43. From Once Upon a Time to Happily Ever After


I recently remembered this assignment from my Creative Writing class a couple of years ago and how fun it was, so I thought I’d give it another go–because I’m a strong, independent woman who can do whatever she wants (i.e., I’m bored and on winter break)–using only books that are sitting on my shelf right now.

1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (9/10)

“Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking a garden, chatting and sipping at our cups of green tea while we talked about something that had happened a long while ago, and I said to you, ‘That afternoon when I men so-and-so…was the very best afternoon of my life, and also the very worst afternoon.’”

. . .

“Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like water ink on paper.”

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2/10)

“I wish Giovanni would kiss me.”

. . .

“Let’s cross over.”

3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (7/10, and yes, I read it for the title)

“Nicholas Young slumped into the nearest seat in the hotel lobby, drained from the sixteen-hour flight from Singapore, the train ride from Heathrow Airport, and trudging through the rain-soaked streets.”

. . .

“This is just how they all are.”

4. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky (2/10, would not read again)

“Dear friend, I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didn’t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.”

. . .

“Love always, Charlie.”

5. The Help – Kathryn Stockett (7/10)

“Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August 1960.”

. . .

“Cause just last night I thought I was finished with everything new.”

6. Brooklyn – Colm Tóibín (4/10)

“Eilis Lacey, sitting at the window of the upstairs living room in the house on Friary Street, noticed her sister walking briskly from work.”

. . .

“She almost smiled at the thought of it, then closed her eyes and tried to imagine nothing more.”

7. Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins (6/10, *spoilers*)

“I clasp the flask between my hands even though the warmth from the tea has long since leached into the frozen air.”

. . .

“Katniss, there is no District Twelve.”

8. City of Bones – Cassandra Clare (6/10)

“‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’ the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest.”

. . .

“Her stomach dropped out from under her as the silver river spun away and the spires of the bridge slid under her feet, but this time Clary kept her eyes open, so that she could see it all.”

9. Partials – Dan Wells (8/10, would definitely recommend)

“Newborn #485GA18M died on June 30, 2076, at 6:07 in the morning.”

. . .

“Find the Trust.”

10. Looking for Alaska – John Green (7/10)

“The week before I left my family and Florida and the rest of my minor life to go to boarding school in Alabama, my mother insisted on throwing me a going-away party.”

. . .

“I don’t know where there is, but I believe it’s somewhere, and I hope it’s beautiful.”

~ Hoài-Linh

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