Friday, October 7, 2011

best lines, A.S. King edition

last night i attended the west coast launch party for A.S. King's "Everybody Sees the Ants."
and since i am currently reading her Printz Honor Book "Please Ignore Vera Dietz," i thought it would be a good time for another episode of... BEST LINES.

first, though i haven't read it yet, i have to share a line from Ants. this showed up in King's reading last night and really struck me:

Mom told me once she thinks she's a reincarnated squid. Maybe she thinks being a squid means she won't be swallowed by the hole in our family.

and here are some of my favorite lines so far from Vera Dietz:

"Ew," I said. "I think we should tell my parents." I knew his wouldn't believe us or care. There was a reason Charlie was such a bright blazing sun. He came from endless cold, black space.

There are still children starving in Africa, right? There are still children starving right here in this shitty little town.

this line comes after an encounter with the mean kids:

Seeing it makes me feel delayed embarrassment. I wonder did I handle it okay? Did I look like an asshole?

normally, i don't like to comment too much on "best lines," because i don't want to detour into review territory. but i have to say something about this last quote.
if nothing else of interest were to happen in the rest of the book, i would still like it for that one quote and the entire passage in which it sits. that moment would have spoken to me as a teen more than anything i've ever read.

here are these kids who are mean to you, whose opinions you shouldn't give a damn about, but you can't help hoping you still looked - i don't know, cool maybe? - while they were torturing you. because maybe if you handled it well, they won't torture you again. or at least they won't know they got to you. and the feeling that accompanies all that is an inexplicable shame. it's a very hard - very uniquely teenage - emotion that is hard to capture. and King did it in a few spare lines.

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