What's in a first line?

Submitted by teenspace on July 22, 2009 - 11:36am

When you read a book, do you pay extra attention to the first line?  I wonder how much thought an author puts into a first line?  Is it the hardest or easiest to write?   Do you judge the book by the first line?  Or by the first paragraph?  first page?  first chapter?  When thinking about blogging about first lines I decided to go among the library stacks and find popular books to see what the first line is really made of; some of the books I've read and some of the books I haven't.  I was surprised, some first lines are actually pretty boring and some are fairly interesting.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
"I'd never given much thought to how I would die - though I'd had reason enough in the last few months - but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this."

Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
"If you're going to read this, don't bother."

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from out-dated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians."

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
"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."

The Latent Powers of Dylan Fontaine by April Lurie
"I can tell you from experience that a jail cell is not a place you'd like to visit."

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife."

 Wicked: Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepard
"Wouldn't it be nice to know what people are thinking?"

Maximum Ride:  The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
"The funny thing about facing imminent death is that it really snaps everything else into perspective."

Jinx by Meg Cabot
"The thing is, my luck's always been rotten"

So B. It by Sarah Weeks
"If truth was a crayon and it was up to me to put a wrapper around it and name its color, I know just what I would call it - dinosaur skin."

The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
"Froggy Welsh the Fourth is trying to get up my shirt."

The Dangerous Days of Daniel X by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge
"If this were a movie instead of real life, this would be the part where in a strange, ominous voice I'd say, 'Take me to your leader!"

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
"Is it not good to make society full of beautiful people?"

A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb
"Someone was looking at me, a disturbing sensation if you're dead."

What's your favorite first line?

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wow! i've never given much thought to the first line of a book? cool blog :)

Thanks for checking out our blog. If you have any suggestions please let us know! :)

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