Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fave first lines?

It's near impossible to keep up with contests these days. There's so much out there for reader/writers to win! Amy Holder is giving away SWOON AT YOUR OWN RISK by Sydney Salter. And Michelle Hodkin is giving out some cool ARCs over on her blog.

All you need is your favourite first line.

The first line that stands out most in my mind, and the only one I can quote offhand is:

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother, Jem, got his arm badly broken at the elbow.

I actually almost forgot to write that this is from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. That book is such a literary influence, I forget the possibility that people haven't read it.

Two new favourites:

"Baby," groaned the guy- Ted? Tad? -something like that - and crushed his lips against the side of her neck, shoving her face against the wall of the toilet stall.

from Jennifer Weiner's IN HER SHOES and

Early in the spring of 1750, in the village of Juffure, four days up-river from the coast of The Gambia, West Africa, a man-child was born to Omoro and Binta Kinte.

I'd think this line would be even more obvious that the TKAM opener, but just in case you don't know, it's from Alex Haley's ROOTS.

What's your fave first line?


Anonymous said...

"IT is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife."

I know about a million others would say this was their fave, too, but I can't help it--it's the only one I can quote off the top of my head :)

Alleged Author said...

"There was once, in the country of Alifbay, a sad city, the saddest of cities, a city so ruinously sad that it had forgotten its name." --Haroun and the Sea of Stories

Such a great book!

Anonymous said...
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Amy Holder said...

Hey there! Thanks for entering my giveaway and for blogging about it!! I've missed you too, btw. So sorry I haven't been visiting your blog as much lately. Life has been mucho busy!

Anyhow, I love your post about first lines. They're so important to capture the tone of a story. Your picks are great. I agree with you about TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD -- such a classic.

One that totally took me by surprise was from Carolyn Mackler's THE EARTH, MY BUTT & OTHER BIG ROUND THINGS: Froggy Welsh the Fourth is trying to get up my shirt.
Haha - not sure if it's one of my very favorites, but it definitely captures the tone of the book & MC.

ElbieNy25 said...

Is it sad that I can't think of any favorite first lines? I like all of the ones you guys posted though.

Claire Dawn said...

Great suggestions!

Elz, The only one which jumped to mind was To Kill a Mockingbird. Then I opened every book I have here. (Thank goodness I only have a few books in Japan. If I was at home, that could have been a week long endeavour!)