Top Ten Tuesday | Opening Lines

I previously did an Opening Lines post. So, rather than redo the list again, I decided to try something new.

I took the YA books I’ve had on my bookshelf the longest, unread, and I wanted to see how many of them intrigue me. I mean, I really should get around to reading these at some point, right?

Not to mention I haven’t been reading as much young adult as I have previously, so maybe this is just the kick in the pants I need.

Obviously, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


1. Stormdancer

by Jay Kristoff

As the iron war club scythed toward her head, Yukiko couldn’t help wishing she’d listened to her father.

I love Jay Kristoff. Or at least, I love Nevernight and I enjoyed Illuminae. I feel like I could love Jay Kristoff. What does one do whey they believe they could love an author?
Why, rush out and buy their other series, of course! Clearly it’s necessary to sit on my bookshelf and collect dust.
As far as first lines go, that ones a keeper. I was immediately intrigued and felt like I wanted to keep reading. It has action, heart, and irony all in one sentence. If I didn’t need to finish Nevernight, I may not have put it down.

2. All the Crooked Saints

by Maggie Stiefvater

You can hear a miracle a long way after dark.
Miracles are very like radio waves in this way.

Maggie Stiefvater is an odd author for me. I wasn’t impressed with her original Shiver series. However, I was obsessed with The Raven Cycle series.
That series convinced me Maggie was an autobuy author, so of course I rushed out to autobuy All the Crooked Saints.
Then I never read it.
The first line is interesting. It’s very Maggie Stiefvater. It has her poetry like prose, with something that sounds like a deep thought, but also you don’t quite understand what it means. What it didn’t do was hook me.

3. Turtles All the Way Down

by John Green

At the time I first realized I might be fictional, my weekdays were spent at a publicly funded institution on the north side of Indianapolis called White River High School where I was required to eat lunch at a particular time -between 12:37 pm and 1:14 pm- by forces so much lager than myself that I couldn’t even begin to identify them.

John, John, John… I mean, “the time I first realized I might be fictional” is brilliant. So brilliant. Very Greentastic. Then it begins to ramble into something that makes me forget that initial thought.
I was never the reader who thought John Green was wordy, or wrote teenagers too maturely or whatever crap his critics say. I think he’s a fantastic writer for teens. However, in this case, waaay too wordy. Turtles All the Way Down is going right back onto my bookshelf, at least for now.

4. Release

by Patrick Ness

Adam would have to get the flowers himself.
His mom had enough to do, she said.

I loved Patrick Ness’s early books. Chaos Walking is my shhhh*t. A Monster Calls is one of the best, deepest, books I’ve ever read. Don’t even get me started on the artwork.
The follow up books were decent, but I wasn’t blown away.
When Release was released, I was in the right spot to really want it, but then not really feel like reading it. Unfortunately the first lines did nothing to change my mind. I literally got nothing from it. It tells you very little about anything. Just something about flowers.

5. Walk on Earth a Stranger

by Rae Carson

I hear the deer before I see him, though he makes less noise than a squirrel -the gentle crunch of snow, a snapping twig, the soft whuff as he roots around for dead grass.

Again, boooring. Absolutely forgettable first line. Which is pretty much my worries about this story. I bought it because that cover is simply stunning. I never read it because I feel like I’m going to be madly disappointed.
I don’t even have any other Rae Carson books to base my decision on. I only have a wide range of tepid reviews, and that first line that told me more about a deer than it does about this book.

6. The Female of the Species

by Mindy McGinnis

This is how I kill someone.
I learn his habits, I know his schedule. It is not difficult.

Okay Mindy McGinnis! That’s how you do! What does that tell me? That tells me that the main character kills people. I mean, I already knew that from the synopsis, but still it hits you just right. It makes you want to keep reading.
I’ve had this book for years, unable to donate it, but resistant to picking it up. Now I know that I’m missing out. If she writes first lines that well, this has got to be a fantastic read!

7. Leah on the Offbeat

by Becky Albertalli

I don’t mean to be dramatic, but God save me from Morgan picking our set list. That girl is a suburban dad’s midlife crisis in a high school senior’s body.

What does that even mean? What is it to be a suburban dad’s midlife crisis? Is that like, she’s a hotrod? Or, is it because she’s too attractive?
I don’t understand.
Sometimes confusion is a good thing, in this case not so much. I loved Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda, and I was scared to read this follow up. I was positive it wouldn’t be as good. I believe that some books should be standalone. That first line isn’t changing my mind.

8. We are the Ants

by Shaun David Hutchinson

Life is bullshit.

Okay, I can get behind that. Life is bullshit. I admit, I read past that line. I wanted to know why life was bullshit. I liked it. My main worry about this book was it would be sad. That first line didn’t really change my mind, but it did at least make me want to know if life was still bullshit in the end? I mean, we all want to know there’s a happy ending to life. I know that’s why I read. It’s why I stay away from contemporary authors with sad endings. (I see you Adam Silvera.)

9. Kids of Appetite

by David Arnold

Consider this: billions of people in the world, each with billions of I ams.

I looooved Mosquitoland. I loved it so much so that I rushed out to buy Kids of Appetite. You’ve heard this story recently, so I’ll spare you the details. You’ll guess what happened to it. Yep. Abandoned on the bookshelf.
This is another book with a first line that I don’t quite understand. I mean, on a basic level I do. Humanity with their “I am” statements. But, in the bigger scope, what does that mean? Is that a problem? Maybe my confusion will make me pick it up. Today is not that day.

10. Daughter of the Pirate King

by Tricia Levenseller

I hate having to dress like a man.
The cotton shirt is too loose, the breeches too big, the boots too uncomfortable.

It sounds like she needs to have her clothes resized. Also, weren’t the clothes women wore especially loose, big, and uncomfortable?
This selection has a different story. EVERYONE, both in the blogging world and on Goodreads, was raving about Daughter of the Pirate King. The concept sounded fantastic, and I was in a fantasy binge, so I purchased. I’m not sure the opening line has strength. It’s interesting, for sure, but I wish it had had more of a bite.

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme previously hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, but as of 2018 is hosted by hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl!

About Birdie

Don’t look for her in any bar, club, crazy raging party, or anywhere there may be a large gathering of strangers. She’s more likely to be found tucked into the corner of the couch watching one of her favorite shows, or preferably under a comforter with her current novel.

27 Responses

  1. I love this post! When I’m in between books, I’ll sometimes pick the top 2 or 3 off my shelf and read the opening lines to see which grabs me the most. I love that you put together a whole list! so many of these are great, and make me want to read more.I especially like #1 — I like the feeling of being thrust right into the action and being made to wonder about the situation and the character’s father right away.


  2. I’ve read All the Crooked Saints and Turtles All the Way Down. Both very different, but I think I probably liked them equally. Saints is not my favorite of Maggie’s but still very unique. Turtles is not my favorite Green, but still sweet. Happy Reading!


      1. Dedra @ A Book Wanderer

        All of The Raven Cycle for Maggie and I’m not sure I can pick a favorite John Green. I loved Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, and The Fault in our Stars equally. 😍


Tell me something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.