Musing About Things: Opening Lines

Musing About Things - Book Munchies

Hi guys, welcome to Book Munchies’ Musing about Things: A Discussion (Post). Inspired by memes such as Should Be Reading‘s Musing Monday & Caffeinated Book Reviewer‘s Caffeinated Confessions (etc.), this is a Book Munchies discussion post, where I’ll be rambling about (mostly) book-related things and hopefully you guys will join in on the fun too (:

And so it seems appropriate that since this is the first post for Musing About Things, my first topic is: Opening sentences in books.

The first sentence(s) in book, while doesn’t make or break a book for me, is still definitely a highlight. There’s just that feeling of euphoria when you start that brand new book and you read that first sentence and just know, that was a perfect beginning.

little rascal - happy


I think it can really create a tone or mood for the book, and if not for the book, definitely for me. As of late, I’ve been noticing a lot of books with wonderful first lines, so here are a few of my favourites (that I can remember/have on hand right now).

The greased-slicked hair was a dead giveaway – no pun intended.*

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake (my review) * ha. I just realized I even mentioned how much I loved this in my review

Risking my life to steal an orange was a stupid thing to do, but today of all days, I didn’t care about the consequences. If I were lucky, the Shields would throw me to the ground and put a bullet in my brain.

Pawn by Aimee  Carter (my review)

I was raised to marry a monster.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge (my review)

I stare at the drain in the center of the concrete floor. It was the first thing I saw when they locked me in this cell, and I’ve barely looked away since.

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill (my review)

Dear You,

The body you are wearing used to be mine.

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley

Intrigued yet? Who wants to read all those books now!? Because I kinda want to re-read them haha. I just love a beginning that can already have me hooked with just the first couple sentences.

So the question is: How important is that opening line to you? Would you guys ever read a book, just based on the first few sentence, or be more likely to pick it up because of the opening sentences? What are some of your guys favourite opening lines?

Personally, I feel like I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s opening sentences, like don’t judge a book by it’s cover, but at the same time, like a pretty cover of a book, a good first liner will definitely have me wanting, and probably more likely to pick it up.


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

0 Replies to “Musing About Things: Opening Lines”

  1. Oooh The Rook! What an opening line 😀

    One of my favourites is the one in The Raven Boys ‘Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told she would kill her true love’.

    1. I know right! It was the reason that pushed me to pick it up haha.

      Ooh, that is intriguing! I’ve been meaning to check out Raven Boys! I think that’s the perfect excuse! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Great topic! And I love that opening line from The Raven Boys! The Scorpio Races has a great opening line, too, something about it would be a day someone would die on the beach. I don’t have the book right now.
    Rick Riordan’s books all have great opening lines. The Son of Neptune: The snake-haired ladies were starting to annoy Percy.
    I just finished Not a Drop to Drink, and its opening line is good: Lynn was nine the first time she killed to defend the pond. Really liked this book, good gripping dystopian!

    1. I haven’t read Raven Boys yet, but someone just shared the opening sentence with me…and I think I’ll need to bump it up on my TBR list, haha. I’ve been hearing great things about Not a Drop to Drink! Glad to hear it has such an awesome opening liner! Thanks for sharing (:

  3. I do love a strong first line; however, it can be really hard to write that strong line, so I give authors a first chapter to pull me in. 🙂

    1. Agree! Strong first lines are like an added bonus for me (:

  4. WritersWebTV spent a whole segment of one of their webinars on hook lines. The first line can really make a difference to the reader. No one will really put down a book after the first line, but it puts a taste in your mouth that can be hard to get out.

    1. Cool, I will have to check it out. I must say, I agree with that reason! Thanks for sharing.

  5. You’ve chosen some fantastic book beginnings there. I agree I don’t judge a book by its first sentence but if it hooks you in then there is no going back!

    1. Thanks! Awesome first sentence(s) are definitely a nice bonus 😉

  6. ooh this is such a good discussion topic!! I love the opening line to All Our Yesterdays. Actually I pretty much loved every line in that entire book!! Haha, but the first line from Cruel Beauty makes me want that book so bad!! But I don’t think a great first line makes or breaks a novel. I think it can definitely hook me into a book a lot faster, but I wouldn’t stop reading it bc the first line wasn’t a good hook. I guess I would be more likely to check out a book (i.e. Cruel Beauty) if someone posted the first line somewhere and it grabbed my attention, though.

    -Becca @Pivot Book Reviews

    1. Yes, All Our Yesterday was the bomb! When I was adding it to the post, it made me want to re-read the book haha.
      I totally agree, a good opening sentence can probably sway me into reading it, or at least checking it out.
      PS. Do read Cruel Beauty, it is pretty awesome 😉

      1. I want to re-read that book! It was definitely one of my top favs of last year! I’m hoping to read Cruel Beauty soon. I asked for a copy for my birthday so fingers crossed that I get one 🙂

        1. The more we talk about it, the more I want to re-read it.
          I hope you get to read Cruel Beauty soon! Tell me how you like it 😉

          1. I hope so too!!! I know! I really want re-read it now, just because I fell in love with Finn. I just adored him. I’ll let you know what I think of Cruel Beauty 🙂

  7. I love a book that starts out with a bang. I usually give an author a few chapters to really get going, but I know when I’m writing anything I try to make it interesting from the word go. Your examples were great.

    1. Me too! Yeah, I usually give the book a few chapters to get me hooked too, but it’s so nice to to have the book start off with bang isn’t it? haha. Thanks!

  8. uh oh, now i want cruel beauty more than i already want >.<

    1. The wait isn’t too much longer now! I hope you enjoy it, the rest of the book is as good as the opener 😉

  9. ROOOOOOOOK! (I approve!!)

    A librarian told me back in the day that authors can rewrite an opening line up to a couple of dozen times, so they’ve become important to me for that reason.

    However, generally speaking, I do think that an opening line does a lot in making sure casual browsers actually pick up the book and continue reading. 🙂

    1. Crazy, but not surprised that authors spend so much time on it!
      Totally agree, I think it helps push me off the fence to actually picking it up 😉

  10. Wow I haven’t heard of The Rook but it sounds amazing from that opening line. I think they really do set the tone for the book and need to be powerful and interesting to draw you in. Great post!

    1. The rest of the synopsis is really good too haha. I recently got recommended it, but it was totally that opening line that got me to read it (: Thanks Jeann!

  11. […] for each day! I would love to know – like your favourite first lines (which I actually did a Musing About Things post for, b/c I love great opening lines so much, […]

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