How important are first lines? For me, very. Often times, they set the mood for the entire story. Here are a few that I enjoy:
- Once you’ve been taken, you usually have twenty-four hours left to live. Edward Bloor, Taken.
- They promised me nine years of safety but only gave me three. Laura Wiess, Such a Pretty Girl.
- Blood fills my mouth. Bree Despain, The Dark Divine.
- It is the counting that saves him. Lisa Mangum, The Hourglass Door.
- Sirens and lights welcomed me back to the suburbs of Chicago. Stephanie Kuehnert, Ballands of Suburbia.
- Life was good before I met the monster. Ellen Hopkins, Crank.
- On Sorry Night, just a few days before Christmas, you have to snuff the lamps, douse the flames in the fireplace, and spend the night in the cold and dark. Simon Holt, The Devouring.
- The day I killed my brother’s girlfriend started with me handpicking leaves off our front lawn. E.R. Frank, Wrecked.
- I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver.
- He began his new life standing up, surrounded by cold darkness and stale, dusty air. James Dashner, The Maze Runner.
- Gray slats of light slipped between the bars, only to be swallowed by blackness. Heidi Ayarbe, Freeze Frame.
- When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold. Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games.
- Kaye took another drag on her cigarette and dropped it into her mother’s beer bottle. Holly Black, Tithe, a Modern Faerie Tale.
- The white boy, the skinny, tall boy with shocking white hair sneaks behind the stone bench and leans against the tree trunk. Julie Anne Peters, By the Time You Read This, I’ll Be Dead.
- I am sitting at a desk in the middle of a hallway, and all of the lights are off. Julie Halpern, Get Well Soon.
- The day begins in the middle of the night. Rachel Cohn & David Levithan, Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
- I was born with water on the brain. Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.
So, what do you think: too tense, not tense enough, exciting, boring, totally brand new, been-there-done-that? Do any of these make you curious enough to read on, or would you move on to the next book on the shelf?