Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I love a first sentence hook. I love writing them and I love reading them. We all know how important the first five pages are - to get your reader into the book and relating to the character. But there's something magical about that first sentence and what it foretells.

I decided to grab some of the YA books off my shelf and share their first sentences with you! (And this will give you an idea of the kind of books I read!) These are the first sentences of the book - whether it be a prologue or first chapter.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (J.K. Rowling)
Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much.

Hush Hush (Becca Fitzpatrick)
Chauncey was with a farmer's daughter on the grassy banks of the Loire River when the storm rolled in, and having let his gelding wander in the meadow, was left to his own two feet to carry him back to the chateau.

Fallen (Lauren Kate)
Around midnight, her eyes at last took shape.

Paranormalcy (Kiersten White)
"Wait - did you - You just yawned!"

Clockwork Angel (Cassandra Clare)
The demon exploded in a shower of ichor and guts.

Incarceron (Catherine Fisher)
Finn had been flung on his face and chained to the stone slabs of the transitway.

The Scorch Trials (James Dashner)
She spoke to him before the world fell apart.

The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
When I wake up, the other side of the bed is cold.

And (just for the heck of it) here's my first sentence for Shoreline:
Jocelyn stared at the guy sitting across the table from her, wondering how he’d react later – when he was drowning.

So which of these first sentences want to make you read more? And feel free to share your first sentence below!


  1. I love the Harry Potter opening line...J.K. Rowling is so good!

    And hello!! Yours is great! Very intriguing and dangerous...would definitely have me reading on!

  2. It's interesting how I love some of these, but don't care for others. I never really liked the first line to Hunger Games, but the first paragraph is really gripping. Strange how sometimes open lines can fall flat, but work if there's a good context shortly after. That's why the first 250 is SOOOO important.

  3. Love the Shoreline opening line!

  4. OH! I love this post and opening lines. AND your opening line. OMG. I was like "meh, thats good" Until the ending made me do a reader's double take! "wait...what?" *reread* Now...I'm hooked.

  5. Oh, one of my favs is Brom's THE CHILD THief. "Tonight it will happen, the very bad thing."

  6. Wonderful post. I think your first line for Shoreline is the best one up there. Harry Potter doesn't get good to me until he gets to Hogwarts! lol
    Here's my first line:
    “I need a strong son to reign when Hades darkens my doorstep!” the king roared.

  7. Thanks everyone :) I love my first line!

  8. I just love the first line of HP--she had me with the prim-but-snarky "thank you very much."

    Also, your first sentence is totally awesome! Kind of innocuous, unless you're really paying attention, and then WOW.

    Mine is pretty underwhelming:
    "I wake up suddenly, like someone just screamed in my ear."



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