Let’s talk about the first lines of a book. In the industry, they are called the hook. Probably because, like an angular, the author wants to hook the reader right away and reel them into the story. As a reader, I love a really well-written first line/paragraph. They aren’t make it or break it as far as reading experience goes by any means, but if I can feel myself sinking into the story right from the very first page, then I am one happy reader.
What are some things those first few lines can do for a book? They can set the tone right from the start. They can introduce the reader to the voice of the character, especially if the voice is written in first person perspective. They can immediately place the reader in a time, place, atmosphere, etc.
Those first lines are like an introduction, and as a reader, I just love it when a book has me at hello.
Here are some first lines of books that sucked me into the story right from the start and made me fall in love at the very first page.
“If Obsessive Email Checking Disorder were a disease, I was likely already in the final stages: trigger thumb, mindless refreshing, aimless scrolling, and, of course, an inability to focus on anything else in the entire world.”
“Four years ago, on my thirtieth birthday, I had two very important realizations.
- I didn’t need a man in my life in order to be happy or fulfilled.
- My chances of meeting and falling love with a man–and having him fall in love with me–would increase exponentially if I lowered my standards.
Not my standards for the man, of course. No, with the introduction of realization number one, the standards for the man had never been higher. If I didn’t need a man, then there was no harm in being very picky and waiting for the right one to come along. But with the introduction of realization number two, I could no longer deny that I did very much want to be in love…whether I needed to be or not.”
“”Let’s get married.”
Trinity Davis gaped at her best friend. “Omar, you can’t be serious. I just came over to vent, not for you to suggest some harebrained idea.””
“I’ve face-planted myself into rock bottom.
Well, maybe a hammock above rock bottom–one my aunt Doreen graciously set out for me when I found myself abandoned and broke.”
“Just call me George Washington. You know, because of the whole cherry tree thing. Although, now that I think about it, that’s more legend than actual historical fact, and considering Washington was a politician, the likelihood of him never telling a lie is drastically more improbable than gas prices ever lowering to less than a dollar again. So, maybe I should stick to my real name because I, Molly Osbourne, really do always tell the truth.”
Are first lines important to your reading experience? Do you have any favorite first lines?