The Ultimate Bookish Quotes

9 Moving Quotes from Rat Life

Yesterday, I had my sister pick up whatever random book on my bookshelf she thinks I can finish in one sitting. She brought back Rat Life by Tedd Arnold. I liked that 1) it was a young adult mystery fiction book, great timing, and 2) I have been dying to re-read that since forever. It was a Christmas gift to me by my classmate way back second year high school. Because it is in season, I wanted to experience the feels of re-reading it after three years.

The book was set in the Vietnam War, revolved around a fourteen year-old boy, Todd, and his experiences in writing, friendship, and a murder mystery. Anyway, I liked the book mostly because of the portrayal of Rat, a Vietnam war veteran who kept me guessing whether he was really a friend or a foe, and of Todd’s random, enthralling writings. I have compiled some quotes I liked from the book (because of course, I have a certain love for quotes. It makes me remember the story more.). Some just felt like either reality slapped me in the face or hit me right in the feels.


“Never before had I tried to figure someone out. I had always diddy-bopped along, day to day, never going too deep. And never needing to.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 72)

I included this because I can relate to this. Whenever I met someone, or even talk again to someone I have known for ages, I just cannot give a flying shit about him. While there are some advantages to this, the disadvantages are I may only have few, deep established relationships with others. Maybe it is also because I am scared of going too deep. Scared of commitment, of responsibility. Who knows?


“The secure zone of comfort I had always enjoyed while writing stories — and reading them to friends — vanished in a cold rush. The story in my hand, I realized, wasn’t the kind of thing I wanted to write.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 73)

Are you writing what you want? Are you doing what you want? As for me, I still have a lot to learn… Getting out of my comfort zone? Eventually…


“I wanted to just write what I wanted to write. And I had no idea anymore what that was.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 75)

This quote just revised WRITER’S BLOCK in a fancier way. Amazing how it fits in the story due to the turn of events.


“Writing had never scared me before. I loved writing. A blank sheet of paper had always been a playground. Now it seemed more like a wall and I couldn’t find a way in.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 100)

If there ever comes a time that I would be in this situation, oh gods, I hope I could find a way out… But, truthfully, I was always scared of writing. Maybe not literally writing, but writing and sharing it to the world. I was always afraid of what others would say or ask that might be beyond my ability to answer. But I thought, how could I improve if I stayed in this lonely little box of mine? Ah, life…


“He was saying he was willing to talk. He had opened a door. And I hesitated. And already that door was closing. If I really did want to know more — and suddenly I did — I had to think of something. Now. But what?” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 121)

Opportunity might NOT knock on your door twice. So, DON’T SCREW THIS UP. Repeat 100x. 


“Nothing matters if you’re nothing.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 127)

Not really an inspirational quote, but a burst of emotion when you felt crushed by the weight of the world… If you are ever experiencing like you are nothing, remember that to someone, you are everything. Believe me.


“School…. It was just a place that was away from some dirty, half-empty house. School was… school was a hole. I hid in it. Everybody above me just walking by…. Got to where I didn’t even look up.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 127)

I was blank. And sad.


“All nights end, right? All floods recede. All rain…” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 166)

Earlier, I chatted with one of my “few established relationships” and said something relevant. I might as well repeat it here. Tomorrow is another day. Whatever you are feeling, it will pass. It will end. For better or for worse.


“I know now that some things people do are impossible to understand unless you’ve lived their lives.” (Tedd Arnold, 2007, 199)


I have noticed that most of the quotes are on the downside. Even then, the book was awesome. And moving. I hope you enjoyed the quotes. Thanks!


Photo taken from:

All but the featured image are made by me on (I forgot to add the year on the images unlike on my previous post. Must have slipped my mind, my bad.)

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