Top Ten Tuesday | My Favourite Opening Lines (and a Throwback to My First Ever Post!)

Top Ten Tuesday

Hello bookish buddies! How are you all doing today? I’m here bringing you a post which has a lot of memories for me, and that’s because it’s on the same topics as my first ever blog post, back in September 2018. (Which makes me think both “has it really been that long?” and “has it only been that long?”.) I’m super proud of my blogging journey so far, and I love all the friends I’ve made. I have so much nostalgia for my first ever post, which (surprisingly) I’m still really proud of nearly two years later.

Go check out the original post that launched me into the world of blogging – just click on the image above! And once you’ve experienced the opening lines of my blog, we’ll get into the updated 2020 version of my favourite opening lines!

My dog sleeping
Since he was such a hit last time, please enjoy this picture of my dog I took while writing this post!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly blog meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Spread of books laid out

The following are all in no particular order, since I have a hard enough time choosing favourites, never mind ranking books! (Especially since I haven’t even read one of these.) Where I’ve got one, the title of the book will link to my spoiler-free review of it.

The Knife of Never Letting Go opening line

The first thing you find out when yer dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say. About anything.
“Need a poo, Todd.”
“Shut up, Manchee.”
“Poo. Poo, Todd.”

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I said I wasn’t going to be ranking, but this one is a particular favourite of mine. So many things are established in just that first sentence – the quirky writing style, a sense of humour, the fact that this is not your average setting and, of course, that dogs can talk. It’s funny, incredibly memorable, and does a perfect job of capturing your attention.

I'll Give You the Sun opening line

This is how it all begins. With Zephyr and Fry – reigning neighbourhood sociopaths – torpedoing after me and the whole forest floor shaking under my feet as I blast through air, trees, this white-hot panic.

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Jandy Nelson’s writing style is a work of art all on its own, and you can feel its beauty right from this very first sentence. Okay, so it starts with Noah getting chased down by bullies, but even in the way that’s written you get a small look into his huge imagination. Not to mention the way that it’s painted – this truly is an artistic book.

Red Rising opening line

I would have lived in peace. But my enemies brought me war.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Now, this is the only book on this list I haven’t read, and in all honesty I’m not even sure if this is the opening line. It appears before Chapter One starts, but I’m not sure if it’s just a snippet from later in the book, since publishers sometimes print those at the start. Well, I’m putting it here anyway because I needed to find ten things for this list and I think this is a super strong sentiment which makes me want to know more.

Saga opening line

“Am I shitting? It feels like I’m shitting!”

Saga: Volume One by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples

Okay, to anyone who hasn’t read Saga this is going to look like a really weird choice. ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s an epic Science Fiction Fantasy comic about two people from opposite sides of an interstellar war falling in love and having a child. The having of the child is what’s pictured above. This comic is certainly not for the faint of heart. To quote my own review: “this comic is full of bloody violence, sex, and profanity, intertwined with heart-warming family moments and beautiful quotes about life and the universe.” It’s not for everyone, but those who love it really love it (me included). I think this is a wonderful opening because it immediately sets the tone for what to expect, and really lets you know whether you’re going to love or hate this series.

Glass Houses opening line

On the day Claire became a member of the Glass House, somebody stole her laundry.

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

If you went and read my throwback post, you’ll know that this is a repeat. But I simply can’t let this post go by without including the first opening line I ever truly fell in love with. It’s simple, but considering I’ve read this book five times and flicked through it a great many more, reading those words feels like coming home.

Illuminae opening line

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

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Ah, Illuminae. The book that started it all for me. The first book I ordered from discovering bookstagram, the book that inspired me to join Goodreads to write my first review, which eventually led here, to this blog. My personal connections aside, this is certainly a snappy opening, which sets you up ready to receive an exciting, potentially deadly adventure.

History Is All You Left Me opening line

You’re still alive in alternate universes, Theo, but I live in the real world, where this morning you’re having an open-casket funeral.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

This is another repeat from my previous list, but honestly how could I not include this incredibly impactful opening line? Bear in mind I knew nothing about this book except that it featured a gay romance when I first opened it, and you really feel that sentence sucker-punch you in the chest. This is still the most painful book I have ever read, and yet I still recommend it highly because it’s just that powerful.

Nevernight opening line

People often shit themselves when they die.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Caveat Emptor means “let the buyer beware”, and that’s exactly what the opening of Nevernight is – it’s a warning to anyone who picks up this book about what they should expect from the following pages. It’s laughably honest, completely crude, and holds nothing back about the true realities of death. You know from the first sentence that this is going to be a brutal book that doesn’t shy away from profanity or harsh truths.

The Raven Boys opening line

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

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

This is definitely one of those openings that makes you want to know more. It’s everything a good first sentence should be – intruiging, memorable, and quite iconic. While this series isn’t one of my favourites, it does a lot of things right, and this opening is one of those things.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda opening line

It’s a weirdly subtle conversation. I almost don’t notice I’m being blackmailed.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

This one is pretty iconic. It’s straight to the point and very intruiging. You get a feeling for Simon’s narrative voice immediately. This is a hugely popular contemporary novel and it’s easy to see why. It has emotion, humour, friendship and romance all in wonderful balance.

This was super fun! I especially love doing these posts because the opening line of a book is something I pay particular attention to. I’ll always read the first line of a book when I’m deciding whether to buy it or not, and I tend to make a point of memorising my favourite ones. (You probably don’t want to play the first sentence game against me!)

Do you have a favourite opening line? Have your read any of the books on my list? Chat to me in the comments!

Love and lemons, Abi

12 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | My Favourite Opening Lines (and a Throwback to My First Ever Post!)

  1. Haha Iโ€™ve read 3 books off this list! They were all great, especially Saga. Iโ€™ll Give You The Sun was cute too. Your first lines on this blog are great – mine were very cringe. Please donโ€™t scroll back that far ๐Ÿ˜‚ Hope youโ€™re having a good day! Happy reading x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. this is just a fun post ! (thank you for the picture of your dog again) and I loved the link to your first post which was so fun to read !!
    I’m surprised by the books I do know the first lines of, like Red Rising and The Knife of Never Letting Go I know and I love them both such great starts !! Like I definitely want to carry on !!
    The Raven Boys is a great opening line, definitely captivates you !! like what is going on, haha !!
    You picked so many great quotes and I loved that you included pictures !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you! I’m glad you’re enjoying the dog pictures!

      Yeah, I think sometimes even if you don’t remember the opening you’d know which book it was from if you heard it. Those are the really good ones!

      I’m glad you liked them all! I definitely had fun pulling them all off my shelves to take the pictures!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I haven’t read Red Rising, but that opening line – or whatever it might be – sounds great, and I do own the book (the hype made me buy it ๐Ÿ˜…) so who knows, I might get to it one day. I adore the opening line of Simon, The Raven Boys, and Illuminae and I’m not at all surprised to see Glass House on your list. I actually love that line, because I remember how intrigued it made me for what was to come. Great post! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love first line posts, they can leave you seriously itching to pick up the books included. Like The Raven Cycle – that first line has definitely left me needing to read the book!! And I love that you mentioned Morganville, I never see the series brought up but I love those books so much. I’d love to reread them at some point. So many of the others are already on my TBR. And your dog is adorable ๐Ÿ˜

    Liked by 1 person

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