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  • December 2011
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Great Opening Lines

A great opening line can hook the reader immediately.  The American Book Review compiled a list of the 100 Best First Lines from Novels.  To me, the grand-daddy of first lines was the opening of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the spring  of light, it was the winter of despair.”

So, what opening line of a novel hooked you right away?

Here are a few of my favorites:

Girl Stays in the Picture by Melissa De La Cruz:

“As far as Devon was concerned, there was only one way to arrive in Saint-Tropez, on board a magnificent seventy-five-foot yacht.”

Blood Beast by Darren Shan, book 5 of The Demonata series:

“My hands are red with blood.  I’m running through a forest.  Naked, but I don’t care.  I’m an animal, not a human.  Animals don’t need clothes.”

Baby Girl by Lenora Adams:

“Dear Moms,  I know you are probably wondering where I am and why I left.”

Stargazer:  An Evernight Novel  by Claudia Gray:


The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan:

“Look, I didn’t want to be a half-blood.”

The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman:

“I don’t really remember when I first met the Schwa, he was just kind of always there, like the killer potholes on Avenue U or the Afghans barking out the window above Crawley’s restaurant–a whole truck load of ’em, if you believed the rumors.”

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson:

“The summer before D Foster’s real mama came and took her away, Tupac wasn’t dead yet.”

The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt:

“I used to love my brother.”

Generation Dead by Daniel Waters:

“PHOEBE AND HER FRIENDS held their breath as the dead girl in the plaid skirt walked past their table in the lunchroom.”

 Killer:  A Pretty Little Liars Novel by Sara Shepard:

“What if, all of a sudden, you could remember every single second of your entire life?”

So what are these books about?  Here is a list of the subject headings:

African-Americans–Brothers–Families–Fantasy–Friendship–High School–Interpersonal Relationships–Mythology–Prejudices–Runaway Teenagers–Schools–Tupac Shakur–Vampires–Werewolves–Zombies.

So, what are your favorite opening lines?  I would love for you to share them in the comments section.


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