We asked our team here at Bookstr what book scenes and quotes they constantly had in their heads, living in the back of their mind rent-free. These books came from various genres, so be prepared to get a variety of scenes and quotes. Read our replies!
Spoiler Alert: This article may contain spoilers, so be advised when reading.
Ignite Me by Tahereh Mafi
“In a world where there is so much to grieve and so little good to take? I grieve nothing. I take everything.”
This is probably the most influential quote from this book series. This is a motto as to how Aaron Warner lives his life and how he wishes Juliette would live hers. He wishes she would unapologetically be herself and let the world fall at her feet, especially after everything she’s been through. It’s how the book gets its name: I Grieve Nothing. I Take Everything. This quote is constantly living in my head. That, and its counterpart, “Ignite, my love. Ignite.” Aaron Warner is a green flag for convincing his girlfriend she needs to take back control over everyone who’s hurt her.
- Alexandra Mellott, Editorial
“When I watch you sleep,” he said shakily, “I feel overwhelmed that you exist.”
This scene is one of the most romantic scenes I have ever read in my life. While Beach Read is not my personal favorite of Emily Henry’s romance novels, I will never stop thinking about this scene. Gus is finally letting January know how much he truly cares for her with this confession. There is a reference to a confession similar to Gus’s confession earlier in the novel, making the repetition of it that much more meaningful. I truly don’t think there has ever been a more romantically written line in any other romance novel I have read. It will live rent-free in my mind for the rest of my life!
- Corinne Vergari, Social
The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
“Strange, isn’t it? To love a book. When the words on the pages become so precious that they feel like part of your own history because they are.”
There are so many quotes and scenes from this book that live rent-free in my head, but this has to be one of the quotes I find myself coming back to most often. My little reader heart felt this quote so deeply. I feel like all of the books I read and love stay with me in their own special ways, even after I put them down, and this quote really captures that. The entire novel is an ode to book lovers, so if this quote resonates with you as well, I highly recommend checking out A Starless Sea!
- Lauren Nee, Editorial
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The Boat Scene
There are a number of scenes in this book that I could point to that have stayed on a loop in my mind, but one stands out above the rest. Zélie, the MC, is a maji with the power to control the dead. This means she can control those who have long since died, as well as those who’ve just passed away. It is during a tournament that she, her brother, and Princess Amari, whose family rules over the Orïsha, have to fight to win the stone they need in order to bring magic back to their land and to the maji. Zélie must take down her opponents while aboard a boat that’s thrust into a storm scenario.
The way she does it is to reanimate the dead that has passed in previous tournaments, including the one they’d witnessed before where Zélie makes a friend, who unfortunately is killed. Using the reanimated dead also affects her emotionally, and this scene is so heavy that it nearly brought me to tears when I first read it. It was so heartbreaking and powerfully vivid that I couldn’t forget it, even if I wanted to.
- Quiarah B/Vphan, Editorial
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
“People,” Geralt turned his head, “like to invent monsters and monstrosities. Then, they seem less monstrous themselves.”
Geralt is a fountain of wisdom and has many quotable lines throughout The Witcher series, but this one stays playing in my head on repeat. Even though the series takes place in a mythical world, this quote can relate to the society we live in today. Often, people like to point fingers at each other to lay blame on someone else.
By villainizing, disparaging, and ultimately turning the spotlight to another, they can feel better about what they’ve done in comparison. Geralt is a realist, and, unfortunately, reality is often unkind. This lends itself to the overarching theme of the series that when it comes to monsters and man, the line is entirely too thin.
- Maggie Malfroid, Graphics
House of Dark Shadows by Robert Liparulo
Dad continued, his voice more strained. “I know it was the hardest decision he ever made, but he took us away. For our sake and his sanity, we left this house and never returned. He made us promise never to come back. I was so young, and as I got older, he kept reinforcing how important it was that we stay away.”
“You should have listened,” Xander said. His words were as cold as the glare he cast on his father.
This scene happens at the end of the first book of the series, and it has stayed on my mind long since I read the book for the first time. Xander’s family (including his brother and sister) move from Los Angeles to a small town, where they end up moving into an old Victorian house — and make some unexpected discoveries. The brothers find these mysteries lurking within the house that eventually endangers them all and end up hurting the family in the worst way imaginable. By the end of the book, it is revealed that the dad knew more than he initially let on. The tragedy that happens to the family motivates them to detangle more and more about the house, even at the cost of their own safety.
- Val Gritsenko, Social
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
The Cookie Drink Scene
Even though it has been almost fourteen years since I first read The Lightning Thief, I still think about the cookie drink scene every single day. It was such a minor detail of the book that I am a little embarrassed to admit how much it has impacted my everyday thought process. In the scene, Percy is given an apple juice-looking liquid. When he takes a sip, it tastes nothing like juice, but rather his mother’s homemade cookies. The way Rick Riordan described that delicious drink still haunts me to this day, both in a good way and a bad way.
His choice of words makes you feel like you are taking a sip yourself, and to this day, I aim to capture a description while I am writing, just like Riordan has in this scene. The only downside to this description is every time I think about it; I weirdly feel disappointed that I do not have a cookie drink right in front of me to sip on. I hope to be as good as Riordan at writing descriptive scenes, but I wish it wouldn’t make me hungry every time I think of it.
- Erin Ewald, Editorial
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
“You do not have to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. / You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves.”
I love this entire poem, but the beginning resonates with me the most. Not only is it written beautifully and illicit amazing imagery, but the message behind it speaks to those searching for a place in the world. I think a lot of people could relate to this poem. Wild Geese is featured in Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, and it’s this quote that I always think about when life gets overwhelming or when I need to remember that trying my best is enough.
- Emma Jamrin, Editorial
Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
The Bird Hunting Scene
The scene isn’t jaw-dropping or life-changing. A young man who is lost in the woods finally manages to catch a bird to eat. Still, I find myself thinking of this scene often. Brian, a simple city teenager, tried over and over to catch a bird. He lunged at them repeatedly, but could never manage to catch one. Eventually, he tried something else.
Then it was like a light switched on inside his head, and from then on, he had no trouble catching them. It was a personal moment for me to read about this character struggling over and over but trying again and again. It was a cathartic moment for us both. It reminds me not to give up and keep pushing — maybe try it a different way — because giving up isn’t an option.
- Brandon Smith, Editorial
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath by Sylvia Plath
“I want to live and feel all the shades, tones, and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life.”
“I want to taste and glory in each day, and never be afraid to experience pain; and never shut myself up in a numb core of nonfeeling, or stop questioning and criticizing life and take the easy way out. To learn and think: to think and live; to live and learn: this always, with new insight, new understanding, and new love.”
Sylvia Plath’s words take up so much space in my head. These two quotes especially resonate because she battled mental health, yet these are written with such great feelings of hope and unfulfilled destiny. They remind me of the opportunities I have in this life and how beautiful it is to feel. I think they speak for themselves, so that’s all I have to say.
The Stranger by Albert Camus
To stay or to go, it amounted to the same thing.
The Stranger taught me a lot about not caring what your decision holds. You’re still going to get an outcome, and whether good or bad, it is up to your perspective. It also reminded me that the world is too big to worry about life itself. Live the way you want to live — do as you please. This is your life to live. This quote is simple yet effective in the right. Nothing truly matters unless you let it.
- Sierra Jackson, Editiorial
Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
“Your voice sounds like a midnight fire. All warm and worn in and golden. I could listen to you talk forever.”
I read this book so long ago, and this quote is one of my top favorite quotes in a romantic-sense. The description she gave him was so small, but I can almost hear it in my own head, despite never hearing his voice before. As someone who relies a lot on visuals to understand what someone means, Rossi was able to paint the idea of how he’s meant to sound like.
The crackling sound of wood burning equals a sort of rasp to me personally, but I’m sure this is different for everyone. I love any book that is able to describe a character so well in a subtle way over time. I often wonder if I’m able to give a synonym as beautiful-sounding as that one if I were to talk about someone.
- Jaiden Cruz, Graphics
Did any of these quotes or scenes jump out at you? Is there a book quote or scene that lives in your head that we didn’t mention?
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