From the title story, "Pretty Monsters"
"Grace took over, as if she and Madeline were training for the Olympics in the freestyle unsolicited advice relay."
"It was difficult, sometimes, to figure out what was up with the boyfriend. It was a good thing he had money. Otherwise you would never have heard a single word he said."
From "Magic for Beginners"
"Jeremy waits. Talis seems to be waiting too. She says "About you." Then she is silent again. There is something dreamlike about the way she makes a sandwich. As if she is really making something that isn't a sandwich at all; as if she is making something far more meaningful and mysterious. Or as if soon he will wake up and realize that there is no such thing as sandwiches."
From "The Wrong Grave"
"…he bent over and kissed Bethany's forehead, breathing in. She smelled like a new car. Miles's mind was full of poetic thoughts. Every cloud had a silver lining, except there was probably a more interesting and meaningful way to say that, and death wasn't really a cloud. He thought about what it was; more like an earthquake, maybe, or falling from a great height and smacking into the ground, really hard, which knocked the wind out of you and made it hard to sleep or wake up or eat or care about things like homework or whether there was anything good on TV. And death was foggy, too, but also prickly, so maybe instead of a cloud, a fog made of little sharp things. Needles. Every death fog has a lot of silver needles. Did that make sense? Did it scan?"