I love the compulsion you experience while reading certain books. You probably know what I'm talking about. The "oh, I'll just read one more chapter" mentality until you've swallowed the book whole in less than a day.
Well, I felt this way about Girl In Translation. Sadly, I don't think I would've picked up this novel if it wasn't on the Florida Teens List. And I would've missed out on tremendous read. I was genuinely moved to tears.
Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me.
"One day close to Christmas as the factory, I saw Matt working with his mother, and I rubbed the pandas's forehead in my pocket with my finger. I walked over and said, "Joyful Christmas." Then I swiftly pulled out the panda and offered it to him. I had thought about this. Much as I liked Tyrone at school, I had never really spoken to him. I was grateful to Matt and he was my only friend who knew what my life was really like; he shared it. I wanted to give him a present even more than I wanted to keep the panda for myself, because it was the only thing I had."
"When Tyrone shyly handed his to me, I saw that on the page before mine someone had written: "You are the King of the Brains." I thought a moment and wrote in Chinese: You are a very special person and may the gods protect you. Then I signed my name in English.
"Wow," he said. "What does it say?"
"Good luck," I said.
He stared at the page. "That's a lot of words for 'good luck.'"
"It take a long time to say something in my Chinese."
In my book, he wrote, "Wish I had known you better.""
"But that night, as I bent over my books, I could still smell the lingering perfume on my clothes and wrists, and I felt surrounded by the warmth of Annette's friendship, by her confidence in me. I wondered if that had been her plan all along."
"He looked at me. "You don't care about superficial things, do you?"
I had to laugh. "Yes, I do. I need to."
"No, you don't, not really. I've been watching you--you don't even notice what the other girls are doing."
"You think that because my clothing is different from theirs. It is actually only because I do not understand what they are doing." It felt good to admit this to someone. "I wish I could be like them!" An image of the lovely Vivian flashed across my mind. "But I don't know how."
"Because you don't really care. Even if you could, tell me you would really spend your free time in front of a mirror trying to make your eyelashes look longer.
I was silent.
He continued. "You'd be too busy inventing something to save the world."
"Just because I'm better at math than you are does make me into a paragon of virtue."
"That what I mean."
"Where did you learn that -- I mean, did you hear someone say 'paragon of virtue' at home or something?"
I paused. "I memorized it from a book."
I hope everyone's enjoying their weekend!