Attention Grabbing First Lines

Posted on February 22, 2021

by Anne K

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.

Cover of The Raven Boys

The Raven Boys
By Maggie Stiefvater

Spoken CD   |   Playaway   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eAudio

Blue Sargent had forgotten how many times she’d been told that she would kill her true love.”

Cover of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
By Ransom Riggs

Spoken CD   |   Graphic Novel   |   eBook   |   eAudiobook

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.”

Cover of Where Things Come Back

Where Things Come Back
By John Corey Whaley


“I was seventeen years old when I saw my first dead body.”

Cover of Killing Mr. Griffin

Killing Mr. Griffin
By Lois Duncan

eAudiobook   |   hoopla eAudio

It was a wild, windy, southwestern spring when the idea of killing Mr. Griffin occurred to them.”

Cover of Shallow Graves

Shallow Graves
By Kali Wallace

eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopla eAudio

“The first time I killed a man it was an accident.”

Cover of Six of Crows

Six of Crows
By Leigh Bardugo


“Joost had two problems: the moon and his mustache.”

Cover of Before I Fall

Before I Fall
By Lauren Oliver

Spoken CD   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook   |   hoopa eAudio

“They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happened for me.”

Cover of Illuminae: The Illuminae Files

Illuminae: The Illuminae Files
By Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

eBook   |   eAudiobook

“So here’s the file that almost killed me, Director.”

Cover of Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale

Ironside: A Modern Faery’s Tale
By Holly Black


“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.”

Cover of Going Bovine

Going Bovine
By Libba Bray

eBook   |   eAudiobook

“The best day of my life happened when I was five and almost died at Disney World. I’m sixteen now, so you can imagine that’s left me with quite a few days of major suckage.”

Cover of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
By Jesse Andrews

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook

“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?”

Cover of Feed

By M.T. Anderson

eBook   |   eAudiobook   |   hoopla eBook

“We went to the moon to have fun, but the moon turned out to completely suck.”

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