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The Leavers

Lisa Ko

Top 10 Best Quotes

“Everyone had stories they told themselves to get through the days.”

“It was that kind of mindfuck: to be too visible and invisible at the same time, in the ways it mattered the most.”

“It was a funny thing, forgiveness. You could spend years being angry with someone and then realize you no longer felt the same, that your usual mode of thinking had slipped away when you weren't noticing.”

“Never had there been a time when sound, color, and feeling hadn’t been intertwined, when a dirty, rolling bass line hadn’t induced violets that suffused him with thick contentment, when the shades of certain chords sliding up to one another hadn’t produced dusty pastels that made him feel like he was cupping a tiny, golden bird. It wasn’t just music but also rumbling trains and rainstorms, occasional voices, a collective din. Colors and textures appeared in front of him, bouncing in time to the rhythm, or he’d get a flash of color in his mind, an automatic sensation of a tone, innate as breathing.”

“No matter how tired I was, I always felt more awake when I walked.”

“Maybe it wasn't about the moving to new places, but about the challenge of staying put.”

“Then the shoreline would grown dimmer and the blue would shoot in all directions, filling the frame around me, the sky so big it could swallow me, and I cracked open with happiness”

“She wasn’t listening to him. He recalled how she and Peter had insisted on English, his new name, the right education. How better and more hinged on their ideas of success, their plans. Mama, Chinese, the Bronx, Deming: they had never been enough. He shivered, and for a brief, horrible moment, he could see himself the way he realized they saw him—as someone who needed to be saved.”

“If he could just talk to his mother in person, maybe he could figure out who he should be.”

“The book says in two months we can be speaking at a third grade level.' 'Third grade? That's for kids. Baby level.' 'If you don't try you'll be speaking at fetus level. Silent.”

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Book Keywords:

new-york-city, music, colors, synesthesia-chromesthesia

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