Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Bookish first impressions...

While a book's cover or title may make me pick it up, often it's the first line that helps me decide whether or not to read it. First impressions are so important! Here are the first lines of some books I recently read---books that I enjoyed reading, but didn't review. See if any of their first lines strike you.

First Line:  "By 1927 there were twelve girls who danced all night and never gave names, but by then the men had given up asking and called them all Princess."
Title: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
(This is a creative retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales: The Twelve Dancing Princesses; I love that Valentine set her novel in the Roaring Twenties.)

First Line: "I want a refund from ancestry.com."
Title: Ungifted by Gordon Korman
(This is a fun and entertaining middle-grade fiction novel about kids who are gifted...and those who aren't.)

First Line: "The first time Nakajima stayed over, I dreamed of my dead mom."
Title: The Lake by Banana Yoshimoto
(A quiet and beautifully written novel about two lost souls living in Japan and their hesitant romance.)

First Line: "The water was so cold it took Heather's breath away as she fought past the kids crowding the beach and standing in the shallows, waving towels and homemade signs, cheering and calling up to the remaining jumpers."
Title: Panic by Lauren Oliver
(This book is NOT a copy of The Hunger Games like everyone said. For one thing, it's not set in a dystopian future, for another, the seniors who decide to participate in the Panic aren't forced to play. And it's a game played for money. I thought it was a fun read.)

First Line: "The bride stood like a pillar of salt, rigid under layers of itchy petticoats."
Title: The Marrying of Chani Kaufman by Eve Harris
(This novel is a poignant immersion into the arranged marriage of Chani and Baruch and into London's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. Very interesting!)

Happy Reading!


  1. Beautiful first lines!
    And I do the same thing, first I look at the cover, then I read the back and if I am not sure I read the first lines.

    Kind regards,

    1. It only takes a few lines in a book to know if you want to read it...or not. At least for me. Some books don't always live up to their first lines, but these books definitely did!

  2. Love these first lines! I have read Panic, and it was great. Jotted down some of these other titles to try...Thanks!

  3. I can't resist a great opening line. You've selected some doozies (in the good sense)!

  4. I adore first lines, they can make or break a book for me. If they are dull, I lose interest in buying the book.
    By the way I enjoyed Panic too and didn't see THG comparisons at all. I love Lauren Oliver's writing style and the first line is so her.

    1. Panic is so it's own story (and such a fun read). I really want to read more of Oliver's writing.