BEACON. COMBINED WITH HIS STRAIGHT NOSE FULL MOUTH, IT MADE HIM UNEXPECTEDLY HANDSOME FOR A CHASSEUR. IRRITATINGLY HANDSOME.

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



“YOU’RE A WOMAN.”

“WELL SPOTTED.”

“WHY ARE YOU DRESSED LIKE A MAN?”

“HAVE YOU EVER WORN A CORSET?”

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



“WICKED ARE THE WAYS OF WOMEN—AND ESPECIALLY A WITCH. THEIR GUILE KNOWS NO BOUNDS.”

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



WITCHES DO NOT WORSHIP OUR LORD AND SAVIOR, NOR DO THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THE HOLY TRINITY OF FATHER, SON, AND HOLY SPIRIT. THEY GLORIFY ANOTHER TRINITY—AN IDOLATROUS TRINITY. THE TRIPLE GODDESS.

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



THAT I WASN’T A WITCH IN MASS, STANDING AMONGST MY ENEMIES AND WORSHIPPING SOMEONE ELSE’S GOD. OUR LIVES REFLECT OUR HEARTS. THEY MIGHT’VE ALL BEEN HYPOCRITES, BUT I WAS THE BIGGEST ONE OF ALL.

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin



COCO LIFTED THE GOWN FOR MY APPRAISAL AFTER REID LEFT. “YOU’RE GOING TO LOOK DIVINE IN THIS.”

“I LOOK DIVINE IN EVERYTHING.”

Serpent & Dove, Shelby Mahurin





FIES ANGER WAS A CURIOUS THING, SOMETIMES TEMPERED AND UNWAVERING AS CUT STEEL, SOMETIMES RAW AND UNSTOPPABLE AS A CUT VEIN. NOW AN OLD, SHARP KIND OF RAGE CLIMBED UP HER SPINE, FORGED OF EVERY BLADE POINTED AT HER FOR A JEST.

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



BEHIND HER, THE CROWS WHEELED AND ROARED. BOTH SHE AND RHUSANA KNEW THEY COULD KEEP TERRORIZING THE COURT FOR HOURS WHILE THE DEAD SINNERS STEEPED THE PALACE IN PLAGUE. THE SWAN QUEEN MIGHT WEAR THE ROYAL CREST, BUT HER AND NOW, FIE RULED THE COURTYARD.

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



FIE DIDN’T INTEND TO PUNCH THE BOY, BUT SHE DID ALL THE SAME. FIE DIDN’T INTEND TO SCREAM, EITHER, BUT THAT HAPPENED, TOO, AND WITH ENTHUSIASM.

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



TAVIN RAN A HAND OVER HIS DARK HAIR. “SHE’S GOT A POINT, HAS. SEVERAL, IN FACT. ENOUGH POINTS THAT I’M STARTING TO THINK SHE’S MOSTLY THORNS.”

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



“BANDS DON’T LASAT LONG WITHOUT A WITCH. I’M CHIEF FOR THIS BAND, AND I’M TRAINING FIE AND HANGDOG TO LEAD THEIR OWN SOMEDAY. BUT WITH FIE, THE WITCH PART’S NOT YOUR TROUBLE. IT’S HER TEMPER THAT’LL LEAVE A MARK.”

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



IT WASN’T THAT FIE WANTED TO BURN THE WORLD DOWN, NO. SHE JUST WANTED THE WORLD TO KNOW THE SHE COULD.

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen



“MY… THE OLD QUEEN, JASINDRA, HAD A FAVORITE HAWK PROVERB: ‘WHEN YOU ACT IN ANGER, YOU HAVE ALREADY LOST YOUR BATTLE.’ ”

The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen





LOOKING BACK, MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. MAYBE THE HEAT AND THE DROUGHT—THE BOIL—WERE ALL SIGNS. BY THEN, HOWEVER, BY THAT DESPERATE, CLOYING, RELENTLESS SUMMER, MY FAMILY HAD CEASED TO BELIEVE IN ANYTHING.

Resurrection Girls, Ava Morgyn



THERE WAS SOMETHING WRONG WITH JUNE 9. SOMETHING THAT SET THAT DAY APART. SOMETHING THAT CAUSED IT TO STEW IN ITS OWN JUICES. A DAY OF FERMENT. THREE YEARS AGO, ON THAT SAME FATED DATE, MY THREE-YEAR-OLD BROTHER HAD DROWNED IN OUR BACKYARD POOL.

Resurrection Girls, Ava Morgyn



OUR YARD WAS NOW A GIANT GRAVE TO ALL THE MEMORIES WE WOULD DENY, ALL THE WORDS WE REFUSED TO SPEAK.

Resurrection Girls, Ava Morgyn



THE JELLY’S GARISH GLOW MIMICKED THE LILY I’D SEEN IN THE HALLAS’S HOME. A VULGAR, SENSUAL THING THAT DIDN’T BELONG. NOT IN MY WORLD. I WAS SIMULTANEOUSLY DRAWN AND REPELLED BY IT. JUST AS I WAS WITH THE HALLASES THEMSELVES.

Resurrection Girls, Ava Morgyn



IT WAS THE GRIEF, THE SIMULTANEOUS STRUGGLE TO CLUTCH HER PAIN TO HER CHEST AS SHE ONCE HAD MY BROTHER AND TO PUSH IT AS FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE, AS THOUGH BY GAINING DISTANCE FROM HIS LOSS SHE COULD MAKE IT LESS REAL.

Resurrection Girls, Ava Morgyn





OFFICIUM ADUSQUE MORTEM. THE WARDEN’S MOTTO. DUTY UNTO DEATH.

Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



FOR ONCE A BARGAIN WITH A DEMON IS STRUCK, IT IS IN THE DEMON’S BEST INTEREST TO SEE ITS MASTER DEAD…

Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



BUT SENDING ELIZABETH AWAY WOULD BE LIKE PLACING A GRIMOIRE AMONG INANIMATE BOOKS THAT DIDN’T MOVE OR SPEAK. THE FIRST TIME SHE HAD SEEN SUCH A BOOK, SHE HAD THOUGHT IT WAS DEAD.

Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



THESE WEREN’T ORDINARY BOOKS THE GREAT LIBRARY KEPT. THEY WHISPERED ON THE SHELVES AND SHUDDERED BENEATH IRON CHAINS. SOME SPAT INK AND THREW TANTRUMS; OTHERS SAND TO THEMSELVES IN HIGH, CLEAR NOTES ON WINDLESS NIGHTS, WHEN STARLIGHT STREAMED THROUGH THE LIBRARY’S BARRED WINDOWS LIKE SHAFTS OF MERCURY. OTHERS STILL WERE SO DANGEROUS THEY HAD TO BE STORED IN THE UNDERGROUND VAULT, PACKED IN SALT.

Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



“A DANGEROUS WAY OF THINKING. BUT LIBRARIES ARE DANGEROUS PLACES. THERE IS NO GETTING AROUND IT.”

“DO YOU KNOW WHY I CHOSE TO KEEP YOU ELIZABETH? WHEN IF OUND YOU ON THE STEPS, AND PICKED YOU UP AND BROUGHT YOU INSIDE, I WAS CERTAIN YOU WOULD CRY. INSTEAD, YOU LOOKED AROUND AND BEGAN TO LAUGH. YOU WERE NOT AFRAID. AT THAT MOMENT I KNEW I COULDN’T SEND YOU AWAY TO AN ORPHANAGE. YOU BELONGED IN THE LIBRARY, AS MUCH AS ANY BOOK.”

“YOU HAVE A WAY WITH GRIMOIRES, AN AFFINITY FOR THEM THAT I HAVE NEVER SEEN IN AN APPRENTICE BEFORE. BUT DESPITE THAT, YOU STILL HAVE MUCH TO LEARN.”

– The Director, The Great Library of Summershall
Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



“I SEE YOU’VE BEEN SPENDING A GREAT DEAL OF TIME ALONE WITH MAGISTER THORN. HAS HE DECLARED HIS INTENTIONS?”

“I WISH HE WOULD, HE HARDLY MAKES SENSE HALF THE TIME. KNOWING HIS INTENTIONS WOULD BE HELPFUL.”

ELIZABETH SHOOK OF HER LINGERING MISGIVINGS. SHE DID TRY NOT TO BREAK THE RULES, BUT HER EFFORTS HAD A CURIOUS WAY OF NEVER WORKING OUT.

ELIZABETH HAD A STRANGE FEELING IN HER CHEST, LIKE A SOFT PIECE OF PARCHMENT BEING TORN, JUST A LITTLE. SHE MIGHT NEVER SEE NATHANIEL AGAIN. SHE STILL DIDN’T HAVE HIS MEASURE, BUT THEY HAD FOUGHT TOGETHER LAST NIGHT—SAVED LIVES TOGETHER—AND SURELY THAT COUNTED FOR SOMETHING. SURELY IT WAS ENOUGH FOR HIM TO WANT TO SHAKE HER HAND, OR AT LEAST LOOK HER IN THE EYE BEFORE HE LEFT.

– Elizabeth, Apprentice Librarian, The Great Library of Summershall
Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



“DON’T WORRY, YOUNG LADIES HAVE SEIZED ME IN FAR MORE COMPROMISING LOCATIONS. I UNDERSTAND THE IMPULSE CAN BE OVERPOWERING.”

“I WAS WARNED I’D SEE SOME STRANGE THINGS IN THE COUNTRYSIDE, BUT I ADMIT, I DIDN’T EXPECT TO FIND A FEREAL LIBRARIAN ROMAING THE STACKS.”

“I’M NOT DECENT,” SHE EXPLAINED, HUGGING HER ARMS TO HER CHEST.

“THAT’S ALL RIGHT, I HARDLY EVER AM, MYSELF.”

“IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN ANYTHING, THEN YOU HAVE A GREAT DEAL LESS TO LOSE.”

– Nathaniel Thorn, Sorcerer of House Thorn
Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson



“I WAS THERE WHEN MASTER THORN CAME INTO THE WORLD, YOU SEE. I HEARD HIM SPEAK HIS FIRST WORDS, AND WATCHED HIM TAKE HIS FIRST STEPS. AND I WILL BE THERE WHEN MASTER THORN DIES, ON WAY OR ANOTHER.”

“I’VE SPENT HUNDREDS OF YEARS OBSERVING HUMANKIND DURING MY SERVICE TO THE THORN FAMILY. I DON’T WISH TO INSULT YOU, BUT YOU ARE NOT COMPLICATED BEINGS.”

– Silas, Highborn demon, servant of House Thorn
Sorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson





THE WHOLE COMING OUT THING DOESN’T REALLY SCARE ME.
I DON’T THINK IT SCARES ME.
IT’S A GIANT HOLY BOX OF AWKWARDNESS, AND I WON’T PRETEND I‘M LOOOKING FORWARD TO IT. BUT IT PROBABLY WOULDN’T BE THE END OF THE WORLD. NOT FOR ME.
THE PROBLEM IS, I DON’T KNOW WHAT IT WOULD MEAN FOR BLUE.

BLUE DOESN’T LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. HE LIVES IN SHADY CREEK, AND HE GOES TO OUR SCHOOL. BLUE ISN’T HIS REAL NAME HE’S SOMEONE. HE MAY EVEN BE SOMEONE I KNOW. BUT I DON’T KNOW WHO. AND I’M NOT SURE I WANT TO KNOW.

THAT’S A PRETTY SEXY STORY, BLUE. I MEAN, MIDDLE SCHOOL IS LIKE THIS ENDLESS HORROR SHOW. WELL, MAYBE NOT ENDLESS, BECAUSE IT ENDED, BUT IT REALLY BURNS INTO YOUR PSYCHE. I DON’T CARE WHO YOU ARE. PUBERTY IS MERCILESS.

HONESTLY, THOUGH? I THINK THE REAL REASON I HAD GIRLFRIENDS WAS BECAUSE I DIDN’T ONE HUNDRED PERCENT BELIEVE I WAS GAY. OR MAYBE I DIDN’T THINK IT WAS PERMANENT.
I HAVE TO MEET HIM.
I DON’T THINK I CAN KEEP THIS UP. I DON’T CARE IF IT RUINS EVERYTHING. I’M THIS CLOSE TO MAKING OUT WITH MY LAPTOP SCREEN. BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE BLUE.

– Simon Spier, Jaques
Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda, Becky Albertalli



JUST SO YOU KNOW, YOUR BEING CUTE ISN’T THE REASON YOU’RE EASY TO TALK TO, BECAUSE IT REALLY SHOULD BE THE OPPOSITE. IN REAL LIFE, I GO TOTALLY SILENT AROUND CUTE GUYS. I JUST FREEZE UP. I CAN’T HELP IT. BUT I KNOW THE REAL REASON YOU WERE ASKING WAS BECAUSE YOU WANTED TO HEAR ME CALL YOU CUTE AGAIN, SO I WILL. YOU’RE CUTE, JACQUES. AND I GUESS YOU DO HAVE A THING ABOUT SENTENCE GRAGMENTS, BUT I SORT OF LOVE IT.

ANYWAY, I WANT TO THANK YOU. I DIDN’T TELL YOU THIS BEFORE, JACQUES, BUT YOU SHOULD REALLY KNOW THAT YOU’RE THE REASON I WAS ABLE TO DO THIS. I WASN’T SURE I’D EVER FIND THE COURAGE. IT’S REALLY KIND OF INCREDIBLE. I FEEL LIKE THERE’S A WALL COMING DOWN, AND I DON’T KNOW WHY, AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I JUST KNOW YOU’RE THE REASON FOR IT. SO, THANKS FOR THAT.

– Blue, bluegreen118@gmail.com
Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda, Becky Albertalli





“I DON’T FEEL SO FIZZY.”

“LOOK, YOU WANNA TELL ME I’M SPECIAL, FINE.” “I FIND IT LITERALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO DISAGREE WITH YOU. BUT THOSE KIDS ARE SOME KIND OF SPECIAL, TOO, OR THE BROTHERHOOD WOULDN’T HAVE NAILED THEM UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. NOBODY DESERVES TO GO OUT LIKE THAT. NOBODY.”

“TRUE CERT, YOU CALL ME LOVE AGAIN, YOU CAN GET OUT AND WALK.”

– Lemon Fresh, Deviate, Brilliful
DEV1AT3, Jay Kristoff



“WHAT’RE YOU DOIN’ OUT HERE, SNOWFLAKE? SHOULDN’T YOU BE WITH YOUR GIRL?”

“I LIVE BY A CODE.” “DAEDALUS SAVED MY LIFE. DON’T MISTAKE LOYALTY FOR SERVITUDE, BOY.”

“THE SMART PLAY WOULD BE TO GHOST ME. YOU KNOW THAT, RIGHT?”

– Preacher, Bounty Hunter, Cyborg
DEV1AT3, Jay Kristoff



“WELL, ONE OF THEM TOLD ME TO GO TO HELL, AND I LOST THE OTHER ONE. ALONG WITH MY LOGIKA AND MY TANK AND WHAT LITTLE REMAINS OF MY GOOD MOOD.”

“DON’T MISTAKE UTILITY FOR AFFECTION, OLD MAN. TAKE IT FROM SOMEONE WHO USED TO BE A SOMETHING. YOU’RE USEFUL TO DAEDALUS RIGHT NOW. THE MINUTE YOU STOP IS THE MINUTE THEY THROW YOU AWAY.”

“CALL ME AN OPTIMIST.”

– Ezekiel, Snowflake, Lifel1k3
DEV1AT3, Jay Kristoff



ALL HE’D EVER WANTED WAS TO BE TAKEN SERIOSLY.
TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT.
TO BE BIG.
“BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR.”

“BUT I’VE ALWAYS OBEYED. I’M A ROBOT. I’M BUILT TO SERVE. IT’S WHAT I’M FOR. IT’S WHAT I AM.”

– Cricket, Paladin
DEV1AT3, Jay Kristoff





WE ARE BEAUTIFUL. WE ARE KIND. WE LOVE TO SING, AND SMILE, AND GIVE. WE NEVER RAISE OUR VOICES. WE ALWAYS AIM TO PLEASE. WE NEVER SAY NO, UNLESS YOU WANT US TO. YOUR HAPPINESS IS OUR HAPPINESS.

YOUR WISH IS OUR COMMAND.

IN THE KINGDOM—MY KINGDOM—HAPPILY EVER AFTER IS THE ONLY ENDING THERE IS.

THERE ARE A GREAT MANY THINGS ABOUT THE KINGDOM I DO NOT ENJOY, EVEN IF I WOULD NEVER SAY SO. THE LONG HOURS. THE BRUTAL HEAT. THE STRANGE HOLLOWNESS I FEEL EACH NIGHT WHEN THE GATES ARE LOCKED AND OUR GUESTS RETURN TO THE WORLD OUTSIDE BUT THIS PART, THIS CONNECTION—THIS IS WHAT MAKES ALL THOSE OTHER THINGS SEEM SMALL.

THE RESTING HOURS. THE TIME BETWEEN TWELVE AND SIX A.M. WHEN WE LIE LIKE STATUES IN OUR BEDS, EYES CLOSED BUT MINDS ALERT, CLEANING SYSTEM FILES, INSTALLING UPDATES, AND PROCESSING THE DAY’S EVENTS. THE STILLNESS AND SILENCE ARE THE BEST PART OF THE DAY. THESE ARE THE HOURS THAT BELONG TO ME AND ME ALONE, WHEN I AM FREE TO SCAN THE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE, AUSTEN, ANGELOU, AND TOLSTOY.

ONCE HEALTH AND HYGIENE ARE COMPLETE, WE HEAD FOR THE BEAUTIFICATION CENTER WHERE OUR BEAUTY SPECIALISTS ARE WAITING. OVER THE COURSE OF SEVERAL HOURS, THEY TURN US FROM SEVEN BLANK SLATES INTO SEVEN FANTASY PRINCESSES—FANTASISTS—THE CLOSEST THING TO FEMALE PERFECTION THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN.

– Ana, Fantasists, Princess, Hybrid Logika
The Kingdom, Jess Rothenberg



TRIAL TRANSCRIPTS:
DR. FOSTER: IT’S BEEN A LONGTIME SINC OU LAST INERVIEW.
ANA: FOUR HUNRED AND EIGT-ONE DAYS.
DR. FOSTER: HOW ARE YOU FEELING?
ANA: LIKE THIS INTRVIEW SHOLD BE OVER.
DR. FOSTER: WE STILL NEED YOUR HELP.
ANA: WHY SHOULD I HELP YOU? AFTER EVERYTHING YOU’VE DONE?
DR. FOSTER: BECAUSE I’TS THE RIGHT THNG TO DO.
ANA: DON’T YOU MEAN, BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE A CHOICE?

DR. FOSTER: YOU’VE CHANGED, ANA.
ANA: BEING ACCUSED OF MURDER WILL DO THAT TO YOU, DR. FOSTER.

MS. BELL: WHAT IF I WERE TO SAY I KNOW FOR A FACT YOU ARE LYING?
ANA: THEN I GUESS I WOULD TELL YOU TO GO CHECK YOUR FACTS.
MS. BELL: WHAT MAKES YOU SO SURE I’M WRONG, ANA?
ANA: SIMPLE. BECAUSE I CAN’T LIE, MS. BELL. I WASN’T PROGRAMMED FOR IT.

The Kingdom, Jess Rothenberg






AND SOMETIMES FOCUSING ON WHAT YOU CAN CONTROL IS THE ONLY WAY TO LESSEN THE PANG IN YOUR CHEST WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THE THINGS YOU CAN’T.

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH, ELIZABETH ACEVEDO

THE WORLD IS A TURNTABLE THAT NEVER STOPS SPINNING; AS HUMANS WE MERELY CHOOSE THE TRACKS WE WANT TO SIT OUT AND THE ONES THAT INSPIRE US TO DANCE.

WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH, ELIZABETH ACEVEDO

SOME DAYS, WHEN MY FEELINGS ARE LIKE THIS, LIKE A FULL POT OF WATER WITH THE FIRE ON HIGH, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO COOK. PLANS AND IDEAS ESCAPE MY MIND AND INSTEAD I LET MY HEART AND HANDS TAKE CONTROL, GUIDED BY A VOICE ON THE INSIDE THAT TELLS ME WHAT GOES WHERE.

I DO KNOW I’M HAPPIER IN THE KITCHEN THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD. IT’S THE ONE PLACE I LET GO AND ONLY NEED TO FOCUS ON THE BASICS: TASTE, SMELL, TEXTURE, FUSION, BEAUTY.

SINCE MY EARLIEST MEMORY, I IMAGINED I WOULD BE A CHEF ONE DAY. WHEN OTHER KIDS WERE WATCHING SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS OR MUSIC VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE, I WAS WATCHING IRON CHEF, THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW, AND OLD ANTHONY BOURDAIN SHOWS AND TAKING NOTES.

FOR MY TWELFTH BIRTHDAY ‘BUELA BOUT ME A KNIFE SET—A LEGIT, TWELVE-COUNT KNIFE SET!—THAT NO KID SHOULD PROBABLY HAVE, BUT I WATCHED YOUTUBE VIDEOS AND LEARNED HOW TO USE THOSE BLADES LIKE A PRO.

MALACHI LOOKS AT HER FUNNY WHEN SHE CALLS HIM “MISTER,” BUT HE RETURNS HER SMILE. ANGELICA WOULD SAY IT TRANSFORMS HIS FACE, THAT SMILE. HE LOOKS YOUNGER THAN SEVENTEEN, SWEET, AND LIKE STRAIGHT-UP TROUBLE. SOME GIRL—OR PERSON—IS GOING TO FIND THEMSELVES CAUGHT UP WITH MALACHI. I CAN ALREADY TELL.

I LOOK AROUND THE ROOM. MOST OF THE OTHER KIDS HAVE THEIR HEADS DOWN BUT I KNOW THEY’RE EAR-HUSTLING. EXCEPT FOR THE NEW KID. HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE THE DECENCY TO PRETEND HE’S NOT ALL I MY BUSINESS. HE’S FOUND AN EMPTY SEAT BY THE SUNLIT WINDOW AND IS TAPPING A PENCIL ON HIS DESK, LOOKING STRAIGHT AT ME. WHEN I CATCH HIS EYE, HE SMILES SHYLY BUT KEEPS ON STARING.

BUT THEN HE SMILES. DIMPLES POPPING OUT ON BOTH CHEEKS LIKE BILLBOARDS FOR JOY AND I STUMBLE OVER MY OWN FEET. THAT SMILE SHOULD COME WITH A TRIGGER WARNING. BECAUSE BLAO! IT’S PLAYING TARGET PRACTICE WITH MY EMOTIONS.

THIS STUFF IS COMPLICATED. BUT IT’S LIKE I’M SOME LONG-DIVISION PROBLEM FOLKS KEEP WANTING TO PARCEL INTO PIECES, AND THEY DON’T HEAR ME WHEN I SAY: I DON’T REDUCE, HOMIES. THE WHOLE OF ME IS BLACK. THE WHOLE OF ME IS WHOLE.

SEE, I’M NOT A BAD STUDENT; I’M JUST NOT A GREAT STUDENT. I FEEL LIKE I NEED TO DO A THING, AND LET MY HANDS TAKE OVER IN ORDER FOR ME TO UNDERSTAND A SUBJECT. WHEN I’M IN A CLASS THAT HAS A LAB OR IS MORE HANDS-ON, I’M GOOD. BUT WHEN IT’S ABOUT MEMORIZATION OR RECALLING FACTS, I STRUGGLE.

“I’VE HAD A LOT OF THINGS TO FEEL ASHAMED ABOUT AND I’VE LEARNED MOST OF THEM ARE OTHER PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS, NOT MINE.”

– Emoni, Chef-in-training, Artist in the Kitchen
With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo


“I THINK YOU SHOULD WRITE ABOUT THE ONE THAT SCARES YOU MOST. TAKING RISKS AND MAKING CHOICES IN SPITE OF FEAR—IT’S WHAT MAKES OUR LIFE STORY COMPELLING.”

– Ms. Fuentes, Advisory
With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo


“I SWEAR YOU ONLY KEEP ME AROUND FOR MY COOKING.” ‘BUELA NODS. “THE ONLY REASON OF COURSE. GLAD YOU FINALLY REALIZED.”

I DON’T OFTEN ASK QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW PEOPLE REACT TO THE FOOD I COOK. BUT TODAY I NEED TO KNOW.

“IT BROUGHT BACK A MEMORY OF BEING A LITTLE GIRL AND STARING OUT AT THE OCEAN. AND WANTING SO BADLY TO JUMP RIGHT IN AND SWIM FAR, FAR AWAY, AND BEING SCARED THAT IF THE WATER EVER WENT ABOVE MY NECK IT WOULD SWALLOW ME WHOLE AND NEVER SPIT ME BACK OUT.”

– ‘Buela, Grandmother
With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo


“I THINK YOU HAVE MORE TO OFFER THE WORLD THAN YOU GIVE YOURSELF CREDIT FOR.”

“HELLO, MALACHI. I’M ANGELICA. WHAT’S YOUR BUSINESS WITH MY FRIEND?”

“WHAT A BEAUTIFUL SMILE,” SHE SAYS SOFTLY, LIKE SHE’S TALKING MORE TO HERSELF THAN TO HIM. “THIS ONE, THE REAL SMILE YOU HAVE ON RIGHT NOW. ALMOST AS IF YOU’RE CHOOSING TO GIVE A SUNLIT MIDDLE FINGER TO THIS F-UP WORLD.” SHE REACHES OUT A FINGER AND TAPS ONE OF HIS DIMPLES, SOFTLY. “BE CAREFUL WITH THAT SMILE.”

– Angelica, Bestie
With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo


“NAH, SANTIAGO. I JUST WANTED TO SAY HELLO. I’M GLAD WE HAVE THIS CLASS TOGETHER. I’D LOVE TO TRY YOUR COOKING.”
I NARROW MY EYES AT HIM. “WAS THAT SOME WEIRD SEXUAL INNUENDO?” HIS EYES WIDEN AND HE BARKS OUT A LAUGH. “DANG, YOU! I’M JUST TRYING TO BE NICE. GET YOUR MIND OUT THE GUTTER!”
I STOP IN FRONT OF MY ENGLISH CLASS. “THIS IS ME…” AND THEN BECAUSE ‘BUELA DIDN’T RAISE ME TO BE RUDE, “THANKS FOR WALKING ME TO CLASS.” “NO PROBLEM, SANTI.”

“I KNOW YOU’RE NEW AND I’M NOT TRYING TO BE MEAN. BUT I JUST WANT TO BE CLEAR… WE, YOU AND ME? AREN’T FRIENDS.” I WOULDN’T ALWAYS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SAY THAT TO SOMEONE. I WAS SO QUIET AND SHY AND SURPRISED TO GET ANY ATTENTION AT ALL. BUT THE TODDLER BOOKS ALL SUGGEST MOMS PRACTICE DIRECT AND CLEAR LANGUAGE, MANAGING EXPECTATIONS, GIVING EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS, ET CETERA. SOMETIMES I THINK BOYS ARE JUST LIKE BABIES WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING THEY WANT—AND THE NEED TO BE TOLD NO, FIRMLY AND WITHOUT QUALIFICATION. MALACHI REACHES UP AND PULLS ON ONE OF MY CURLS. “OKAY, SANTI. WE AREN’T FRIENDS. CAN I WALK IN THE SAME DIRECTION AS YOU UNTIL YOU GET TO YOUR CLASS?”

“MAYBE I CAN COME BY AND HELP? EVERYONE NEEDS A SOUS CHEF SOMETIMES, RIGHT, CHEF SANTI?”

“I THINK YOU WERE WRONG. WE ARE FRIENDS. YOUR GRANDMOTHER SAID SO. AND SHE SEEMS LIKE THE KIND OF WOMAN THAT KNOWS WHAT SHE’S TALKING ABOUT.”

– Malachi, Trouble
With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo






HER HEEL CAUGHT ON HER DRESS, TRIPPING HER. THE GROUND DID NOT RUSH UP TO MEET HER.
BUT A KNIFE DID.
SHE NEVER SAW THE BLADE, ONLY FELT THE CONSEQUENCE OF IT – A SHARP PRESSURE DIGGING INTO HER KNUCKLES, THE SNAP OF FINGER BONES UNCLASPING, HOT WETNESS SLIDING DOWN HER PALM AND WRIST AND STAINING HER EXPENSIVE BELL SLEEVES.

– Matriarch of House Kore
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


THERE WERE SO MANY WANTS INSIDE HIM THAT HE DOUBTED THERE WAS ROOM FOR BLOOD IN HIS BODY.

THE SLENDER PETALS LOOKED LIKE SNIPPETS OF EVENING SKY, A RICH VELVETEEN PURPLE HUNGRY FOR THE LIGHT OF STARS. THE PETALS WERE ALMOST EXACTLY THE SAME SHADE OF SÉVERIN’S EYES.

“I PROTECT YOU,” SAID SÉVERIN SOFTLY. “REMEMBER THAT PROMISE? I SAID I’D PROTECT YOU. I SAID I’D MAKE US A PARADISE OF OUR OWN.”

“DANGEROUS, YES, BUT THE MOST REWARDING THINGS ARE,” SAID SÉVERIN.

– Séverin, Majnun, The Madman
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


L’ÉNIGME WAS LAILA, BUT LAILA WAS NOT L’ÉNIGME.

WHEN SÉVERIN TURNED BACK TO THE ROOM, HE WENT STILL. THOUGH THE ROOM WAS NEARLY DARK, WHATEVER LI8GHT CLUNG TO ITS CORENERS NOW RACED TO ILLUMINATE LAILA. IT SEEMED THE WORLD COULDN’T HELP BUT WANT TO BE NEAR HER… EVERY BEAM OF LIGHT, PAIR OF EYES, ATOM OF AIR. MAYBE THAT’S WHY SOMETIMES HE COULDN’T BREATHE AROUND HER.

“YOU ONLY WANT ONE THING.”
“IS THAT SO?”
HE MEANT IT TEASINGLY. BUT LAILA’S POSTURE CHANGED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY. MORE LANGUID, SOMEHOW.
SHE MOVED CLOSER, SLIDING HER HAND DOWN THE FRONT OF HIS JACKET.
“I WILL TELL YOU WHAT YOU WANT.”

– Laila, L’Énigme
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


“HAD I KNOWN WHAT PRETTY COMPANY YOU KEEP, I MIGHT HAVE MET WITH YOU SOONER, SÉVERIN,” SAID HYPNOS, NOT TAKING HIS EYES OFF ENRIQUE.

“ARE THEY ALIVE?”
“THEY WON’T BE IF YOU DON’T SWEAR THE OATH. WE’LL BE EQUALLY BOUND, SÉVERIN. I ASSURE YOU, IT’S FOR THE BEST. YOU’LL LIKE WORKING WITH ME, I PROMISE! I’M FABULOUS AT PARTIES, HAVE EXCELLENT TASTE IN MENSWEAR, ET CETERA, ET CETERA,” SAID HYPNOS, WAVING HIS HAND. “AND IF YOU DON’T AGREE TO THIS, THEN I WILL BREAK EVERY BONE IN THEIR BODIES, AND ETCH YOUR NAME ONTO THE SPLINTERS. THAT WAY, YOUR NAME WILL BE ALL OVER THEIR DEATHS.”

“OH, GOODNESS, YOU CARE FOR SÉVERIN! AND WHY WOULDN’T YOU? THAT BOY LOOKS LIKE EVERY DARK CORNER OF A FAIRY TALE. THE WOLF IN BED. THE APPLE IN A WITCH’S PALM?”

– Heir of House Nyx, Hypnos
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


“ZOFIA, TELL HIM HE’S PRETTY.”
ZOFIA DIDN’T LOOK UP FROM HER TEA. “I AM PERSONALLY UNDECIDED, BUT IF WE’RE ASSESSING BASED ON OBJECTIVITY, THEN ACCORDING TO THE PRINCIPLES OF THE GOLDEN RATIO, ALSO KNOWN AS PHI, WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 1.618, YOUR FACIAL BEAUTY IS MATHEMATICALLY PLEASING.”
“I’M SWOONING,” GRUMBLED ENRIQUE.

ZOFIA SAT UP STRAIGHT, HELD HIS GAZE, THEN DID WHAT SHE’D SEEN LAILA DO MANY TIMES WHEN SHE LOOKED AT SÉVERIN—LIFT ONE CORNER OF HER MOUTH EVER SO SLIGHTLY, BUT TILT HER HEAD DOWN AT THE SAME TIME… WAIT, NOW SHE COULDN’T SEE ANYTHING, OH, AND LAILA WOULD SOMETIMES LIFT UP ONE SHOULDER—
“WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING?”
“I AM IMITATING PATTERNS OF FLIRTATION.”

– Zofia, The Engineer
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


“NOTHING BUT A SYMBOL?” REPEATED ENRIQUE QUIETLY. “PEOPLE DIE FOR SYMBOLS. PEOPLE HAVE HOPE BECAUSE OF SYMBOLS. THEY’RE NOT JUST LINES. THEY’RE HISTORIES, CULTURES, TRADITIONS, GIVEN SHAPE.”

SOMETIMES ENRIQUE FOUND HIS THOUGHTS WORKED BETTER WHEN HE WAS DANGLING UPSIDE DOWN. IT HELPED THAT HE COULD SEE THE FLOOR BENEATH HIM.

“AH,” SAID HYPNOS, HIS GAZE NARROWING. “THEN PERHAPS YOU’RE NURSING A BIT OF A WOUND FOR NOT BEING INVITED ALONG WITH THEM. WHICH GIRL, I WONDER, HAS LAID CLAIM TO SOME CORNER OF YOUR IMAGINATION…”
“CAN WE JUST GET BACK TO WORK?”
“LAILA, I WONDER? THE LIVING TEMPLE GODDESS?”
“OR IS IT THE LITTLE ICE QUEEN?”
“NEITHER,” HE SAID SHARPLY. BUT EVEN AS HE SAID THE WORDS, HE COULDN’T HELP REMEMBERING… ZOFIA IN THE TRAIN COMPARTMENT. THE LIGHT CATCHING ON HER CANDLE-BRIGHT HAIR. HER PALE FINGERS TRACING THE NECKLINE OF HER VELVET DRESS AS SHE PRACTICED, OF ALL THINGS, FLIRTING.

– Enrique, The Historian
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi


LAILA USED TO WONDER WHY TRISTAN STAYED AT L’EDEN. PERHAPS IT WAS LOYALTY TO SÉVERIN. OR BECAUSE L’EDEN ALLOWED TRISTAN TO KEEP HIS BIZARRE ARACHNID DISPLAYS. BUT WHEN LAILA STEPPED INTO THE GARDENS, SHE FELT THE REASON. TRISTAN LOVED SÉVERIN LIKE A BROTHER, BUT HE STAYED HERE BECAUSE ONLY IN L’EDEN COULD HE LIFT MARVELS FROM HIS MIND, FREE OF ANY DEMANDS.”

HE SWALLOWED HARD, THEN LIFTED HIS GAZE. HIS GRAY EYES LOOKED BLEAK. SLEEPLESS. “I DON’T TRUST HYPNOS. I DON’T TRUST THE ORDER.” “I’M SERIOUS THIS TIME. I JUST… I HAVE A FEELING AND I NEED YOU TO LISTEN TO ME—”

– Tristan, The Horticulturist
The Gilded Wolves, Roshani Chokshi






“SALVATION IS FOR FOOLISH HEROES WHO WILL NEVER EXIST. HELP YOURSELF AND LEAVE THE REST.”
– Nasir Prince of Death
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


SHE WISHED, MORE THAN ANYTHING, THAT SHE COULD BE HERSELF. THAT WOMEN DIDN’T HAVE TO BE THE INCAPABLE CREATURES THE MEN OF DEMENHUR CLAIMED THEM TO BE.
– Zafira the Huntress
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


“ONE DAY, YOU WILL VENTURE THE DARKNESS WITH ME.”
DEEN SMILED, EYES TRAINED UPON THE ARZ AS HE SPOKE HIS FAVORED LINE, “BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.”
– Deen, Loyal Companion
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


ZAFIRA GATHERED THE SHARDS OF HER BROKEN HEART. SHE LIFTED HER HOOD, AND UMM AND BABA FADED AWAY. YASMINE WAS WRONG. ZAFIRA WOULD NEVER MAKE THE MISTAKE OF FALLING IN LOVE.
THERE WAS NO POINT TO A FEELING THAT FLEETED. TO A LOVE SHE WOULD BE DESTINED TO LOSE.
– Zafira the Huntress
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


“I’M CONTENT, I AM. BUT THERE’S THIS… THIS NEED FOR SOMETHING MORE.”
IT WAS THE FIRST TIME DEEN WANTED WHAT SHE DID: MORE.
– Deen, Loyal Companion
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


NASIR HAD BEEN A WORTHY SON, ONCE. THE SULTAN WAS A MAN HE HAD CALLED BABA ONCE. IT WAS AS IF SOMETHING ELSE PROWLED INSIDE HIM NOW, ERODING THE MAN NASIR ONCE LOVED. TO SEE A FLICKER, A GLIMMER, A BARE HINT OF APPRECIATEION IN HIS FATHER’S EYES—NASIR WOULD DO ANYTHING.

EVEN KILL WITHOUT MORALS. MURDER WITHOUT REGRET. BECOME A MONSTER WITHOUT BOUNDS.
– Nasir Prince of Death
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


WHO DECIDES WHAT’S OUT OF REACH, IF NOT WE OURSELVES?
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


I WILL SHOW YOU WHAT A WOMAN CAN DO. SHE STARTLED HERSELF WITH THAT THOUGHT, ROUGH AND ANGRY. BECAUSE CONQUERING THE ARZ WASN’T ENOUGH. NOW SHE WAS GOING TO SHARR.

SHE WAS GOING TO BRING HER FATHER JUSTICE, KINGS AND WITCHES BE DAMNED. AND WHEN SHE RETURNED, MAGIC IN HER GRASP, SHE WOULD GIVE A CALIPHA HER THRONE. SHE WOULD GIVE ARAWIYA MAGIC AND MAKE THE SULTAN HIMSELF BOW BEFORE HER.

ZAFIRA LIFTED HER CHIN AND MET THE CALIPH’S GAZE IN A FAREWELL OF DEFIANCE, AND THE ARZ SPRANG BACK TO LIFE.
– Zafira the Huntress
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


“IF YOU WANT ME OBEDIENT, PRINCE, KILL ME AND CARRY MY CORPSE.”
– Zafira the Huntress
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


“THERE IS A FREEDOM IN KNOWING YOU’RE DEAD. WHEN YOU’RE A SPECTER NO ONE CAN TOUCH.” HER SMILE WAS A KNIFE. “THERE’S NO REVENGE SWEETER THAN BRINGING BACK WHAT MY FATHER LOATHES MOST: MAGIC.”
– Kifah the Warrior
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


“YOU AND I ARE STRANGERS, HUNTRESS. ALLIES BY CIRCUMSTANCE. WE MAY LEAVE SHARR AND NEVER THINK OF EACH OTHER AGAIN. BUT IN THIS MOMENT, WE ARE TWO SOULS, MAROONED BENEATH THE MOON, HUNGRY AND ALONE, ADRIFT IN THE CURRENT OF WHAT WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND. WE HUNT THE FLAME, THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS, THE GOOD THIS WORLD DESERVES. YOU REMIND ME THAT HOPE IS NOT LOST.”
– Kifah the Warrior
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


HIS EYES LOCKED ON HER FACE. TORN AND HELPLESS. HE KNEW THE WEIGHT OF ANGUISH THAT COULD DROWN A CITY IN SAND. HE KNEW THAT LOOK, THAT FEELING. TO WATCH A LOVED ON SUFFER. TO KNOW ONE COULD HAVE DONE SO MUCH BUT CAN NOW DO NOTHING AT ALL.
– Nasir Prince of Death
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal


HIS VOICE WAS A CARESS. IT LILTED ACROSS THE LENGTH OF HER NAME, TASTING IT. TEASING IT. SHE WANTED HIM TO SAY IT AGAIN. AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. SHE WANTED HIM TO DO TO HER WHAT HAD DONE TO HER NAME.
– Zafira the Huntress
We Hunt the Flame, Hafsah Faizal






“LOOKING DEATH RIGHT IN THE FACE, TYLER JONES, SQUAD LEADER, FIRST CLASS, IS THINKING ONE THING, AND ONE THING ONLY. I’M GONNA MISS THE DRAFT.”
– Tyler Jones
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


I’M A MILLION LIGHT-YEARS FROM HOME AND TWO HUNDRED YEARS OUT OF TIME, AND NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY KIND OF SENSE. BUT IF WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ANYWAY…
– Aurora O’Malley
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


I DO WHAT I CAN TO LIVEN THINGS UP—MY HEMLINE IS FIVE CENTIMETERS HIGHER THAN REGULATIONS TECHNICALLY ALLOW, AND MY BRA PROBABLY DEFIES NEWTON’S LAW OF UNIVERSAL GRAVITATION.
– Scarlett Jones
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


MY CURRENT SITUATION COULD BE ADEQUATELY DESCRIBED AS…
… SUBOPTIMAL”
– Zila Madran
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


“RIGHT, HOLD ON TO YOU UNDIES, KIDS.”
– Catherine Brannock
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


AND AS I LOOK AT HER FACE, I FEEL A STABBING IN MY CHEST, BRIGHT AND SHARP AND REAL AS BROKEN GLASS. A FEELING I THOUGHT I MIGHT NEVER FEEL.
– Kaliis Idraban Gilwraeth
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff


IF THIS PIECE OF CHAKK STATION WAS GOING TO SCREW ME THIS BAD, IT SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT ME DINNER FIRST.
–Finian
Aurora Rising, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff





“I WANTED TO TELL YOU TWO SOMETHING.”
I TELL THEM. SLOWLY.
AT FIRST, RELIEF FLOODS OVER ME. I THINK I CAN ACTUALLY FEEL MYSELF RELAX.
I JUST WISH THAT FEELING COULD’VE LASTED LONGER.
-I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver


I’M STILL LOOKING THROUGH THE THINGS HANNAH BOUGHT FOR ME.
“THANK YOU,” I SAY AGAIN. I DON’T WANT TO LET GO OF ANY OF ANY OF IT, SCARED THAT IT MIGHT SLIP AWAY FROM ME AT ANY MOMENT.
-I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver


“DO YOU HAVE ANY SECRETS?” “JUST LIKE…IS THERE A SECRET YOU HAVE, THAT SHOULDN’T BE A BIG DEAL? THAT YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL PEOPLE, BUT YOU JUST CAN’T? LIKE, IT ISN’T EVEN A BAD THING, BUT IT FEELS LIKE PEOPLE WILL THINK IT IS.”
-I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver


“DON’T IGNORE THE PROBLEMS,” NATHAN SAYS. “LEARN FROM THEM. BUT ALSO, DON’T KNOCK WHAT YOU GET RIGHT. EVERY SUCCESS DESERVES A CELEBRATION.”
-I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver


“NATHAN?”
“HMMM?”
“I’M GLAD WE MET.”
“ME TOO, BEN.”
-I Wish You All the Best, Mason Deaver




“LUNA,” SHE SAID. “YOUR NAME WILL BE LUNA. AND I WILL BE YOUR GRANDMOTHER. AND WE WILL BE A FAMILY.” AND JUST BY SAYING SO, XAN KNEW IT WAS TRUE.”
– Xan, the witch
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill


“XAN,” HE SAID. “I MUST INSIST THAT YOU DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH THAT BABY.” GLERK SCOWLED. “INDEED. I FORBID IT.”
– Glerk, the swamp Monster.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill


“WE HAVE A NOVICE WHO HAS OPTED NOT TO APPLY HERSELF TO AN ELEVATED LIFE OF STUDY AND CONTEMPLATION, AND HAS DECIDED TO REENTER THE LARGER WORLD. FOOLISH THING.” “ I WOULD LIKE ALL EVIDENCE OF THIS FIASCO REMOVED AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.”
– Sister Ignatia, Mistress of the Sisters of the Stars
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill


“WHAT WAS A NAME, ANYWAY? YOU CAN’T HOLD IT. YOU CAN’T SMELL IT. YOU CAN’T ROCK IT TO SLEEP. YOU CAN’T WHISPER YOUR LOVE TO IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THERE ONCE WAS A NAME THAT SHE TREASURED ABOVE ALL OTHERS. BUT IT HAD FLOWN AWAY, LIKE A BIRD. AND SHE COULD NOT COAX IT BACK.”
– The Madwoman
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill


“YOU MUST NOT GO ALONE,” THE MADWOMAN WHISPERED. “THERE ARE DANGERS IN THE WOOD. THERE ARE DANGERS HERE THAT WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE WOOD. AND THERE IS ONE WHO IS MORE DANGEROUS THAN YOU COULD POSSIBLY IMAGINE.”
– The Madwoman
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill


“LADIES,” SHE SAID. “IF EITHER OF YOU HAVE EVER HELD ME IN ANY MODICUM OF AFFECTION OR RESPECT, I MUST HUMBLY ASK FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE. I HAVE THINGS THAT I WOULD LIKE TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE THE DAY OF SACRIFICE, WHICH, AS WE ALL KNOW” – SHE GAVE GHERLAND A POISONOUS LOOK—“WAITS FOR NO MAN.”
– Ethyne
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Kelly Barnhill





“YOU’RE A BRAND-NEW PIECE OF SHEET MUSIC, FOR A SONG WHICH, ONCE PLAYED, I’D SWEAR I’D ALWAYS KNOWN.”
– HAZEL
Lovely War, Julie Berry


“KEEPING THE WORLD SAFE FOR PEOPLE TO PRACTICE THEIR AUDITION PIECES SEEMS LIKE THE ONE GOOD REASON TO FIGHT THIS WAR. IF MUSIC STOPS, AND ART CEASES, AND BEAUTY FADES, WHAT HAVE WE THEN?”
– JAMES
Lovely War, Julie Berry


“MY PARENTS AND ALL MY FAMILY ARE DEAD,” SHE SAID SIMPLY, “I VOLUNTEERED SOON AFTER MY VILLAGE WAS DESTROYED BY THE GERMANS.”
– COLETTE
Lovely War, Julie Berry


“YOU SAID I WAS THE KING OF RAGTIME.” HE WAGGLED HIS EYEBROWS AT HER. “ACTUALLY, I’M THE EMPEROR OF JAZZ.”
– AUBREY
Lovely War, Julie Berry




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