My Favourite First Lines

If you’ve ever finished a story-writing unit in English, than you most likely would have heard of the ‘Sizzling Start!” I know I definitely have. It’s been drilled in over and over, year after year, and while it does begin to get a little repetitive, it is, of course, very valuable advice. How many times have you started a book, knowing nothing about it, but never finishing it just because its opening wasn’t good enough? A few times? Yeah me too. But let’s not look at the bad ones. (Maybe that can be another post. My english teacher once read out some examples of stories from past students of his, that he found were both terrible and hilarious. I might have to go find some…) Here are some of my favourite first lines (in no particular order) I’ve either read myself, or heard of:

“Ironically, since the attacks, the sunsets have been glorious.”
Angelfall by Susan Ee

The Angelfall books are quite good, very interesting, (a bit underrated if you ask me), and defied a lot of stereotypes. While initially, it was the cover that caught my eye, once I read the first line, I was pretty much hooked from there on in.

“The great grey beast February had eaten Harvey Swick alive.”
The Thief of Always by Clive Barker

This one’s definitely one of my favourites – both book and first line!!

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
1984 by George Orwell

I have yet to actually read this one, but it’s getting very close to the top of my pile, and I’ve heard this quote many a time. I think it captures people, just because of how it normal it starts out, and how very alien it ends.

“It was a dark and stormy night.”
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Oh how I love this one!! When I read this the first time, I don’t remember commenting on it, but after re-reading it again recently, I actually laughed. Just because it’s the exact line school teachers tell you never to use. I don’t know whether they say that because of this book, or whether L’Engle used it because teachers say it, but I love it.

“There are 158 footsteps between the bus stop and home, but it can stretch to 180 if you aren’t in a hurry, like maybe if you’re wearing platform shoes.”
Me Before You Jojo Moyes

This one’s not exactly the first line of the book, because there’s a prologue, but it’s the first line of chapter 1. At first, it’s interesting, but not too notable… until you get to the platform shoes. That makes it for me.

“It was a pleasure to burn.”
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is just one of the ones that makes you go, “Wait what?” A very unconventional start, to quite a unconventional book

“In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.”
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The simplicity is what makes this one so effective. It introduces the main character, the setting of Middle Earth, and links Lord of the Rings in, all at the same time.

“First the colours. Then the humans. That’s usually how I see things. Or at least how I try.

 ~Here is a small fact~
You are going to die.
The Book Thief 
by Markus Zusak

I realise that this is actually quite a few lines, but it’s worth it. The many simple sentences all work together, and then the bit underneath is, again the “Wait, what?” I really love those little bolded bits in The Book Thief, and how they almost tell their own story.

“Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.”
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Douglas Adams’ has quite a few one-liners that ultimately make this book what it is. I also love: “The ships hung in the sky in much the same way that bricks don’t.” I quote that one all the time!!

“The monster showed up just after midnight. As they do.”
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

This one’s another recent read for me – one I absolutely loved!! One of the major reasons I enjoyed it so much was the language used, showcased perfectly in this first line.

“Grandpa stopped speaking the day he killed my brother, John.”
Bird by Crystal Chan

Juxtaposed quotes really capture the audience’s attention, especially when they’re the first line. The blurb, title, and first line, all add together to create the almost creepy atmosphere of this book.

“Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.”
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Not my favourite quote from the series, but still a pretty awesome first line! You don’t hear much else about Joost, but he certainly makes for an interesting introduction.

“I Accidentally Vaporize My Pre-Algebra Teacher”
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Aaaand last one, is (not actually the first line, per se, but first chapter name) Percy Jackson. How could I not include Riordan’s hilarious one-liners?? Seriously, this entire book- no, series – is filled with laughs!

And there we have it. I hope you enjoyed this wonderful list, as I certainly did. Maybe you’re even looking at Sizzling Starts with new eyes now! Looking back over books and finding old favourites is super fun!! If you have any of your own, definitely add them in the comments below!! I’ll be looking out for some good ones! 🙂



May Wrap Up

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Hello again!! Winter is here, for me in Australia, and I am so looking forward to the holidays!! Not just because I get rid of all these assignments and exams, but because then I can curl up with a cuppa, possibly a cat, and READ!! I’m also going skiing in the holidays, which is going to be lots of fun, but we’ll talk about that another time. For today, I bring you my May Wrap-up!!

I actually can not believe that we are already in June. This is crazy! In terms of books, how did everyone go? I’m quite proud of my readings this month, myself finishing a total of 7 books:

The Goldfinch: Finally, finally, got to the last page of this book, and even though it took me forever, I’d say it was worth it. The language was a masterpiece, though the plot, at times, was a bit tiresome.

And I Darken: I received this book for Easter (an awesome Easter present, I know!), and had heard some pretty good things about it. I also, really, really enjoyed it. It’s almost like a retelling of Vlad the Impaler, with certain elements mixed up and switched around.

Defy the Stars: Oh, this book. I loved it. Could not put it down, but I don’t know why either. There are obvious parts where it’s not the best, but I fell in love with the characters and how they interacted, straight away. I think that’s why I loved it so much.

Shadow and Bone: And onto the Grisha Trilogy I went. Bit late in reading this, and I read Six of Crows beforehand, so that’s a bit backwards, but it was still enjoyable. Nowhere near as good as Six of Crows (for me anyway), but still a very good book and story.

Siege and Storm: This one is my least favourite of the Grisha books, but in saying that, it’s still not bad. I feel like there wasn’t a lot happening in this one, whereas in the other two, lots of action took place.

Ruin and Rising: Another awesome book from Leigh Bardugo! I think my favourite of the Grisha books is Shadow and Bone, but this isn’t too far behind. This whole series is a must read for anyone who likes young adult, or fantasy.

A Monster Calls: This one’s by Patrick Ness, and although I’d heard about it, it wasn’t on my TBR list. It was only because I saw it at the library that I decided to try it, and see what it was all about. And I’m telling you, if it isn’t already, put this on your reading list!! Written for a younger audience, this is still a very powerful book, with so many lessons, and so much emotion, all wrapped up in a clever story!! I loved it, from first page, until the end.

Talon: I didn’t finish this one in May, but I’m halfway through, so I’m going to include it anyway. After Legion’s (Talon #4) release, I decided to re-read the entire series, as I’d kinda forgotten what happened in each one.

Onto the Haul!! May wasn’t too big of a month for buying books, but I just heard some very exciting information. The Lifeline Bookfest is coming back in June!!! Yay!! I absolutely love going, and we usually get lots and lots and lots of books every time. I think it may be time for a shelf-rearrange…

May Haul:

  • Shadow and Bone
  • Siege and Storm
  • Ruin and Rising
  • Legion

I’ve already read most of those ones, only got Legion to go. It looks like I’m going to have to buy some more books soon… Mwa ha ha… There were lots of big releases in May, so I’m going to list a few. No. 1, I still haven’t read, but it was the most anticipated, so I’d better put it up:

  • A Court of Wings and Ruin – Sarah J. Maas
    • This is the one everyone’s been waiting for. Finally it’s here, and I’m yet to start the series. I’ll get to it eventually, but apparently, it is very good, (It is Sarah J. Maas, what can I say?) so if you haven’t heard of it, I recommend checking it out
  • Flame in the Mist – Renee Ahdieh
    • Author of The Wrath and the Dawn, Renee Ahdieh released this one in May, and people are loving it. It’s one of the highest ranking books released in May, which is saying something because there are lots of big ones.
  • Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) – Cassandra Clare
    • And it’s here!! I loved Lady Midnight, more than I thought I would, and after finishing, immediately needed the next one. I think I might do another re-read, and then go onto this one.
  • The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo #2) – Rick Riordan
    • Any Rick Riordan fans out there?? Not many people I know read his books anymore, but I still enjoy their fast-paced energy and humour. I haven’t started the Trials of Apollo yet, as I’m waiting for them all to come out first (Riordan has a tendency to finish books on cliffhangers… *cough, cough* Mark of Athena *cough, cough*)

All finished for May, so let’s get on with June. I would like to read Lord of Shadows this month, and possible All the Light we Cannot See, but we’ll see. What are you reading?? Have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned above?? Don’t be afraid to comment your ideas and thoughts below!!