15 Book Quotes That Will Totally Empower You

by E. Ce Miller

Young women today have it way tougher than we ever did thanks to the Internet. If my days of rocking braces, Lip Smacker necklaces, and one XXL Frida Kahlo-style eyebrow were captured on Instagram, I'd have moved into a secret yurt in the Maldives and never, ever come out. Girls can use all the encouragement they can get, and I think a list of empowering quotes for young adults can go a long way as they deal with their share of stuff. After all, it's better to celebrate the beautifully imperfect person that you are than to hide out.

To gather this list of quotes, I looked to what inspired me the most when I was young: my own childhood lit heroes. Alice, Dorothy, Nancy Drew, and Laura Ingalls Wilder were my some of first real best friends — and some of my most beloved characters from children's books. I learned from their stories and others' to be fearless and adventurous, self-sufficient and strong. The best books surely are the ones that teach you that you can do anything, so I pulled some fantastic lines from these books that show young adults they can kick ass, no matter who they are.

Here are 15 lines to empower and inspire young adults (and honestly, probably people of any age). Go get 'em, ladies.

1. “You have plenty of courage, I am sure. All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

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2. “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it's unbelievable..."

― Roald Dahl, Matilda

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3. “Does the river try to please a tree? Does the bird try to please a stone? In nature, things are simply who and what they are. A tree trying to please the river would be ridiculous. But I wonder ... isn't that what I do? What if I put all my energy and power into being me instead of someone's version of me?"

― Paula D’Arcy, Gift of the Red Bird

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4. “What you're supposed to do when you don't like a thing is change it. If you can't change it, change the way you think about it. Don't complain.”

― Maya Angelou, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

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5. “I'm not lost for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

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6. "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."

― Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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7. “When adults say, 'Teenagers think they are invincible' with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don't know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken. We think that we are invincible because we are. We cannot be born, and we cannot die. Like all energy, we can only change shapes and sizes and manifestations. They forget that when they get old. They get scared of losing and failing. But that part of us greater than the sum of our parts cannot begin and cannot end, and so it cannot fail.”

― John Green, Looking for Alaska

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8. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

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9. “A person’s a person, no matter how small.”

― Dr. Seuss, Horton Hears A Who

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10. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!"

― Lewis Carroll, Alice Through the Looking Glass

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11. “Whenever you are about to embark on an adventure you have to think about the landing. Not about the takeoff. So whenever you feel like flying, think about how and where you’ll end up.”

― Fatima Mernissi, Dreams of Trespass

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12. “Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

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13. “The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

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14. “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives: to experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”

― Judy Blume, Tiger Eyes

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15. “I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”

― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

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Images: anton petukhov, Joe Thorne , jridgewayphotography, Olga Ferrer Saladié , Lukasz Porwol , Kristian Niemi , Mitchell Joyce(3), Carl A , Scott Swigart , lauren rushing (2), Thomas Hawk , ashley rose(2)/Flickr; Author's own