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Monday, October 18, 2010

That Mysterious First Line

This post was inspired by YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday topic of first lines last week. I put it off until today because with me favorite first lines require a lot of thought. The first line doesn't mean a lot to me. There aren't any first lines that stick out in my mind and a bad first line won't stop me from reading a book. That being said, here are some of my favorites.

The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. PAPER TOWNS by John Green

I used to be someone. THE ADORATION OF JENNA FOX by Mary E. Pearson

My mother used to tell me about the ocean. THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan

Four years, two suicides, one death, one rape, two pregnancies (one abortion), three overdoses, countless drunken antics, pantsings, spilled food, theft, fights, broken limbs, turf wars -- every day, a turf war -- six months until gradation and no one gets a medal when they get out. But everything you do here counts.
High school.
CRACKED UP TO BE by Courtney Summers (So technically that's the first few lines, but I couldn't just post the first sentence.)

The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath. AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green

If there's a Hell on Earth, it's high school. PERSONAL DEMONS by Lisa Desrochers

The first feeling is exhilaration. BREAK by Hannah Moskowitz

Look, I didn't want to be a half-blood. THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan

I remember lying in the snow, a small red spot of warm going cold, surrounded by wolves. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater

At a sign from the supervisor, a girl in the front rose to her feet and went over to press the metal switch. WINTER'S END by Jean-Claude Mourlevat

I like my first lines to set the stage for the rest of the book and to give me a taste of the writing and the voice for the rest of the story. The first line is the brick around which the rest of the words will fall into place with. For me, it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to work.

2 comments:

Marieke said...

I pretty much love all those first lines. They give such a great sense of the story! :D

Amie Kaufman said...

I love all of these! I bought A Forest Of Hands And Teeth for my cousin based pretty much on the first page--now I'm waiting to borrow it back from her so I can read!