Friday, September 11, 2015

Famous First Lines

Have you ever read the first few lines of a book and knew right away that you and the novel were about to have a beautiful relationship? One that would last at LEAST until the next day?

I'm a sucker for a good pick-up first line. If you can reel me in with your first line, chances are, I'll stick around and read the whole thing.

I've read some great first lines in YA novels lately, and here are a few I thought you might enjoy.

"The first time I died, I didn't see God. No light at the end of the tunnel. No haloed angels. No dead grandparents.

To be fair, I probably wasn't a solid shoo-in for heaven. But, honestly, I kind of assumed I'd make the cut."

~Fracture by Megan Miranda

"The early summer sky was the color of cat vomit.

Of course, Tally thought, you'd have to feed your cat only salmon-flavored cat food for a while, to get the pinks right."

~Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

"There's always that one guy who gets a hold on you. Not like your best friend's brother who gets you in a headlock kind of hold. Or the little kid you're babysitting who attaches himself to your leg kind of hold."

~The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg

"The name of the song is "This Lullaby." At this point, I've probably heard it, oh, about a million
times. Approximately.

All my life I've been told about how my father wrote it the day I was born. He was on the road somewhere in Texas, already split from my mom. The story goes that he got word of my birth, sat down with his guitar, and just came up with it, right there in a room at a Motel 6."

~This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

"Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.

No one is a criminal.

No one is a liar.

No one is a failure."

~We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Aren't those great? Do you have a favorite? Have you read a memorable first line lately?


  1. I LOVE first lines. Back in the paper-based book days, I used to love going through the bookstore, reading first lines. I could probably do that with Kindle, but it would be a lot of work.

  2. As a reader, first lines/paragraphs can blow me away. As a writer, they can do the same but in a different way. I wonder how long and how many times it took the writer to craft that line, did it come naturally, intuitively, etc.

  3. I love first lines (very difficult to get them right). Many times after reading the first few lines, I know I'm going to fall in love with the book.

  4. I love first lines first impressions, they can make a strong hold on the reader. I loved Fracture and This Lullaby, from the list you shared!

  5. Oh first lines . . . they sure do set the tone for it all. These are wonderful examples! Fracture's sure got my attention right away! I now want to read it lol

  6. There's something about first lines that I can't get. I don't know why. It's like I have to read a chapter or so before I get into the swing of the story, and then I never go back to read those first lines. They don't stick with me.

  7. I love the first line of that first book-they are all great examples. The one that got me always was "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"....

  8. Ooh, lots of great first lines here! The only one of these books I've read, though, is Uglies. (I really need to re-read this series one of these days. It's been ages since I've last picked those books up!)

  9. Loved reading all these first lines! Great ones too.

  10. Ha! Those are great first lines. Excellent picks!

  11. They are great first lines. I was equally impressed with the first line of Uglies. Not so much with the rest of the book. I haven't read any of the others because I can only stomach the occasional contemporary. Long ago I got into the art of first lines and made this whole huge effort over them. Truthfully though, I rarely remember them these days. Lets be fair, I rarely remember my name by the end of the day. ;)

  12. What strikes me about all those wonderful openings, is just how un-literary they are. They're all as comfortable as a well-worn shoe.

  13. Call me Ishmael;) But seriously, I love a good first line. In fact, I think it's necessary:)

  14. adore these...This Lullaby is one of my all time favorite books. I've read it three times! I think one of my favs is Sophie Kinsella's from Wedding Night. "I've bought him an engagement ring. Was that a mistake? I mean it's not a GIRLY ring. It's a plain band with a tiny diamond in it, which the guy in the shop talked me into. If Richard doesn't like the diamond he can always turn it around. Or not wear it at all. Keep it on his nightstand or in a box or whatever."
    so funny and instantly we know the time of gal protagonist we're dealing with!


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