The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library
People have different criteria for judging whether a novel will make their top list of favorites. Sometimes, it’s the conclusion that shocks readers into storing that novel to memory, but occasionally, it’s the opening lines that you’ll remember forever. I know a book delivered if I can recall a character’s name or the opening lines even years later.
The following list of teen books have first lines compelling the reader to dive right in.
“I had just come to accept that my life would be ordinary when extraordinary things began to happen. The first of these came as a terrible shock and, like anything that changes you forever, split my life into halves: Before and After. Like many of the extraordinary things to come, it involved my grandfather, Abraham Portmann.”
“So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”
“Human girls cry when they’re sad and laugh when they’re happy. They have a single fixed shape rather than shifting with their whims like windblown smoke. They have their very own parents, whom they love. They don’t go around stealing other girls’ mothers. At least that’s what Kaye thought human girls were like. She wouldn’t really know. After all, she wasn’t human.”
“So in order to understand everything that happened, you have to start from the premise that high school sucks. Do you accept that premise? Of course you do. It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. In fact, high school is where we are first introduced to the basic existential question of life: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad?”