Quotes Galore : Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Quotes Galore : Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick


I have already finished this book about a week ago, but for some reason, I still wasn’t able to get it out my head. I don’t know what it is about this book that struck so deeply into my soul. Maybe it was how the whole thing was executed. Maybe it was the characters. Maybe it was the ending. I am not sure. 

What I know is, since I finished reading this book, I have been on an angst-fest-forbidden-love-books roll. Because of this book, these days I am galloping through Goodreads in search for the next amazing book with forbidden love as the theme. And to be honest, I have found some amazing books to add into my ever growing TBR list, no shame there.

I might make a list of my favorite angst filled forbidden love books soon – maybe, possibly. For the meantime, please enjoy this compilation of my favorite quotes from Drowning Instinct. Who am I kidding, I love this book, all of the quotes in this book are my favorites. Nevertheless, enjoy.





Mitch’s eyes found me and held on. “Jenna,” he said, and he put everything into that one word. He put in a lifetime.


“She’s got the kind of ethereal, unselfconscious beauty some young girls possess that breaks your heart. Or theirs.”


“There’s an intimate connection between creativity and madness.”



“What about study hall? Shouldn’t I go to the library?”


“What for, Ms. Lord?” Mr. Anderson said. “You’re with me.”



The conditions under which an experiment is performed are key.

Change a single parameter and you might alter the outcome.



“Why did you do that?”


He shrugged. “You looked like you could use the rescue. She was hassling you. People like The Tank make me tired. She means well, but I can’t think of anything worse than being constantly reminded of things you’d rather forget. What exactly does she think you’re going to say, anyway?”


All the things I wouldn’t mind telling you. 


“But I thought that I might want him to watch me; to stand there, stopwatch in hand, and be completely focused on only me.”


drowning instinct quotes


“It’s okay,” I said for want of anything better. Her words weren’t slurred. Maybe she hadn’t drunk much. Maybe she’d been so tired, she’d fallen asleep right here at the kitchen table. Maybe pigs could fly.”



“I’m not thinking what a loser you are. I’m thinking that you’re a brave, smart, tough girl who’s doing the best she can under really crummy circumstances.”


I gave a weak, watery laugh. “You don’t know me.”


“I know what I need to know for now,” he said.



Then I wondered. Maybe he took care of other people

because no one was taking care of him.



“What happened doesn’t matter. It’s past. I don’t need to know. All that matters is here and now, you understand? Sometimes it’s best to let the past go. Don’t get so caught up in looking behind you forget to look ahead.”


“That’s the trouble with people.” He fingered up another cookie and bit into it. “They don’t take time to just enjoy the moment.”



Believing that everything is your fault is like saying that the world revolves

around you and that is pure narcissism and no less destructive.



“Our gazes met. I don’t know why, but we both went still. Neither of us looked away, and there was something there. I know he felt it because I saw some emotion chase across his face.”


“Want to know how girls think? Well, here’s the inside scoop. It’s the torture of not knowing that fuels a romance and that kind of pain is sweet, so sweet. It’s the longing, stupid. Unrequited love is the best of all.”


drowning instinct quotes


“Here’s what Will and Jane and Charlotte and all those writers knew, what every person who’s ever fallen in love gets: nothing’s ever as good as the build up to that first kiss. Obsession is an engine all its own, a torment of the most pleasant kind. The rest is just . . . a real letdown.”


“Obsession—anticipation—is the glint of a razor, the wink of a knife poised above unblemished skin. The moment when you’ve reached that proverbial fork in the road: cut, or not. Bleed. Or not.”



Winning is a combination of ability, determination, and strategy.

You won’t win unless you know when to pull the trigger.



“That’s one thing you learn as you get older. Parents expect they’ll have the same influence when you’re thirty as when you’re ten.”


“Anyone looking would think I have this perfect, fairy-tale life: money, land, a lovely house, a great wife. But all that’s surface stuff. It’s like watching someone on the water who you think is fine because there’s no fuss, no screaming, when, really, the guy’s about twenty seconds away from drowning.”


“There comes a point, where you have to let some things die.”


drowning instinct quotes


“It sounds scary,” I said.


“It is. Most things worth effort like that are, but what’s the point of never taking chances? I don’t know if I could stand living my whole life afraid.”



“Jenna, honestly, go to sleep. It’s okay.”


“I don’t want to sleep,” I murmured. “I don’t ever want to sleep again.”


“Why not?”


“Because this is our last day and I don’t want to waste it.

There will be plenty of time to sleep when I’m not with you.

There’ll be the rest of my life.”



“Jenna.” His voice was husky and low, and then his hands were gripping my shoulders. “Jenna, please. Please, look at me.”


I did—and that’s when I realized that eyes really are windows to the soul.


“Don’t go,” he whispered.



I kissed him and he kissed me, hard, very hard,

so hard it was like he was drinking me in.



“Then why? Why are you doing this?”


“Because.” He was facing me now, leaning forward, face intent, his eyes grabbing mine so I couldn’t look away. We were like matching bookends, almost touching but with volumes between us and stories, so many stories. “Because I am your friend and I do care, much more than I should.”


“We all have our fictions, little lies we tell to keep ourselves going from one day to the next.”


drowning instinct quotes


“But why?” I twisted around so our faces were inches apart. “You said you didn’t want to hurt me, but you did anyway. You took Matt away.”


“No, an IED killed Matt. I got rid of his ghost so you’d finally see.”


“See what?”


“Me, Jenna,” he said. “So you would see me. And then you would know that you’re not the only one who’s lonely.”



I think about you all the time. I sit down to do a lesson plan, and then an hour’s gone by and I’ve been daydreaming about you. I think about how I don’t have to work. I have enough money to go anywhere, do anything I want— but the next day comes and I’m teaching about the chemical rearrangement of disordered solids. Jenna, being older doesn’t mean I have all the answers.


The world has rules. We aren’t powerful enough to make our own.



“Everybody breaks sooner or later, Bob. Anyone can drown. Sometimes you see it. Most often, you don’t because the body protects and the skin hides, so drowning doesn’t look like drowning and some people scar so nicely.”


“Please love me, Jenna, please hold me, please save me,” and then he was groaning; his mouth was a fever trailing down my neck, his tongue teasing mine and then my breasts, his hands knotting in my hair, and then we began to move together, and there was nothing but this and this and this and this and him.


“Love me, Jenna, please,” he gasped. “Love me, love me, love me, love me.”


He pressed my hand to his chest so I could feel the hard, fast thump of his heart. “This is what you do for me.” He guided my hand, slowly, to his lap and I heard the hitch in his voice, the low animal sound he made in the back of his throat at the instant I found him. “This is what only you can do to me,” he said, thickly, pulling me closer. “You’re the only one, Jenna, the only one.”


drowning instinct quotes




What was it really like to wake up in the morning next to someone you loved?

I wanted to find out.



“I read somewhere that people are the accumulation of their experiences. Without your memories and secrets . . . you’re nothing.”




“There are those individuals who die for a cause, and we say they have made the ultimate sacrifice. We call them martyrs, and we never doubt their sincerity.


Yet many others search their entire lives for something—or someone—worth dying for and this is very different. These are the lonely and the desperate, fearful that their lives have no meaning.


They yearn for the bullet, if only someone else will pull the trigger.”




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