Inspirational Quotes by Jenny Han

By | May 19, 2017

It’s important for Asian American kids to see themselves in stories and to feel seen. They need to know that their stories are universal, too, that they, too, can fall in love in a teen movie. They don’t have to be the sidekick; they can be the hero.

Jenny Han

We learn so much about the world by what we take in through movies and TV and books – we learn who’s worthy of having their story told.

Jenny Han

My sister and I are really close. She’s my little sister.

Jenny Han

Teenage years are all about crushes: crushes so deep you wanted to inhabit the other person, be inside their skin, see the world through their eyes.

Jenny Han

I started writing stories at a young age, but not once did it occur to me that I could grow up to be a writer. Who could I look to? My favorite authors were Ann M. Martin and E.L. Konigsburg and Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary and Lois Lowry and Norma Klein. They were all white women, and they seemed so stately to me, so elegant. A whole world away.

Jenny Han

When I sold my first middle-grade novel in 2005, it wasn’t that common to put an author photo on the back flap, but 24-year-old Korean-American me insisted. I wanted Asian girls to see my face. And more than that, I wanted them to see what is possible.

Jenny Han

There is power in seeing a face that looks like yours do something, be someone. There is power in moving from the sidelines to the center.

Jenny Han

I really love to write about food, crafts, and fashion, so those details will always be a part of my books. I think they inject stories with color and flavor, providing a tactile experience.

Jenny Han

Food is a way to explore culture and ground the story in a specific time and place. I still remember the meals and snacks from my first novel, ‘Shug’: pork chops and applesauce and Coca-Cola and peanuts, which are very Southern. When a character has roots elsewhere, food is a way to connect with home and another culture.

Jenny Han

Every choice leads you somewhere, but it might not be where you truly want to be if the decision is based on someone else. It could lead to regrets and what-ifs, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t still have valuable experiences.

Jenny Han

My sister is my very favorite person, and I dedicated ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’ to her.

Jenny Han

I don’t plan anything out, and I don’t write in chronological order. The emotional tenor is what guides me, but a lot of it is feeling my way through the dark. That’s okay if you have unlimited time to work and stumble upon things in a delightful way, but under a deadline, it can be really stressful.

Jenny Han

The most joyful part of writing, for me, is when I am 90% there, and suddenly the story clicks into place, and things finally start to make sense.

Jenny Han

When I finished ‘P.S. I Still Love You,’ I truly was done with the series. I kept saying the books were two halves of a heart. But I suppose time and space had made me nostalgic, because my mind kept drifting back to Lara Jean and Peter, wondering what they were up to.

Jenny Han

I try to be measured and thoughtful about what I put out there because I know a lot of young people follow me on Twitter, and I take that seriously – which is why I don’t exclusively tweet about cookies and ‘Game of Thrones’ and YA.

Jenny Han

I learn so much on Twitter all the time, and it would be a shame not to share that with my readers.

Jenny Han

A tweet in an article can feel more permanent and louder than a tweet on Twitter.

Jenny Han

I think that if a writer doesn’t use her voice, be it in her writing or online or in real life, then what is the point of having one?

Jenny Han

It’s not hard to get into a teen’s head, because it’s all emotions. Their feelings are amplified; you have no luxury of hindsight. If you haven’t had your heart broken before, you don’t know that you’ll be able to get back up again.

Jenny Han

I think, as a writer, you spend most of your time working on the book alone.

Jenny Han

There’s some of me in all my characters.

Jenny Han

I came of age during the Golden Age of rom coms – like the ’90s and 2000s – there were so many.

Jenny Han

I was writing my first book when I was in college. I was a teenager.

Jenny Han

My whole life, as an adult as well, I’ve been attracted to stories about young people. This period of time is so fertile – there’s a million things that are happening, a million firsts, and to be able to witness that and record that is a privilege.

Jenny Han

The Summer I Turned Pretty’ is about how, as a young woman, everyone gets that moment of being in bloom, but nobody really appreciates it.

Jenny Han

I just think of myself as a writer. Yes, I’m a woman. And I’m a writer. The main challenge is that I like to write stories about young women, and society doesn’t place much of a premium on young women’s stories. And I think that’s why I gravitate towards it. I really honor that, and I treasure that time, and they should be given that respect.

Jenny Han

My name is Jennifer, and when I first went to school, my kindergarten teacher called me Jenny, and from then on, I was Jenny.

Jenny Han

As a child, I spent a lot of summers going to the beach with family friends.

Jenny Han

All my writer friends outline their books, and I find that hard. It doesn’t feel inspired to me. I get bored with that, and really, I just want it to be fun.

Jenny Han

I think most girls have that moment when boys they’ve known their whole life see them in a different way.

Jenny Han

I write diverse books because the world we live in is diverse, and I want my books to reflect that truth.

Jenny Han

I don’t think kids of color should have to search far and wide to find books that reflect their experience.

Jenny Han

Beyonce, Otis Redding, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, and Adele are a few of my favorites.

Jenny Han

I don’t think you ever love anything as passionately as you do when you’re a teen. You remember the books you read as a young person your whole life. I feel so lucky to write for young adults.

Jenny Han

I worked on ‘Always and Forever, Lara Jean’ for a few months before I breathed a word of it my editor or agent.

Jenny Han

There’s something so delicious about holding onto a secret; it’s something just for you.

Jenny Han

It’s far too rare an experience for Asian American girls to see themselves in media.

Jenny Han

Change is hard but inevitable.

Jenny Han

I always think about race as a part of one’s identity, not the whole of one’s identity. You don’t want it to be the defining characteristic of a character. There has to be more.

Jenny Han

The feedback for ‘P.S. I Still Love You’ has been pretty amazing. To have written this story about this family with Asian-American characters and be so embraced is really incredible for me as a writer as well as a person of color.

Jenny Han

I think you are going through so many ‘firsts’ as a teenager, and it’s a charged time because of that. You don’t have much autonomy in life. Everything is just kind of crazy, and there are so many huge decisions to be made, like where are you going to college or who you date. These things can really affect your whole life.

Jenny Han

I like to read non-fiction on my e-reader, but as for fiction, I usually like to have a copy to keep at home.

Jenny Han

Writing is just always hard for me. It always feels like drawing blood. It’s never particularly easy.

Jenny Han

There are so many people that want to tell stories. I think that the issue is how hard it is to get your foot in the door to tell your stories.

Jenny Han

I think, generally, romantic stories end with people together. But I’d like a story that ends, like, hopefully but not necessarily neatly.

Jenny Han

Sometimes readers want some escapist fun, to get lost in the story. But light-hearted romantic stories can and should star all kinds of girls.

Jenny Han

I do end up revealing a lot online, but in books, what I reveal is more tailored. Authors can couch revelations in fiction. With social media, no one wants to watch or read if it doesn’t feel authentic, so you end up giving away a lot of yourself.

Jenny Han

Even as a full-grown adult, it can still feel destabilizing when your family goes through changes.

Jenny Han

I might just be the luckiest girl ever.

Jenny Han

I always know what time it is.

Jenny Han

It’s fairly common to get something optioned but really rare to actually see it become a movie.

Jenny Han

I think that, oftentimes, what people say is, ‘We need an actress who’ll be able to greenlight a movie,’ and my counterargument to that is always that, when it comes to a teen movie, you have very few people who can greenlight a movie.

Jenny Han

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